Philosophy is the foundation of higher education since Plato’s Academy (the first college in Western civilization). The goal of the philosophy program is to introduce students to a broad range of philosophical topics and issues. The methods of careful reasoning, philosophical analysis and constructive dialogue are applied to questions that concern all who seek to understand themselves, the reality of the world, the meaning and purpose of life and the way to make wise and moral choices. The subject is taught primarily as a contribution to students’ overall liberal arts education. Students majoring in Philosophy generally transfer to four-year institutions to pursue a bachelor degree and continue their education into Masters or Doctoral degrees. The Philosophy Department additionally provides an Introduction to Philosophy course which surveys most of the standard fields of philosophy —metaphysics, Epistemology and axiology (which includes ethics, aesthetics, and political philosophy). The other courses offered (Ethics, Logic, Survey of World Religions-East, Survey of World Religions-West, Introduction to Zen Buddhism, History of Western Philosophy I & II: Ancient-Medieval, Modern-Contemporary) are more specific and detailed accounts of these standard fields. These philosophy courses may be transferred to four-year institutions. (Check for specifics with your counselor).
This course surveys the nature and uses of philosophy; considers possible sources, nature, and criteria of knowledge; examines humanity's place in the universe, including concepts of the self, the mind, and freedom; and reviews various schools of philosophical thought as philosophers have sought to understand knowledge, reality, and value.
This course provides an introduction to the nature of ethical theory, reviews ethical theory as it has developed in the West, and ponders the problems involved in the continuing quest for a more adequate ethical theory for contemporary society together with suggestions for progress toward this goal.
This course surveys the religions that have dominated the East, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Za Zen, and Shinto. It examines the origin and development of each religion, identifying it's major themes, values, and way of life.
This course surveys those living religions which have dominated the West, namely, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It examines the origin and development of each religion, identifying it's major themes, beliefs, and values, touching upon both common and contrasting elements.
This course presents an introduction to the nature and problems of traditional logical methods. Students will ask questions, weigh evidence, and draw valid conclusions from various kinds of sources. Focus will be on sentential/deductive logic (syllogisms, truth tables, etc.) techniques. Some time will be spent on informal/inductive logic (generalizations, analogies, and common fallacious reasoning) techniques.
This course is a survey of and practice in reasoning, including analysis, critical reasoning, and synthesis, induction and deduction, and identification of assumptions and perspectives. Emphasis will be on both oral and written analysis and argumentation of issues involving fact, belief and value, and on common fallacies of thought, logic, and language. Students will develop the basics of critical reading, analytic writing and the relation of writing to critical thinking beyond the level achieved in English Composition: Level I.
This course will cover the history, principles, and practices of Zen Buddhism in China, where it originated and is called Ch'an, and in Japan, where its two major schools (Rinzai and Soto) have thrived and influenced many aspects of Japanese culture and whence Zen was exported to the West and the United States. In addition to a historical grounding, emphasis will be given to examining and engaging essential principles and practices of Zen as a philosophy and a way of life.
This course explores myths, legends, and traditional stories from worldwide sources, including: African, Asian, European, Meso-American, Middle Eastern, Native American, and South American among others. Recurring symbols, themes, and concepts will be examined, both independently and cross-culturally, in terms of their appearance in folklore, ritual, religion, literature, and art.
This course is an introductory study of religion with emphasis on the origins and functions of religion, religious experience, and religious and theological modes of expression. Course content will be drawn from Eastern and Western traditions, ancient, medieval and modern times.
An introduction to the history and cultural context of Confucianism, Taoism and Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism in China and Japan. Focus on Confucius and Mencius, neo-Confucianism of Chu Hsi (Zhu Xi), Taoist masters Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, and their influence on Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism. Emphasis will be given to original texts in translations.
This introductory course is a study of key images and interpretations of the life and teachings of Jesus, and analysis of the sources from which these are reconstructed, in biblical tradition, historical, cultural, theological, philosophical, artistic, comparative, and contemporary perspectives.
This course offers specialized study opportunities for students who wish to pursue projects not included in the regular curriculum. Students are accepted only by a written project proposal approved by the discipline prior to enrollment.