Undergraduate Program Information
A major in philosophy serves not only as preparation for further graduate study in philosophy but also as an area of concentration in a liberal arts program. A philosophy major is appropriate for students planning to attend medical school as well as for those students interested in a career that requires critical reading and argument analysis. Such careers include business, theology and above all, law.
While the course requirements for the major should meet the ends of the liberal arts student, those students interested in graduate study in philosophy or in a career in law are encouraged to seek advice from a faculty advisor as early in their career as possible.
A minor program in philosophy requiring 18 hours of course work is also offered as well as a minor in Ethics. For more information visit the Department of Philosophy’s web page at www.nmsu.edu/~philos/.
Degrees for the Department
Timothy Cleveland, Department Head
Professors Cleveland, Walker; Associate Professors Keleher, Vessel; Assistant Professor Klockseim; College Associate Professor Noonan
PHIL 100G. Philosophy, Law and Ethics
An introduction to practical problems in moral, social, political, and legal philosophy. Topics to be discussed may include ecology, animal rights, pornography, hate speech on campus, same-sex marriage, justice, abortion, terrorism, treatment of illegal immigrants, and New Mexican Aboriginal Peoples' land claims.
PHIL 101G. The Art of Wondering
Introduction to some of the main problems of philosophy, with an emphasis on critical thinking. Philosophy conceived as an aid to living in this world with oneself and with others.
PHIL 124G. Philosophy of Music
This is an introductory course in the philosophy of music. This course will survey three questions: What is music? Why is music important? How can we distinguish good music from bad music? We will draw examples from a wide variety of musical genres, from classical music, jazz and blues to punk and rap. Students will be encouraged to apply philosophical theorizing to think about their preferred musical form.
PHIL 136G. The Quest for God
An effort to understand the religious life; a consideration of some of the traditional approaches to God and what it means to be religious.
PHIL 201G. Introduction to Philosophy
Selected problems within the main branches of philosophy: metaphysics, theory of knowledge, ethics. Practice given in critical thinking.
PHIL 211G. Informal Logic
Logical analysis of ordinary language, construction of definitions, argumentation, analysis of fallacious modes of thought and basic rhetorical considerations.
PHIL 223G. Ethics
The philosophical explication of morality. Significant ethical systems developed in the history of Western thought.
PHIL 305. Philosophy and Literature
Examination of philosophical ideas as presented in selected literary works and literary criticism.
PHIL 306. Philosophy Through Film
An exploration of a range of philosophical issues through the use of film. Topics include personal identity and memory, faith and the problem of evil, free will and moral responsibility, and the meaning of life. Films may include The Prestige, Memento, The Third Man, A Clockwork Orange, Fight Club, and Synecdoche, New York.
PHIL 312. Formal Logic
Introduction to symbolic logic and its application in the analysis of arguments in scientific and ordinary discourse.
PHIL 315. Philosophy of Language
A critical examination of philosophical inquiries into the syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic dimensions of language.
PHIL 316. Philosophy of Mathematics
Survey of traditional philosophical problems and views concerning the nature of mathematics including such questions as: What is the nature of mathematical knowledge? What is mathematical truth? What is a number? What is proof? What is the relationship between logic and mathematics?
PHIL 320. Social and Political Philosophy
This course critically examines such fundamental concepts as liberty, equality and human rights.
PHIL 321. Biomedical Ethics
Examines ethical dimensions of such issues as abortion, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide; informed consent as a condition of treating patients and experimenting on subjects; genetic engineering; and alternative reproductive methods, including surrogate motherhood. Also considers what implications moral theories have for these issues.
PHIL 322. Environmental Ethics
Explores the ethical and topical issues raised by mining and grazing, air and water pollution, factory farming, global warming, and treatment of animals. It also studies some recent ecological movements such as ecofeminism, social ecology, and deep ecology.
PHIL 323V. Engineering Ethics
The moral legal responsibilities of engineers to clients, employers, the public, and the environment. Topics include criteria for judging when risk is acceptable, the duty to safeguard public health and welfare, conflicts of interest, and whistle-blowing.
Prerequisite: Junior standing or higher.
