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Philosophy Program

Philosophy Courses at UTPA

The following is a complete list of courses taught in the Philosophy Program at UTPA, current as of Fall 2011.

PHIL 1305 Critical Thinking
This class will investigate what it is to think critically.  Strong emphasis will be placed on the following: reading critically, analyzing texts, identifying and systematically representing arguments, recognizing formal and informal fallacies, and rationally evaluating what is heard and read.

PHIL 1310 Introduction to Philosophy
An introduction to some of the major philosophical questions that have intrigued mankind over the centuries. This will be done through an examination of the thought of some of the most important figures in the history of philosophy from the early Greeks to modern times. Credit Restriction: Credit may be received in only one of PHIL 1310 or PHIL 1387.

PHIL 1321 Introduction to Formal Logic
This class is an introduction to some of the formal techniques available for evaluating the correctness or incorrectness of arguments. Formal techniques likely to be discussed include: symbolization in propositional logic, parsing trees, truth tables or truth trees, natural deduction in propositional logic, Venn diagrams, and the probability calculus.

PHIL 1387 Introduction to Philosophy (Honors Plan)
An introduction to philosophical questions through an examination of major figures and themes in the history of philosophy from ancient to modern times. Credit Restriction: Credit may be received in only one of PHIL 1310 or PHIL 1387. Prerequisite: Admission to Honors Studies Program or by permission of the program director.

PHIL 1388 Introduction to Logic (Honors Plan)
An introduction to the fundamentals of clear and effective thinking through an examination of the principles of correct reasoning, the structure of knowledge and common obstacles to rational thought. Credit Restriction: Credit may be received in only one of PHIL 1320 or PHIL 1388. Prerequisite: Admission to Honors Studies Program or by permission of the program director.

PHIL 2330 Introduction to Ethics
This course will be concerned with human values: our own and those of other people. It will ask where those values come from and how we can know they are worth something, and it will examine several related questions such as personal freedom and the meaningfulness of human life.

PHIL 2350 Introduction to Social & Political Philosophy
A critical introduction to the current and historical relationships that define contemporary society and politics. Topics may include democracy, capitalism, communism, anarchism, political authority, norms, justices, rights, pluralism, and rights.

PHIL 2370 Introduction to Asian Philosophy
An analysis of the major movements in Eastern philosophy and religion and their relationship to basic philosophical developments in the West. This course will examine systems of thought and culture such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto.

PHIL 2380 Introduction to Latin American Philosophy
An examination of some of the most important and influential contributions to Latin American thought. Material to be studied will be drawn from both past and contemporary sources. Topics may include Mayan and Aztec Philosophy, Iberian Scholasticism, Social and Political Philosophy, Latin American Positivism, Liberation Theology and/or Philosophy, Latin American Feminism, and Hispanic/Latino/a Identity.

PHIL 2390 Professional Ethics
This course will employ the tools of ethical theory to examine moral issues and problems facing professionals in such fields as business, industry and technology, medicine, social work, criminal justice and law. The content of individual sections of this course may be derived from any of the fields listed above or from a combination of them, depending on student need.

PHIL 2391 Professional Ethics: Biomedical
This course will address the application of moral theories, ethical principles, and professional codes to ethical dilemmas faced by professionals in healthcare or research. Topics covered may include, but are not limited to, euthanasia, conflicts of interest, physicians as researchers, distribution of scare resources, and the impact of theories like moral relativism and psychological egoism on the application of ethical theory.

PHIL 2392 Professional Ethics: Business
This course will address the application of moral theories, ethical principles, and professional codes to ethical dillemmas faced by business professionals, employers, and employees. Topics covered may include, but are not limited to, conflicts of interest, globalization, duties to future generations, stakeholder theory, the value of labor, and the impact of theories like moral relativism and psychological egoism on the application of ethical theory.

PHIL 2393 Professional Ethics: Engineering
This course will address the application of moral theories, ethical principles, and professional codes to ethical dillemmas faced by business professionals, employers, and employees. Topics covered may include, but are not limited to, whistleblowing, integrity, honesty, liability, and the impact of theories like moral relativism and psychological egoism on the application of ethical theory.

