Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

LIBERAL STUDIES COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

LIBST 201 SEMINAR: INTRODUCTION TO LIBERAL STUDIES

3 u

An introduction to the concept of a liberal education, the methodologies of the liberal arts disciplines, and the use of computer technology for basic research. Students will create an individual plan of study to guide them through their Liberal Studies major and prepare them to complete a Senior thesis project.

Prereq:GENED 110, GENED 130, and GENED 120 or GENED 140 or Sophomore standing.

LIBST 400 CAPSTONE IN LIBERAL STUDIES

1 u

Capstone in Liberal Studies provides a culminating experience for Liberal Studies majors. Students will evaluate their progress toward meeting the program’s student learning objectives by assembling a portfolio of artifacts and by writing a reflective essay in which they demonstrate mastery of the program’s student learning objectives.

Prereq:Liberal Studies major and Senior staanding.

LIBST 493 INTERNSHIP IN LIBERAL STUDIES

1-3 u

LIBST 496 SPECIAL STUDIES

1-3 u

LIBST 497 EXCHANGE STUDIES

1-12 u

LIBST 498 INDEPENDENT STUDIES
Repeatable
1-3 u

LIBST 499 SENIOR THESIS

3 u

A capstone course for Liberal Studies majors. Students will write a 5,000-10,000 word reflective statement, or equivalent project, in which they integrate key concepts and methodologies of the liberal arts and draw thematic connections between the courses constituting their Liberal Studies major.

Prereq:LIBST 201 and Senior standing. Students in the 36-unit major must have completed 24 units in the major in addition to LIBST 201 and students in the 54 unit broad-field major must have completed 45 units in the major in addition to LIBST 201.

PHILOSOPHY COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

PHILSPHY 121 TRUTH AND THE MEDIA
GH
3 u

There is a vast array of media outlets, political talking heads, and mass-marketed paraphernalia that claim to know what you should know, how you should feel about it, and what the best things are for you. We live thoroughly media-ted. This course critiques our current media culture on the veracity/rationality of their epistemic claims.

PHILSPHY 241 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY
GH
3 u

An introduction to philosophical thought. Representative philosophers and representative issues, such as the nature of ethical reasoning, rival theories of knowledge, and the individual’s relation to society, are considered. The emphasis is on argument and analysis, and on issues which are relevant to philosophical problems.

PHILSPHY 245 CONTEMPORARY MORAL ISSUES
GH
3 u

An analysis and critical examination of contemporary moral issues related to business, science, and social policy as developed by current participants in the debate and moral philosophers of various periods and philosophical perspectives.

PHILSPHY 247 BIOETHICS
GH
3 u

This course introduces key ethical approaches such as Kantian ethics, utilitarianism, and feminist ethics and addresses their application to issues in health care practice. Ethical issues to be addressed may include: end-of-life decisions, family planning, genetic technology, access to health care, and the role of health care professionals.

PHILSPHY 248 ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS
GH
3 u

A critical examination of ethical issues and problems arising from human interaction with non-human animals and the natural environment. Topics, such as the moral status of non-human animals, the moral bases of an environmental ethics, biodiversity, and sustainable development, will be considered by examining the writing of philosophers representing various perspectives.

PHILSPHY 251 LOGIC
GH
3 u

By examining basic concepts, methods, and techniques for evaluating argumentation, this course aims at developing students’ abilities to recognize, criticize, and construct arguments. The relationship between language and good reasoning will also be considered.

PHILSPHY 261 INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS
GH
3 u

A study of the main Western theories of moral value and obligation. These theories will be analyzed in terms of their adequacy for solving moral problems and their ability to articulate the morally good life. Consideration will also be given to challenges to normative ethics.

PHILSPHY 271 INTRODUCTION TO AESTHETICS
GH
3 u

An analysis and discussion of problems as to the nature of art, artistic truth or insight, aesthetic appreciation, evaluation of works of art, creativity, and the role of the artist in society.

Prereq:GENED 110 or consent of the instructor.

PHILSPHY 281 SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY
GH
3 u

A discussion of ideas which are basic to thinking about society, its purposes, and its structure. Such ideas as justice, equality, rights, obligations and freedom are examined.

Prereq: Sophomore status or consent of the instructor.

PHILSPHY 291 PHILOSOPHY OF THE NATURAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
GH
3 u

A critical examination of the methods, presuppositions, and concepts of the natural and social sciences. This course examines key concepts in the sciences such as time, space, explanation, verification, model construction, etc.

