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Philosophy Course Descriptions


Philosophy Courses

An introduction to philosophical thinking, what it is, and what it has to do with human life. The course will emphasize the role of a conceptual framework or world and life view in one’s knowledge about the world and the problems involved in attempting to validate such frameworks or worldviews. There will be a consideration of the traditional areas of philosophical concern such as the nature of reality, knowledge, and moral and aesthetic values. A major focus of the course will be to consider all these issues from a distinctively Christian perspective. Three hours. ‘W’ HUM

A study of the evaluation of arguments and what it means to think critically. A major focus will be on informal fallacies in arguments although some formal logic will be considered. The course will also emphasize the role of language in argument and how what one considers to be logical presupposes a certain view of the nature of reality. Three hours. HUM

An application of moral theory to decision-making regarding health care. The course will focus on developing the ability to exercise discernment when dealing with complex choices and the capacity to communicate moral insights in a way likely to help others. Influential recent works on medical-ethical issues will be discussed, and students will regularly practice making decisions as part of an Ethics Committee. Open to Pre-med majors without prerequisite; prior completion of PHI 101. Introduction to Philosophy, is strongly recommended for all other students. Three hours. ‘W’

A survey of western philosophy from the pre-Socratics through Renaissance humanism. Major figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas will be emphasized. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hours. ‘W’

A survey of western philosophy from Descartes to James. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hours. ‘W’

An examination of key figures in 20th century western philosophy. Russell, Wittgenstein, Moore, Austin, Whitehead, Quine and Sartre will be examined. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hours.

The study of Western European 20th-century philosophy (mainly Germany and France). The course will focus upon three sections: 1) Phenomenology to Philosophical Hermeneutics, 2) Marxism to Critical Theory and 3) Structuralism to Deconstruction. In each section, the student will read primary texts which will engage philosophical problems addressed by the philosopher’s own interests, and yet, placing those problems in the history of philosophy. Three hours.

Perhaps Sartre's statement that "existence precedes essence" provides the most succinct summary of the project of existentialism. Themes such as "despair," "meaninglessness," "alienation," "the absurd" and "the authentic/inauthentic life" are "major players" in existential thought. In this course, we will do a close reading of some of the most significant texts in the existential tradition (mostly those of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Sartre) and seek to develop an appropriate biblical response. Prerequisites: PHI 101 prerequisite and at least one course. PHI 200-249 recommended (but not required with permission of the instructor). Three hours.

Assuming something of the background of Ethics 203, this course will examine the ethical implications of the Cultural Mandate of Genesis 1:28. The course will present a biblical-theological basis for culture and cultural expressions. The course will examine the moral consequences of this basis in such areas of Christian concerns as politics, economics, art, education, the environment, medical issues and other relevant current trends in terms of Christian moral responsibility. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hours.

The clarification of terms and a discussion of proposed criteria for aesthetic judgments. Major works will be read and discussed. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hours.

A study of the nature, scope and limitations of scientific method and explanation with some attention being given to scientific concepts such as causality, space, and time. Some inquiry will be made into the relationship between science and human values. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hours.

A study of philosophical and Christian ethics. The course will emphasize what it means to seek to justify a moral norm, and various approaches to such justification will be examined. The course will also focus on the distinctives of Christian ethics from a philosophical perspective. The Ten Commandments and their implications for personal and social ethics will be studied in detail. Issues such as abortion, economic justice, the role of the state, medical ethics, sexual morality and the arts will be examined in the light of the commandments and biblical principles. The purpose of this course will be not only to provide information about the field of ethics, but to assist the student in making responsible moral choices informed by biblical truth. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hours.

An examination of the classical metaphysical problems such as the nature of reality, minds and bodies, personal identity, free will and determinism, causality, time and the nature of God. Attention will be given to the question of whether or not there is metaphysical knowledge. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hours. ‘W’

An examination of major schools of epistemological theory. Current views of the justification of knowledge claims will be emphasized. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hours. ‘W’

A survey of the traditional issues basic to a philosophical analysis of religion, for example, the concept of God, grounds for theistic belief, the matter of religious knowledge, the problem of evil and problems of religious language. A distinctively Christian approach to these issues will be a major emphasis of the course. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hour.

A survey of various systems of Christian apologetics including the study of anti-theistic theories. Prerequisites: BIB 277 and 278. Three hours.

This course will focus on at least one distinctively Christian thinker who is a philosopher or whose thought has significant philosophical implications. Representative works of the thinker will be read along with critical assessments. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hours.

A systematic and detailed study of the question: “How does a word ‘mean’?” Various theories of meaning will be examined. A major focus will be on the relationship of one’s metaphysics or view of reality to one’s theory of meaning. Hermeneutics, or what it means to interpret the Bible or a work of literature, will also be a significant emphasis of the course. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hours.

The propositional calculus and general quantification theory with some attention to practical application of these principles. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hours.

An in-depth examination of the traditional mind-body problem. Current theories regarding the nature of mind will be studied. There will be a special focus of what it means to consider this topic from the standpoint of a Christian metaphysics. Also, some attention will be given to cognitive science and the matter of computers and human thought. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hours.

A consideration of the principal works and contributions of a single influential figure from the history of philosophy. Particular attention will be given to reading primary texts by the figure and investigating the historical context in which the figure worked. Three semester credits. Prerequisites: PHI 101, at least one of PHI 201, PHI 202, PHI 253 or PHI 254. At least one of PHI 301, PHI 302, or PHI 303 is recommended. Three hours.

Philosophy seminars take up special topics and issues in philosophy as well as in-depth studies of prominent and influential philosophers. Prerequisite: PHI 101 or permission from the instructor. Three hours.

Off-campus work that utilizes skills developed by the academic study of Philosophy (conceptual clarification, assumption exposition, argument analysis, etc.) and is overseen by a business, ministry or endeavor maintaining a relationship with Covenant's Philosophy program. Prerequisites: PHI 101, at least one of PHI 201, PHI 202, PHI 253 or PHI 254, and at least one of PHI 301, PHI 302, or PHI 303. One hour per 40 hours of work, up to three hours. ‘W’

Twice-weekly meetings to discuss the integration of philosophical work and Christian faith, strategies for pursuing the Philosophy Senior Integration Project, and conversations about ongoing work on each student's SIP. Prerequisites: PHI 101, at least one of PHI 201, PHI 202, PHI 253 or PHI 254, and at least one of PHI 301, PHI 302, or PHI 303. Senior standing. Two hours. ‘S’

 

Fall 2014 Departmental Course Offerings
(click column title to sort)
Subject Course#sort icon Course Title Days Begin End Instructor
PHI 101 Introduction to Philosophy MWF 1000 1050 Wingard, John
PHI 102 Intro to Logic/Crit Thinking MWF 0800 0850 Wingard, John
PHI 254 20th Cent Continental Philo MWF 1145 1235 Davis, Bill
PHI 302 Metaphysics MWF 1300 1350 Wingard, John
PHI 411 Philosophy Internship Davis, Bill
PHI 492 Senior Integ Paper Seminar Davis, Bill