PHIL 2395 Environmental Ethics
Application of moral theories and ethical principles to environmental issues. The nature and extent of human responsibility for the environment; the concepts of “nature” and “natural,” whether nature and the environment are intrinsically or merely instrumentally valuable; the nature and extent of our responsibilities to future generations, and whether entities other than humans have moral rights.

PHIL 3305 Philosophical Methods
This class will teach the sophisticated critical thinking and reasoning skills, research and writing methods that are expected of advanced students of philosophy. Particular emphasis will be placed on how to construct undergraduate research papers in philosophy using online and other professional resources.

PHIL 3310 Ethics and Methods in Biological Research
A survey of ethical issues involving research methods for students in pre-Med, biomedical or bioengineering programs, or students who intend to pursue graduate study in these areas. The course will examine the professional practices of medicine and biomedical research, review the variety of ethical concerns that can arise in these practices, and offer ethically appropriate strategies for resolving those concerns. A research paper, analysis of relevant case studies, and classroom presentations form part of the expectations for students who take this course.

PHIL 3320 Symbolic Logic
This course will be a continuation of Philosophy 1321, Intro to Formal Logic, and will be concerned with the principles and methods used in symbolic logic to distinguish between valid and invalid argument.

PHIL 3330 Aesthetics
This course will address classic issues in the philosophy of art and beauty and the philosophy of art and art criticism. These issues will be illustrated from the fine arts and contemporary media: literature, drama, music, painting, film, and television. Course may focus on a specific genre of art.

PHIL 3331 Philosophy of Film
Examines philosophical issues through the lens of film. Possible topics include image and reality, representation and culture, beauty, politics, morality, and aesthetic theory.

PHIL 3359 History of Philosophy: Ancient
This course will discuss the development of Western philosophy (primarily in Ancient Greece) from the pre-Socratics through to Aristotle. Emphasis is likely to be placed on Plato and Aristotle.

PHIL 3360 History of Philosophy: Medieval
This course will survey the major figures and issues of medieval philosophy in their historical context. Philosophers from the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions will be examined. Possible topics include: realism, nominalism, Augustinianism, and scholasticism.

PHIL 3361 History of Philosophy: Modern
A study of the history of philosophy from the Renaissance through the 18th century, with particular emphasis on Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant. 

PHIL 3362 From Kant to Nietzsche
This course will address major trends and figures in the development of philosophy in the Nineteenth century. Topics likely to be discussed are German Idealism, Romanticism, Dialectical Materialism, Existentialism, and Pragmatism as manifest in the thought of Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx, Peirce, and James.

PHIL 3363 Existentialism and Phenomenology
This course will address major figures and issues in existentialism and phenomenology. Potential topics to be covered are the historicity of values, the nature of the subject/ojbect distinctions, life, death, meaning, and authenticity. Some possible figures for study are Husserl, Bataille, Nietzsche, Sartre, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty.

PHIL 3364 Contemporary Continental Philosophy: Deconstuction, Postmodernism, and Critical Theory
This course addresses topics in post-Heideggerian continental philosophy. Some potential movements and thinkers include deconstruction (Derrida), genealogy (Foucault), postmodernism (Lyotard, Agamben, Ranciere, Balibar), hermeneutics (Gadamer), and Critical Theory and contemporary Marxism (Benjamin, Adorno, Bourdieu, Hardt, Negri, Laclau, Mouffe).

PHIL 3365 Contemporary Analytic Philosophy
This class is a study of the development of analytic philosophy during the Twentieth century. Authors whose work might be discussed include: Frege, Russell, Carnap, Quine, Putnam, Davidson, Strawson, Grice, Dummett, Lewis, Kripke, Moore, Chisolm, Rawls, Williams, Austin and Sellars.

PHIL 3370 Philosophy of Religion
A philosophic study of the nature and varieties of religious experience, the meaning and validation of religious belief, the act of faith, the nature and existence of God, the problem of evil, mysticism, immortality, religious belief and moral conduct, religion and myth, and religion and culture.

