Department of Philosophy

Philosophy Courses at Fort Lewis College

Courses at Fort Lewis College cover both western philosophy and many non-western traditions, while providing a strong grounding in the history of philosophy and acquainting students with contemporary theories and approaches in all four major areas of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and logic.

For Information on courses for the upcoming semester, please see WebOPUS or email one of the philosophy professors!

Complete Catalog of Courses in Philosophy:

Please click on the course title to view the description. * denotes a course which counts towards the Liberal Arts Core requirement (AH-3)

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This course introduces students to issues and methods of philosophical inquiry. Through a careful reading of classic and contemporary philosophical texts, students explore questions in ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology: What is morality? How are moral claims justified? What does it mean to act freely? Is free action possible? What does it mean to know? What are the limits of knowledge? (3-0)

An introduction to the methods for assessing the quality of arguments paying special attention both to (a) the identification of arguments in English prose and (b) the evaluation of an argument's validity or strength. Issues covered include informal fallacies of reasoning; introductory probability theory; categorical reasoning; Venn diagrams; and translations, truth-tables and natural deduction in propositional logic. (3-0)

This course examines epistemological and metaphysical issues raised by science. Topics include the difference between scientific and non-scientific understanding, scientific method, the limits of scientific explanation, realist and instrumentalist interpretations of scientific theories. We consider historical and social critiques of the objectivity of science. Special attention is paid to problems raised by contemporary physics. (3-0)

This course explores the problems raised by religion: Does God exist? Is it rational to believe in God? If God knows the future, is it possible for humans to act freely? Does the existence of evil disprove the existence of God? Can all religions be equally true? This course is the same as RS 360; credit will be given for only one of these courses. (3-0)

A focused cultivation of the skill of evaluating arguments embedded in English prose. While the topic varies, the training provided by the course does not. Students learn to identify premises and conclusions in philosophical arguments and apply methods from logic to evaluate the quality of these arguments. This course is repeatable if and only if the topic differs. (3-0)

This course explores the mystery of consciousness in a physical world, surveying theories of the relation of mind to body, the nature of consciousness, the possibility of artificial intelligence, and the relationship between throught and language. The problem of how minds represent reality and whether those representations are accurate is addressed through a study of theories of linguistic meaning. (3-0)

Advanced study and research in selected topics. (3-0)

Individual research is conducted under the supervision of a faculty member. Topic and format must be approved by the Department Chairperson and Dean. 50 contact hours are the equivalent of one credit hour. (1-6)

This course explores what moral responsibilities humans may have to and for animals, plants, ecosystems, and other elements of the natural environment. Students will explore a variety of conceptual frameworks for examining issues in environmental ethics, such as anthropocentric ethics, biocentric ethics, land ethics, deep ecology and ecological feminism. (3-0)

This course introduces students to the philosophical study of ethics. Students explore a variety of theories that attempt to explain morality and to establish standards for making and assessing moral judgments, including utilitarianism, deontological ethics, virtue ethics, care ethics, biocentric ethics. Students will critically analyze each theory and explore how each offers a different perspective on contemporary moral problems. (3-0)

This course is the first in a three course sequence in the history of philosophy. It covers the period from the origin of philosophy with the pre-Socratic thinkers in the 6th century BCE to the philosophers of the Roman Empire, focusing primarily on Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics of the Hellenistic and Roman periods. (3-0)