PHIL 327. Ethics and Sports
Examines contemporary ethical issues related to sports, including the relationship between morally right action and that required for competitive success, strong paternalism in sports, fair play, doping, sportsmanship, and the impact of sports on society.
PHIL 328. Applied Ethics
Examines the implications of utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, natural law theory, and other moral theories for controversial moral issues such as the death penalty, euthanasia, abortion, genetic engineering, gay marriage, affirmative action, and pornography.
PHIL 330. Ethics and Biomedical Research
Explores some ethical issues raised by biological and biomedical research. Topics include: possible abuses of genetic engineering, cloning, and genetically modified foods; experimentation on humans and informed consent; animal experimentation; honesty in research and conflicts of interest; and intellectual property.
PHIL 331. Philosophy of Religion
The nature, fundamental concepts, and problems of religion. Emphasis on the significance of religion for creative and practical value.
PHIL 332. Ethics and Global Poverty
Philosophical scrutiny of and moral reflection on various aspects of global poverty and foreign aid. For example: Is poverty fundamentally a lack of income, or can it be understood as a failure to meet basic needs, or as a lack of valuable freedom? Do human rights exist? What, if any, are the moral obligations of rich countries to poor countries? Can foreign aid be immoral? How should the answers to these questions influence public policy? Restricted to: Main campus only.
PHIL 341. Ancient Philosophy
Introduction to the philosophies of the pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, with brief discussion of the Epicureans and Stoics.
PHIL 344. Modern Philosophy
Foundations of contemporary thought: introduction to the philosophies of Descartes, Bacon, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, and Hegel.
PHIL 346. Philosophy of Mind
Examination of some of the most influential accounts of the mind, focusing on such issues as the relation between the mind and the body, mental causation and consciousness.
PHIL 350. Epistemology
Introduction to epistemology. The philosophical critique of alleged ways of knowing. An examination of the nature of truth.
PHIL 351. Philosophy of Science
Philosophical examination of the methodology of science. The logical, metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical critique of science and its impact on human affairs.
PHIL 361. Special Topics
Specific subjects announced in the Schedule of Classes. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits.
PHIL 363. Independent Studies
For students with some background in philosophy. Independent work in a specific area. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.
Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
PHIL 373. Ethical Theory
The critical examination of the justification of ethical theories with particular attention to the language of moral discourse.
PHIL 376. Philosophy of Law
Ethical, logical, and epistemological implications of law, together with an analysis of the rhetoric of legal practice.
PHIL 380. Metaphysics
Introduction to metaphysics: a treatment of such issues as the meaning of existence, the mind-body problem, the problem of universals, and free will versus determinism.
PHIL 385. Human Nature and the Good Life
An examination of some of the most historically and philosophically influential conceptions of human nature and corresponding accounts of the good life.
PHIL 397. Existentialism
The origins of existentialist thought in philosophy and literature, including the thought of Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, Camus, and Sartre. The course covers topics in ethics and political philosophy, metaphysics, philosophical psychology, philosophy of religion, and other sub-disciplines of philosophy.
PHIL 413. Modal Logic
A formal introduction to the logic of necessity, possibility, and impossibility: the syntactic and semantic aspects of the formal modal systems T, S4, S5, as well as their philosophical implications.
PHIL 448. Writing Philosophy
A workshop on writing philosophy papers. Includes how to read and understand philosophical writing, organize a paper effectively, present a clear and forceful argument, and avoid common mistakes.
Prerequisite(s): completed 18 hours of philosophy credit.
PHIL 463. Independent Studies
For students with a strong background in philosophy. Independent work in a specific area. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.
Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
PHIL 505. Advanced Studies in Philosophy and Literature
Examination of philosophical issues (e.g. personal identity, free will, moral dilemmas, the meaning of life) as presented in selected literary works and literary criticism. Consent of Instructor required.
PHIL 532. Advance Studies in Ethics and Global Poverty
Advanced philosophical scrutiny of and moral reflection on various aspects of global poverty and foreign aid. For example: Is poverty fundamentally a lack of income, or can it be understood as a failure to meet basic needs, or as a lack of valuable freedom? Do human rights exist? What, if any, are the moral obligations of rich countries to poor countries? Can foreign aid be immoral? How should the answers to these questions influence public policy? Restricted to: Main campus only.