This course introduces students to the process of philosophical reflection. Utilizing the concept of freedom extensively, it seeks to develop the student's ability to analyze concepts and to explore life experience in a structured and coherent fashion. Students are encouraged to develop their perceptions by critically examining their own beliefs, attitudes and assumptions in light of the philosophical analyses they encounter.
Critical Thinking (HUP102, 3 Credits)
This course explores the process of thinking critically and guides students in thinking more clearly, insightfully and effectively. Concrete examples from students' experience and contemporary issues help students develop the abilities to solve problems, analyze issues, and make informed decisions in their academic, career and personal lives. Substantive readings, structured writing assignments and ongoing discussions help students develop language skills while fostering sophisticated thinking abilities. (Note: This course is closed to students who have taken HUR100.)
Ethics and Moral Issues (HUP104, 3 Credits)
Focusing on the nature of morality and its place in human existence, this course asks questions such as: What are criteria for determining what is right and wrong? Is morality simply relative to specific cultures? What is a good life? The answers by thinkers such as Aristotle, Kant, Mill, Rousseau and others will be analyzed in light of issues like human cloning, civil disobedience, gender preselection and mercy killing. A discussion of the Utilitarian theory of ethics, for example, may be complemented by viewing selections from the film Dead Man Walking followed a debate as to how, if at all, the death penalty can be supported.
Philosophy of Religion (HUP105, 3 Credits)
Examining humanity's basic perceptions of itself as they are reflected in religion, this course takes a two-pronged approach to religion, comparing major religions of the world as well as considering answers to philosophical questions arising in western thought. For example, the "religious experience" is examined from traditional theistic (God-centered) religions, as well as mystical and non-Western traditions. Exploring Buddhism may involve readings from LaoTzu, a presentation on Buddhism's use of the body as a spiritual vehicle in yoga, meditation and chanting, or a visit to a Buddhist temple. Asking the question as to why evil exists if there is an all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful being who could prevent it may be followed up by accounts from religious leaders and families of victims of September 11th.
Social and Political Philosophy (HUP 106, 3 Credits)
This course invites students to explore both classical and contemporary social and political philosophical theories. Time-honored philosophical perspectives will provide students with a stimulating foundation upon which to explore current social and political issues on a global perspective. With so many provocative challenges confronting the world, students will be offered a philosophical and comparative format through which to better understand and address these global concerns.
Logic and Philosophy (HUP 112, 3 Credits)
An introduction to modern symbolic logic with a focus on its application to actual philosophical problems. Topics to be discussed include validty, entailment, truth-tables, proofs, translations from English into symbolic form, as well as more philosophical topics like the relation of modern logic to earlier syllogistic logic, the possibility of the use of logic to resolve philosophical problems (e.g. God's existence or free will), the relation of English to logic, and the possibility of 'alternative' logics.
Aesthetics (HUP 107, 3 Credits)
This course explores philosophical theories of beauty and their relationship to the nature of art,
as well as the relationship of beauty to truth, morality, and social context. Using examples drawn from the visual arts, performing arts, film, and music - students will examine the origins, purpose, and meaning of art; the nature of the aesthetic experience; and the standards we use to judge artistic expression. Full use will be made of the rich artistic resources of New York City.
Medical Ethics (HUP 114, 3 Credits)
This course emphasizes the application of moral theory to the issues that arise in the context of medical research and practice. Topics to be addressed include, among others, the role and responsibility of heathcare givers in death and dying, the use of stem cells and animals in medical research, the use of genetic information to influence the outcome of human pregnancy, cosmetic surgical addiction, and issues involving involuntary psychiatric care.
Environmental Ethics (HUP 108, 3 Credits)
This course offers students an opportunity to investigate ethical issues concerning the environment. The study of Environmental Ethics relates in complex ways to moral theory, as well as global issues in economics, politics and science. This course will explore such environmental questions and potential solutions as: Our personal responsibilty for solving environmental problems; Health concerns, and our obligations to ourselves, each other and to the environment
Philosophy of Law (HUP 109, 3 Credits)
This course examines legal concepts and theories, moral theories, and problems of legal reasoning and decision-making. Students have the opportunity to critically evaluate philosophical and legal arguments in the areas of justice, liberty, and responsibility. Topics to be addressed include, among others, excuse and justification in criminal law, capital punishment, theories of torts and contracts, international law, civil disobedience, censorship, and the right to privacy.