MSU Billings Course Descriptions

PHL - Philosophy

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* PHL 110 Introduction to Ethics:  Problems of Good and Evil

[formerly PHIL 115 Ethics]

3 cr. (F, Sp)  Explores canonical moral theories and contemporary moral problems.  Students are invited to examine a variety of moral viewpoints, including the strengths and weaknesses of each, and to critically examine their own moral commitments.  Coursework explores controversial issues such as abortion, animal rights, sexism, poverty, euthanasia, environment, and capital punishment.

 

* PHL 111 Philosophies of Life

[formerly PHIL 117 Philosophies of Life]

3 cr. (F, Sp)  Explores how philosophy shapes our lives.  This course serves as an introduction to core philosophical themes and thinkers from a variety of perspectives.  Things to be pondered might include the meaning of life, justice, skepticism, and our place in the world.

 

PHL 234 Introduction to Logic:  Applied Logic

[formerly PHIL 221 Critical Thinking]

3 cr.  Distinguishes between different forms of arguments and exposes a variety of common fallacies.  Students will learn to analyze the components of arguments, distinguish different forms of argumentation, assess claims, and think critically about such common cultural expressions as advertisements, political rhetoric, and news reports.

 

* PHL 254 People and Politics

3 cr. (3 lec/wk) (F)  Examines a number of the main figures, texts, and ideas in the history of western political thought, with an emphasis on the development of democracy.  Analyzes the significance of issues like rights, freedoms, equality, justice, the legitimacy of the state, and the sovereign.


PHL 265 Studies in the History of Philosophy

[formerly PHIL 300 Studies in the History of Philosophy]

3 cr. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy. (every second Sp)  Explores the philosophical developments during several of the following eras (to be announced each time the course is offered):  Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance, Modern, 19th Century, and 20th Century.  Course is an introduction and survey of the major philosophical figures and movements that mark each time period.

 

* PHL 271 Indian Philosophies and Religions [formerly PHIL 233 Philosophies and Religions of India]

3 cr. (F)  Explores, through a comparative lens, the philosophies and religions of India, including such topics as Hinduism, Buddhism, mythology, art, ethics, and religious exemplars, as well as contemporary issues such as gender relations, attitudes toward nature, and the place of nonhuman animals.  Interactive and rooted in critical thinking, this course invites students to compare their own worldview with philosophical and spiritual worldviews of India.

 

* PHL 272 Chinese Philosophies and Religions

[formerly PHIL 234 Philosophies and Religions of China, Tibet, and Japan]

3 cr. (Sp)  Explores the philosophies and religions of China, including such topics as Daoism, Confucianism, mythology, art, ethics, and religious exemplars, as well as contemporary issues such as gender relations, attitudes toward nature, and the place of nonhuman animals.  Interactive and rooted in critical thinking, this course invites students to compare their own worldview with philosophical and spiritual worldviews of China.

PHL 294 Seminar/Workshop

[formerly PHIL 292 Seminar]

V1-3 cr.  Provides an opportunity to intensively investigate specific topics pertinent to fields of Philosophy and/or Religious Studies, such as Islam, Philosophy of Science, Sacred Texts and the Natural World, Buddhism, Philosophies of Love, Feminist Philosophy, Existentialism, Phenomenology, and Ideas that Rocked the 20th Century.

 

PHL 320 Philosophy and Business Ethics

[formerly PHIL 314 Business Ethics]

3 cr. (every second F)  Explores complex moral dilemmas facing individuals in business and the ethical problems of business in society.  Explores theories and case studies to analyze the way that justice, human rights, and the social good are critical to business.


PHL 324 Nature, Culture, Ethics

3 cr. (3 lec/wk) (Sp)  Examines how humans understand and relate to the natural world.  Critical and comparative in nature, students explore such topics as contemporary environmental issues, important movements and organizations, tactics, theories, and the contributions of key individuals, with an eye to examining the environmental impact of our lifestyles.

 

PHL 326 Death, Dying and Medical Ethics

[formerly PHIL 301 Death, Dying and Medical Ethics]

3 cr. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. (every second Sp)  Explores issues involving medicine, technology, and the law, and the host of ethical concerns that accompany them, such as justice, personhood, death, experimentation, medical practice, and the value of life.  These will be examined from as many sides as possible, weighing the reasons people have for believing them.

 

PHL 364 Great Figures and Ideas

[formerly PHIL 360 Great Figures in Philosophy and Religion]

3 cr. (alternating F)  Examines the lives and works of foundational thinkers and what they have contributed to the philosophical tradition.  Possibilities include Gandhi, Kant, The Enlightenment, Pre-Socratics, and Sartre.

 

PHL 375 Women, Philosophy and Religion

[formerly PHIL 365 Women, Philosophy, and Religions]

3 cr. Prerequisite: A course in religious studies or consent of instructor. (alternating F)  Explores topics such as violence, gender constructs, the media, sexism, power structures, ecofeminism, and controversial contemporary issues in philosophy and religion.  Rooted in critical analysis and class discussion, coursework encourages students to examine sexism and equality in our culture and in their own lives.

 

PHL 492 Independent Study

[formerly PHIL 491 Independent Study]

V1-5 cr.  Provides students an opportunity to research subjects in Philosophy and Religious Studies which are not explored in regular courses.


PHL 494 Seminar/Workshop

[formerly PHIL 492 Seminar]

V1-3 cr.  Provides an opportunity to intensively investigate specific topics pertinent to fields of Philosophy and/or Religious Studies, such as Islam, Philosophy of Science, Sacred Texts and the Natural World, Buddhism, Philosophies of Love, Feminist Philosophy, Existentialism, Phenomenology, and Ideas that Rocked the 20th Century.