PHILSPHY 341 CLASSICAL PHILOSOPHY
GH
3 u

An introduction to the major figures in Greek philosophy, including representative pre-Socratic philosophers, Plato, and Aristotle, focusing on Classical sources of philosophy of science, ethics, political philosophy, and theory of knowledge.

Prereq:Sophomore standing.

PHILSPHY 342 MODERN PHILOSOPHY
GH
3 u

This course concentrates on the main movements in philosophy from Descartes through Kant. Principal works and selections from the major philosophers will be read.

Prereq:Sophomore standing.

PHILSPHY 346 19TH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY

3 u

This course concentrates on the main movements in 19th century philosophy. Selections from principal works of major philosophers of the period, such as Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Marx, Husserl, Peirce, and James, will be critically examined.

Prereq:Sophomore standing or 3 units of philosophy.

PHILSPHY 347 20TH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY

3 u

This course concentrates on the main movements in 2oth century philosophy. Selections from principal works of major philosophers of the period, such as Ayer, Wittgenstein, Quine, Carnap, Heidegger, Sartre, Irigary, Lyotard, and Derrida will be critically examined.

Prereq:Sophomore standing or 3 units of philosophy.

PHILSPHY 364 EXISTENTIALISM

3 u

Existentialism is the philosophy of the individual the existing, concrete individual, As a reaction against totalitizing systems that leave individuals as small cogs in the wheel of history. Existentialists tackle questions about what it means to be an individual and the struggle of living in freedom - and so shall we.

Prereq:Sophomore standing or 3 units of philosophy.

PHILSPHY 381 PHILOSOPHY OF GENDER AND RACE

3 u

This course examines the philosophical assumptions underlying concepts of gender and race. Topics include: historical and contemporary arguments about race and gender as biological categories; the relationship between the use of these categories and the persistence of sexism and racism; and race and gender in theories of subjectivity.

Prereq:Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

PHILSPHY 390/590 FEMINIST PHILOSOPHY

3 u

An introduction to feminist philosophy including its relation to other philosophical traditions, its historical development, and its relevance to concerns in areas such as ethics, theory of knowledge, political philosophy, and philosophy of religion.

Prereq: Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

PHILSPHY 490/690 WORKSHOP
Repeatable
1-3 u

PHILSPHY 494/694 SEMINAR
Repeatable
1-3 u

PHILSPHY 496/696 SPECIAL STUDIES
Repeatable
1-3 u

PHILSPHY 497 EXCHANGE STUDY
Repeatable
1-12 u

PHILSPHY 498 INDEPENDENT STUDY
Repeatable
1-3 u

INTRAUNV 246 BUSINESS ETHICS
GI
3 u

(See Interdisciplinary Studies)

RELIGIOUS STUDIES

Religious Studies provides information and discussion about religious issues and major religious traditions in an academic atmosphere of fairness and intellectual objectivity. The purpose of the discipline is to further the student’s liberal education by promoting tolerance and an informed critical understanding about religious issues and ideas of various cultures. Its special concern is the intellectual examination of the religious content pervading influential ideals, values, and practices found in the dominant cultures of human society.

Individual Religious Studies courses may serve as complements to any program of university study and most fulfill General Education requirements in the Humanities. Several Religious Studies courses fulfill requirements in other programs such as in General Business-International Emphasis and in Asian Studies, and are approved to meet history and contemporary culture requirements for teacher licensure. In addition, selected Religious Studies courses are electives in International Studies, Asian Studies, Philosophy, and Women’s Studies.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

RELIGST 111 INTRODUCTION TO EASTERN RELIGIONS
GH
3 u

An introduction to the major religious traditions in the cultural areas of South, Southeast, and East Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto.

RELIGST 112 INTRODUCTION TO WESTERN RELIGIONS
GH
3 u

An introduction to the major religious traditions that have shaped Near Eastern and Western culture; especially Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

RELIGST 135 INTRODUCTION TO ISLAMIC CIVILIZATIONS
GH
3 u

This course examines emergence and evolution of Islamic civilizations from the seventh century though the modern era. It covers the birth and spread of Islam, the rise and fall of Muslim Empires, religious and political institutions, scientific and cultural achievements, and the position of women and religious minorities.

RELIGST 232 BUDDHISM: THE MIDDLE WAY
GH
3 u

This course introduces the wide range of Buddhist ideas and practices that have developed in Asia. It considers the social context in which Buddhism developed, the philosophical bases of all Buddhist schools, the development of the Mahayana, Buddhist Tantra, and Buddhist practices in South, Southeast and East Asia.

Unreq: ASIANSTD 232

RELIGST 242 NATIVE AMERICAN RELIGIONS
GH
3 u

This course explores the historical development and manifestations of Native American religions from before European contact to the present. The course examines the diverse experiences of Native Americans, analyzes the changing roles of Native American religions, and questions traditional conceptions of Native Americans and Native American religions throughout American history.

