Spring 2020 Course Details


Introduction to Existentialism | PHL 102Y

Course Photo for Introduction to Existentialism Instructor: Paul Muench
Credits: 3
Gen Ed Attributes: Literary and Artistic Studies (L) , Democracy and Citizenship (Y)
Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: TR 9:30-10:50

Course Description: This course will introduce you to some central themes and figures of what has come to be known as “existentialism,” an approach to philosophy that seeks to address the challenges of living an authentic human life in a world seemingly stripped of all external sources of meaning and value.

Instructor Email: paul.muench@umontana.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 33218

Early Wittgenstein | PHL 403

Course Photo for Early Wittgenstein Instructor: Paul Muench
Credits: 3

Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: MW 10:00-11:20

Course Description: This course will introduce you to one of the most influential philosophical movements of the twentieth century. We will trace the development of what might be called “early analytic philosophy,” starting with the work of Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell, before turning to a close reading of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. In the process, we will examine such questions as: Are there things that cannot be put into words? What are the limits of language? What is the nature of language? How do logic and language relate to one another? We will see how a focus on language affects our understanding of many traditional philosophical questions, ranging from epistemology and metaphysics to aesthetics and ethics.

Instructor Email: paul.muench@umontana.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 34485

HMPP: Rousseau | PHL 449

Course Photo for HMPP: Rousseau Instructor: Bridget Clarke
Credits: 3

Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: TR 9:30-10:50

Course Description: Why are liberal democratic societies plagued by vicious forms of inequality, such as racism, despite their commitment to the ideal of equality? The Swiss political philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) may hold part of the answer. Rousseau held that modern societies are destined to foster a comparative form of self-love or self-regard that he called amour propre. Amour propre is a passion to be seen as valuable or worthy by others relative to others; it seeks social standing or status for its possessor. (Think of the desire to be a “somebody.”) Rousseau takes amour propre to be an inevitable force in modern societies but he thinks that it need not take a pathological form. How not? We’ll read some major works by Rousseau in an effort to understand his powerful moral and political vision and what it has to teach us in 2019.

Instructor Email: bridget.clarke@umontana.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 34213

Plato | PHL 465

Course Photo for Plato Instructor: Matthew Strohl
Credits: 3

Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: TR 12:30-1:50

Course Description: This course will begin with Socrates’ criticisms of the practice of rhetoric and sophistry, as depicted in Plato’s Gorgias and Protagoras. We will then read select middle and late dialogues, dividing our time between issues in ethics and politics on the one hand and metaphysics and epistemology on the other.

Instructor Email: matthew.strohl@umontana.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 34214

TCPPL: Critical Theory | PHL 468

Course Photo for TCPPL: Critical Theory Instructor: David Sherman
Credits: 3

Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: MW 12:00-1:20

Course Description: For the philosophers of the Frankfurt School, who coined the term, “critical theory” is a multifaceted interdisciplinary social theory that seeks to mediate the relationship between the utopian idealism of the German philosophical tradition and the uncritical realism of the social sciences: the former gives critical theory its normative impetus, while the latter grounds it in the existing sociohistorical practices. Through the use of “immanent critique,” critical theorists try to show how the emancipatory aims of idealism remain (however problematically) inherent in contemporary ideologies and practices, and how, socio-historically, they have been betrayed.

Instructor Email: david.sherman@umontana.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 34539

Senior Seminar: Henry Bugbee | PHL 499

Course Photo for Senior Seminar: Henry Bugbee Instructor: Albert Borgmann
Credits: 3
Gen Ed Attributes: Writing
Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: TR 11:00-12:20

Course Description: Henry Bugbee wrote one of the two great books American philosophy has produced in the twentieth century—The Inward Morning. While the Theory swept the profession, The Inward Morning became an underground classic that was reissued many times and whose influence was deep if scattered. Just when American philosophy became rigorous and technical in the fifties of the last century, Henry's philosophy, to the contrary, was the articulation and response to the eloquence and claims of reality, of nature, of the sea, of literature, of crewing, of fishing, of teaching. The Inward Morning was also an incisive though fair-minded reckoning with the rigorous and austere approach of many of his colleagues at Harvard who, with the exception of Quine, said Henry's thought was not really philosophy. Henry was also the one who in the late sixties and early seventies of the last century gave this Department its character which has since changed, but not disappeared.