PHIL 3376 Feminist Theories
This course is designed to examine the variety of existing feminist theories and their roots in diverse modes of philosophical analysis. It will explore how various feminist theories are consonant with or diverge from their base theories and from each other, and whether such theories are still cogent. Methodology will incorporate both feminist pedagogy and traditional philosophical analysis, including feminist critique of the tradition.

PHIL 3379 Chicana and Latin American Feminisms
This course is designed to explore Chicana and Latin American forms of feminism, including their philosophies, history, and social movements.

PHIL 3381 Latin American Positivism
This course will study the main philosophic movement in Latin America from the early 1800’s to the 1900’s, Latin American Positivism. The course will focus on Positivism as developed in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and México. The course may include discussion of Francisco Bilbao, Manuel González Prada, Víctor Raúl Hay de la Torre, Eugenio María de Hostos, José Victoriano Lastarria, José Ingenieros, José Carlos Mariátegui, José Martí, and Justo Méndez Sierra.

PHIL 3390 Philosophy of Law
Examination of the institution of law, legal concepts, legal reasoning, and the legal process. Topics may include the nature of law; the moral limits of the criminal law; legal rights; liberty, justice, and equality; punishment; responsibility; the private law (property, contract, and tort); constitutional law; and feminist jurisprudence.

PHIL 4310 Epistemology
This class will consider questions about the nature, criteria and sources of (epistemic) justification and knowledge. For example, under what circumstances do perception, memory, consciousness, reason and testimony endow us with justified beliefs? How is context relevant to justification and knowledge? Is there such a thing as religious knowledge? Is skepticism about the external world a serious threat? Does knowledge have a foundation?

PHIL 4320 Philosophy of Science
A philosophical examination of the assumptions and methodology of scientific inquiry, with examples drawn from the natural sciences. This course will consider the structure, meaning, confirmation and use of scientific theories, as well as the philosophical implications of current theories in science.

PHIL 4330 Metaphysics
Metaphysics investigates the nature, constitution and structure of reality. In this class we shall discuss some of the major problems in metaphysics. Topics include existence, modalities and possible worlds, universals and particulars, the structure of concrete particulars, space and time, events, identity across time, and realism and anti-realism.

PHIL 4340 Philosophy of Mind
A study of consciousness, emphasizing the nature of awareness and experience. Topics concerning the capacities and creative powers of mind will be examined in theories based on physical, functional and metaphysical arguments.

PHIL 4350 Moral Theory
This course will consider questions about the foundations of moral justification, the nature of moral reasons, and whether a convincing case can be made for objectivity in moral judgments. A number of options in ethical theory might be discussed, including realism, metaethical relativism, noncognitivism, naturalism, sensibility theories, constructivism, and practical reasoning theories.

PHIL 4351 Topics in Applied Ethics
This course will address the application of ethical theory to contemporary moral problems and the types of issues that arise in such applications. The particular field of applied ethics studied may vary between areas such as business ethics, biomedical ethics, environmental ethics, research ethics, etc. Topics covered may include end-of-life issues, conflicts of interest, physicians as researchers, globalization, duties to future generations, and the impact of theories like moral relativism and psychological egoism on the application of ethical theory.

PHIL 4355 Social and Political Philosophy
A critical examination of the current and historical relationships that define contemporary society and politics. Topics may include democracy, capitalism, communism, anarchism, political authority, rights, justice, power, pluralism, and tyranny.

PHIL 4380 American Philosophy
This course will explore the diverse traditions, ideas, and thinkers that have shaped American culture in the past and today. Important works from Native American, African American, Latin American, and Puritan sources may be examined, as well as works from such intellectual movements as transcendentalism and pragmatism.

PHIL 4390 Special Topics in Philosophy
A study of selected issues or figures in philosophy; content will vary. May be repeated for up to 9 hours credit as content changes.

PHIL 4391 Latin American Philosophy: Special Topics
This course will study different issues, themes, or figures in the field of Latin American Philosophy. Content will vary according to instructor expertise and student interest. May be repeated for up to 9 hours credit as content changes.

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