RELIGST 252 THE BIBLE AS LITERATURE

3 u

This course will survey the Bible and some other related Near Eastern literature, focusing on the development of genres, motifs, and other literary forms that have influenced the form and content of Western literature, including the parable, the proverb, the loss of Eden, exile and return, origin stories, and hero stories. (Offered jointly with English)

Prereq:ENGLISH 101 and ENGLISH 102.

Unreq: ENGLISH 252.

RELIGST 301 CRITICAL ISSUES IN MODERN RELIGION
GH
3 u

An introduction to selected critical issues relating to contemporary academic concerns and modern culture. A variety of intellectual and religious positions will be analyzed and discussed.

RELIGST 302 RELIGIOUS ETHICS
GH
3 u

The comparative study of the ethical dilemmas and discourse within religious narratives and traditions. The course presents selected ethical dilemmas and raises questions requiring students to analyze the positions embedded within religious narratives, and develop their own informed ethical positions. Topics include war, human rights, ecology, economic justice, and sexuality.

Prereq:Sophomore standing or consent of intructor.

RELIGST 303 EASTERN RELIGIOUS THOUGHT
GH
3 u

A study of selected texts and religious thought from India, China, and Japan in relation to their impact on personal spiritual development and cultural integration.

Prereq:Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

Unreq: ASIANSTD 303

RELIGST 304 CONTEMPORARY ISLAMIC THOUGHT AND PRACTICE

3 u

This course will explore - thematically rather than chronologically - major trends in contemporary Islamic thought and practice through a study of key thinkers and a close reading of their works. Such trends include modernism, reformism, fundamentalism, nationalism, centrism, liberalism and feminism.

Prereq:RELIGST 212 or RELIGST 135 or HISTRY 135 or ARABIC 141.

RELIGST 330 WOMEN AND RELIGION
GH
3 u

This course will trace changing conceptions of gender roles and the functions of women in various religious traditions. Feminine and masculine images of divinity will be compared and recent scholarship in feminist theology on questions such as the nature of divinity, immortality, and religious devotion will be examined.

Prereq:Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

RELIGST 333 GEOGRAPHY OF RELIGION

3 u

This course examines the role of religion in contemporary American society and in communities around the globe from a geographic perspective. Significant places and spatial patterns associated with religions will be investigated along with the relationship between religion and the political landscape. Students will be expected to identify, visit, and analyze two religious sites in their community.

RELIGST 340 EVIL AND RELIGION
GH
3 u

This course presents a variety of ways of examining the problem of evil in several of the world's religious traditions--as a philosophical and theological problem for understanding the relationship between God and human beings in monotheistic religions, but also in broader comparative perspective through the confrontation of evil in polytheistic and non-theistic religions.

RELIGST 351 RELIGION IN AMERICAN CULTURE
GH
3 u

An examination of the significant role played by religious ideas and traditions in American society from colonial times to the present in historical and cultural perspectives.

Prereq:Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

RELIGST 353 SOCIOLOGY OF RELIGION

3 u

A study of the function and forms of religious groups in primitive and contemporary societies; a theoretical examination of religion as a basic social institution. (Offered jointly with Sociology)

Prereq: 3 units of sociology.

Unreq: SOCIOLGY 353.

RELIGST 365 RELIGIOUS AND PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVES ON DEATH AND DYING
GH
3 u

A critical examination of philosophical and religious materials dealing with death and dying. Issues such as the nature of death, the fear of death, the possibility of an afterlife, the concept of immortality, ethical and legal problems raised in the dying process, the ethics of hospice care, and the morality of euthanasia will be considered.

Prereq:Sophomore standing.

RELIGST 388/588 THE HOLOCAUST: NAZI GERMANY & THE GENOCIDE OF THE JEWS

3 u

This course will examine the origins, implementation, and legacies of the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews. It is intended to help students gain an appreciation of the importance of the Holocaust to the Jewish experience, while understanding that other groups also were victimized. (Offered jointly with Sociology)

Prereq:3 units of sociology, history or religious studies.

Unreq: SOCIOLGY 388/588.

RELIGST 490/690 WORKSHOP
Repeatable
1-3 u

RELIGST 494 SEMINAR
Repeatable
1-3 u

RELIGST 496/696 SPECIAL STUDIES
Repeatable
1-3 u

RELIGST 497 EXCHANGE STUDY
Repeatable
1-12 u

RELIGST 498 INDEPENDENT STUDIES
Repeatable
1-3 u



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