Instructor Email: albert.borgmann@umontana.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 30924 | Writing Course - Advanced

Philosophy of Law | PHL 502

Course Photo for Philosophy of Law Instructor: Soazig Le Bihan
Credits: 3

Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: W 3:30-6:20

Course Description: In the practice of law, according to Karl Llewellyn, “Ideals without technique are a mess. But technique without ideals is a menace.” This course aims to provide a vocabulary of ideals to help answer a question that arises throughout the practice of legal technique: What is Law? The course begins with a short history of the rule of law as an ideal in the United States. It turns to the development of various theories of law, framed as a continuing debate among competing conceptions of law. It then integrates the application of legal theory to legal practice in several areas of student interest. In addition to seminar discussion, students produce short commentaries on current issues and a research paper or other project.

Instructor Email: soazig.lebihan@umontana.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 34487

Issues in the Anthropocene | PHL 505

Course Photo for Issues in the Anthropocene Instructor: Christopher Preston
Credits: 3

Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: TR 2:00-3:20

Course Description: This class looks at how the Anthropocene designation has implications reaching far beyond geology and into environmental values, management, and philosophy. We will consider what the notions of “naturalness” and “wildness” can mean in the Anthropocene. To help us think about the post-natural and the post-wild, we will investigate a number of Anthropocene technologies and practices that appear to point – or not – in this direction. These will include technologies for geoengineering the climate, synthetic biology/de-extinction, and the practice of re-wilding. We will also ask whether the Anthropocene designation is a product of a particularly narrow cultural context. Throughout the course, we will keep ethical considerations about how best to interact with the environment at the forefront.

Instructor Email: christopher.preston@umontana.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 34212

Philosophy Forum Colloquium | PHL 510

Course Photo for Philosophy Forum Colloquium Instructor: Albert Borgmann
Credits: 3

Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: T 3:30-4:50; W 11:00-11:50

Course Description: The purpose of the Colloquium is to give graduate students a wider understanding of the professional side of philosophy, of the current issues, the different schools of thought, the leading figures, the conceptions the profession has of itself, and of the profession’s relations to contemporary society and culture.

Instructor Email: albert.borgmann@umontana.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 33306

Introduction to Ethics | PHL 110E 03

Course Photo for Introduction to Ethics Instructor: Melodie Velasco-Stenger
Credits: 3
Gen Ed Attributes: Ethics and Human Values (E)
Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: MWF 12:00-12:50

Course Description: Satisfies Ethics and Human Values general education requirement. An examination of the Western vision of morality through the careful study of selected writings from Aristotle, Kant and Mill. Additional works in ethics may supplement primary readings.

Instructor Email: melodie.stenger@mso.umt.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 31982

Introduction to Ethics | PHL 110E 01

Course Photo for Introduction to Ethics Instructor: Matthew Strohl
Credits: 3
Gen Ed Attributes: Ethics and Human Values (E)
Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: TR 9:30-10:50

Course Description: Satisfies Ethics and Human Values general education requirement. An examination of the Western vision of morality through the careful study of selected writings from Aristotle, Kant and Mill. Additional works in ethics may supplement primary readings.

Instructor Email: matthew.strohl@umontana.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 33115

Introduction to Ethics and the Environment | PHL 112E

Course Photo for Introduction to Ethics and the Environment Instructor: Christopher Preston
Credits: 3
Gen Ed Attributes: Ethics and Human Values (E)
Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: TR 11:00-12:20

Course Description: This class is an introduction to ethics in the western tradition and, in particular, the consideration this tradition gives to animals and the natural environment. We will be approaching our study by mixing a modern story of one environmental journalist’s environmental quest in search of wildness with a collection of classic articles in environmental ethics. While familiarizing ourselves with the main ideas in animal and environmental ethics, we will also take time to understand some of the main frameworks in western ethical thought (e.g. Utilitarianism, care ethics, the virtues). Through reading and discussion, students will engage in sustained reflection about their own environmental values and choices.

Instructor Email: christopher.preston@umontana.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 32721

Moral Philosophy - Honors | PHL 210E 80

Course Photo for Moral Philosophy - Honors Instructor: David Sherman
Credits: 3
Gen Ed Attributes: Ethics and Human Values (E) , Writing
Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: MW 2:00-3:20

Course Description: Required for philosophy majors and minors; satisfies Ethics and Human Values general education requirement. Also an intermediate writing course. This is an introductory course in ethics restricted to philosophy majors and minors and honors students. Our objective in this course is to develop an appreciation for three leading approaches to moral philosophy (or three types of moral ‘theory’) through a careful reading of classical texts in the Western tradition.

