Skip Navigation
 
 

Philosophy Course Descriptions


VTPH 103 Classical Philosophy (3)
This course explores the early history of Western Philosophy, from its birth in the Greek polis to its role in the development of early Christian thought and of Christian, Jewish, and Islamic thinking in the Middle Ages. Students will learn how to pose and evaluate answers to questions concerning the nature of truth, the value of knowledge, the relationship between faith and reason, and the nature of the human good.

PHIL 203 Philosophy in the Modern Age(3)
This course explores the history of philosophy from late Renaissance through the Scientific Revolution and the rise of the nation-state. Students will learn how to pose, and evaluate answers to, questions concerning the nature of truth, the value of knowledge, the relationship between faith and reason, the relationship between the individual and community, and the nature of the human good.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103.


Traditional Undergraduate Program Courses

PHIL 201 Logic (3)
An examination of the nature of arguments and the principles of right reasoning and an endeavor to foster in students the habit of critical thinking. 

VTPH 300 Ethics and the Human Good(3)
An inquiry into the nature of the moral good, the structures of moral agency and the proper criteria for making choices that bear on human beings and their well-being.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 308 American Philosophy(3)
An exploration of specifically American perspectives on philosophical problems through the works of thinkers such as James, Dewey, Peirce and Santayana.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 311 Ancient Philosophy (3)
An investigation of the development of Western philosophy from the Pre-Socratic period through Plato and Aristotle to Neo-Platonism.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 312 Medieval Philosophy (3)
An investigation of the development of Western philosophy from the early Middle Ages to the Renaissance.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 313 Modern Philosophy (3)
An investigation of the development of Western philosophy in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 314 Contemporary Philosophy (3)
An investigation of the development of contemporary philosophy through selected topics and readings.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 315 Nineteenth Century Philosophy (3)
An investigation of selected topics and readings in 19th-century philosophy.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 317 Philosophy of Mind (3)
An investigation into some of the main issues in contemporary philosophy of mind, with reference to findings in neuroscience and empirical psychology. Topics covered include the nature of the mind and the relationship between mind and brain, the nature of consciousness, and the nature of thought, belief, desire, and intention.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 318 Theory of Knowledge (3)
An investigation of the nature of knowledge and its properties, namely truth, certitude and probability. Readings representative of different historical periods will be studied.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 319 Contemporary Value Theory (3)
An investigation into some of the main problems and issues in contemporary value theory, normally concentrating on ethics and meta-ethics but may also focus on aesthetics. Topics covered may include the ontology of value, value epistemology, and value semantics.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 321 Metaphysics (3)
An investigation of the nature of beings; topics examined include the one and the many, being and nonbeing, the nature of substance, monism versus dualism and causality. Readings representative of different historical periods will be studied.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 322 Philosophy of Religion (3)
An investigation of the nature of religious experience and the relation between faith and reason.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 323 Political Philosophy (3)
An investigation of the nature of political society through an examination of the concepts of political authority, civil obligation, state neutrality, equality and just distribution.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 324 Philosophy of Literature (3)
An investigation of the philosophical questions inherent in literature and literary criticism, e.g., the "truth" of literature, the problem of interpretation, the social role of literature, and the problems of text and inter-textuality.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 326 Philosophy of Law (3)
An investigation of theories of the sources and nature of law, and of central legal concepts such as rights, obligation, punishment and unjust laws.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 329 Existentialism (3)
An exploration of major issues considered by 19th- and 20th-century existentialists, such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Camus, Sartre and Marcel.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 333 Environmental Philosophy (3)
An exploration of philosophical problems concerning our human obligations to nature and its inhabitants.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 335 Islamic Philosophy (3)
An examination of the writings of prominent Islamic philosophers from the classical period and the issues and questions raised in these texts, such as those concerned with the created world, the nature of God, the existence of the soul and human freedom.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 337 Perspectives on the Death Penalty (3)
An in-depth, interdisciplinary study of the death penalty through an analysis of philosophical, theological, sociological, political and historical texts. Topics covered include theories of punishment, accounts of retributive and restorative justice, arguments for and against the death penalty, the current practice of the death penalty in contemporary American society, and the Catholic Social Teaching on the death penalty.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHGE 344 Intercultural Dialogue (3)
An investigation of the philosophical issues arising from the attempt to understand other cultures, especially the possibility of intercultural dialogue, and an exploration of these issues as manifested in current exchanges between Western and non-Western cultures. (This course satisfies the Veritas Global Encounters requirement.)
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 346 Contemporary Catholic Philosophy (3)
An exploration of the distinctive contributions and challenges to contemporary philosophy by philosophers within the Catholic intellectual tradition.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHGE 375 Mysticism: East and West (3)
An investigation of major figures or schools in Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic and Christian mysticism, with reference to the Greek philosophical mysticism of Neo- Platonism, and of the philosophical questions concerning the nature of mystical experiences. (This course satisfies the Veritas Global Encounters requirement.) (Same as THEOL 375.)
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 400 Topics in Philosophy (3)
An investigation of several approaches to a major issue in philosophy. This course can be taken for credit more than once as long as the topic studied varies.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 410 Great Figures (3)
An investigation of the thought of a selected major figure (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Rawls) in the history of philosophy. This course can be taken for credit more than once as long as the figure studied varies.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 398 Independent Study (1-3)
Approval of the instructor, the chair of the department and the dean for academic affairs.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 498 Senior Seminar (3)
The capstone course for Philosophy majors. Students will read a common book in recent philosophy, chosen by the instructor, to be discussed at weekly meetings, and write a multi-draft paper of 20-25 pages of publishable quality. The first part of the semester will be devoted to weekly discussions of the book, after which students will begin meeting weekly with the instructor as they continue working on the multi-draft essay. Students will submit the final version of the essay at the end of the fall semester.&
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.


Nontraditional Program Courses

PHIL 200 Introduction to Philosophy - MPAS (3) (Division of Continuing Studies only)
An investigation of ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary responses to questions concerning the nature of the human reality, the nature and limits of human knowing, human freedom, human happiness or well-being, and the relation of the individual to society.
Prerequisite: VTPH 103 and Philosophy 203.

PHIL 301 Moral Philosophy - MPAS (3) (Division of Continuing Studies only)
An inquiry into the nature of the moral good, the structures of moral agency and the proper criteria for making choices that bear on human beings and their well-being. Prerequisite: PHIL 200.

PHIL 310 Civic and Professional Issues - MPAS (3) (Division of Continuing Studies only)
An inquiry into specific moral and social issues that arise in the professions and civic life. The course will focus on issues arising in society and specific professions, especially as they bear on social justice issues. Prerequisites: PHIL 200, PHIL 301, VTPH 103 and PHIL 203.


For a complete look at Mount courses, please visit the Online Catalog.

 
16300 Old Emmitsburg Road | Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Map & Directions | admissions@msmary.edu | 301-447-6122
Frederick Campus | 5350 Spectrum Drive | Frederick, MD 21703
Map & Directions | inquiry@msmary.edu | 301-682-8315