Instructor Email: david.sherman@umontana.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 33633 | Honors Course | Writing Course-Intermediate

Special Topics: Neuroethics | PHL 191E

Course Photo for Special Topics: Neuroethics Instructor: Armond Duwell
Credits: 3
Gen Ed Attributes: Ethics and Human Values (E)
Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: MWF 10:00-10:50

Course Description: This course is an introduction to ethics that focuses on its application to moral problems that arise with respect to neuroscience, and neuroscientific findings. The course breaks down into two parts. The first part will introduce three fundamental theories of ethics: utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics. These theories will provide us with systematic ways of illuminating moral dimensions of various scenarios. In part two of the course we will look at interesting moral concerns that arise when considering neuroscience or neuroscientific findings. We will use the theories we used in the first part of the course to examine some neuroscientific practices, but also use neuroscientific findings to critically examine those theories.

Instructor Email: armond.duwell@umontana.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 34627

History and Philosophy of Science | PHL 241N

Course Photo for History and Philosophy of Science Instructor: Armond Duwell
Credits: 3
Gen Ed Attributes: Historical Studies (H) , Natural Science (N)
Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: MWF 9:00-9:50

Course Description: This is a survey course of the epistemological and metaphysical development of natural philosophy or science from the Greeks through Einstein, a course in intellectual history. We will outline Greek views on the ultimate nature of reality, with an emphasis on Greek physics. We will pay special attention to the developments in the Scientific Revolution including the metaphysical shift to corpuscularianism and mechanism, and the new emphasis on experimentation. We will look at the ontological change in the conception of space and time after Newton, as well as views about the nature of scientific theories. We will examine the history of evolutionary theory with an emphasis on the kind of evidential support Darwin mustered for his theory. Finally, we will discuss philosophical issues related to the history that we have learned.

Instructor Email: armond.duwell@umontana.edu

Additional Details: Section 1 | CRN: 33634 | MWF 9:00-9:50; Section 80 | CRN: 34483 | MWF 9:00-9:50

The History of Modern Philosophy | PHL 262Y

Course Photo for The History of Modern Philosophy Instructor: Soazig Le Bihan
Credits: 3
Gen Ed Attributes: Democracy and Citizenship (Y)
Delivery Method: Face-to-Face
Days and times: MWF 12:00-12:50

Course Description: This course will introduce you to seven of the major figures of the 17th and 18th centuries in philosophy, with a focus on how the Enlightenment has forged most of our Western culture. The 17th and 18th centuries are centuries of radical change in the domains of philosophy, science, and politics. That said, while studying modern philosophy, you should expect to encounter and to learn to understand worldviews that are alien to your own. Confronting radically different ways of thinking should shed new light on your own views, methods and prejudices. In analyzing competing views on a subject, you will not only learn some philosophy, but also learn to do philosophy. We will focus on metaphysics (roughly concerned with the question of the nature and structure of reality) and epistemology (roughly concerned with the question of the nature and scope of knowledge), with some detours into moral and political matters. Little emphasis will be put on the historical and social contexts.

Instructor Email: soazig.lebihan@umontana.edu

Additional Details: Section 1 | CRN: 31664 | MWF 12:00-12:50; Section 80 | CRN: 34484 | MWF 12:00-12:50

Philosophy and Biomedical Ethics | PHL 321E

Course Photo for Philosophy and Biomedical Ethics Instructor: Mark Hanson
Credits: 3
Gen Ed Attributes: Ethics and Human Values (E)
Delivery Method: Online

Course Description: Satisfies Ethics and Human Values general education requirement. This course examines the ethical and philosophical dimensions of medicine. After a review of major ethical theories and approaches to medical ethics, we will explore a variety of contemporary ethical issues, including the doctor-patient relationship, obligations to treat or not-treat, end-of-life decision-making and physician aid-in-dying, the fundamental goals of medicine, procreative choice, emerging biotechnologies such as stem-cell research, and human subjects research. Numerous cases and videos are used to highlight moral issues for discussion. Students will also learn skills of medical ethics case analysis.

Instructor Email: mark.hanson@umontana.edu

Additional Details: CRN: 34538