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Skidmore College
Philosophy Department


PH 101: Introduction to Philosophy                                                                             3 Cr.

An historical and topical survey, this course will introduce the student to the discipline of philosophy through the close reading of representative texts, both historical and contemporary. Through analysis of the texts, lecture, and discussion the student will gain an understanding of philosophy both as a unique discipline and as a way of asking and attempting to answer the most profound questions about ourselves and our world that we may pose.

Open to first- and second-year students or by permission of instructor.

Fulfills humanistic inquiry requirement.

PH 101-001    T/TH    11:30 – 12:50     Hybrid: Mix of in-person/online                                             L. Jorgensen

PH 101-002    T/TH    1:10 – 2:30         Online: Synchronous                                                               R. Lilly

PH 101-003    W/F      8:40 - 10:00am   Online: Synchronous                                                          W. Lewis


PH 207: Introduction to Logic                                                                                      4 Cr.

An introduction to the basic concepts and methods of modern symbolic logic, with a focus on their application to proper reasoning. Students learn how to represent sentences in logical notation, to reconstruct arguments in that notation, to assess arguments for validity and soundness, and to prove conclusions from premises using a system of natural deduction. Students also learn to recognize common argument forms and common mistakes in reasoning (fallacies), are introduced to philosophical issues related to logic, and learn how symbolic logic is the basis for the digital computer.

Fulfills QR2 requirement (except for class of 2024 and beyond)

M/W    3:30 – 5:20    Online: Synchronous                                                                                              P. Murray

PH 225: Environmental Philosophy                                                                          3 Cr.

An introduction to philosophical questions regarding the relation of humans to the environment. This course explores both foundational issues such as our understanding of nature and value as well as specific problems in environmental ethics such as animal rights, duty to future generations, and the justification of public policy. In addition to these explorations, students will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge gained in this class by developing an environmental ethics embodied by the institutions and practices that surround us.

Fulfills humanistic inquiry requirement.

T/TH    9:50 – 11:10   Online: Synchronous                                                                                            P. Murray

PH 230C-001: Love and Friendship                                                                              3 Cr.

What are love and friendship? Why do we love and who are our friends? What is the relation between self-love and love for others? Is there something that all forms of love share? Can a political message centered on love be effective? Can we have meaningful relations with robots?

This course explores a number of philosophical approaches—from ancient Greece to the contemporary world—to these questions. We will pay particular attention to the implications of the theories that we analyze for issues such as human nature, ethics and political relations.

Fulfills humanistic inquiry requirement.

T/TH   2:50 – 4:10pm    Hybrid: Mix of in-person/online                                                                             S. Carli

PH 230C-002: Identity, Knowledge, & Ignorance                                                       3 Cr.

This course is an examination of the ways in which we are affected by, and participate in, systems of injustice, with a focus on epistemic injustice and epistemic violence. Epistemic injustice and epistemic violence involve giving diminished credibility to those we have biases against--and inflated credibility to others, sometimes including ourselves. Epistemic injustice thus undermines people's ability to think clearly and share information, including in circumstances where bias arises--but not limited to those. It is particularly pernicious because it damages our most intimate capacities of thinking and feeling--it distorts our understanding of the world while simultaneously concealing its own operation. In so doing, it enables the belief that society is just and that our actions, policies, and systems treat others fairly. While discussions of epistemic injustice thus help us understand how unjust social systems may be composed of individuals who may even believe they are acting fairly, justly, or well, they also help us understand how individuals can create better ones.

W/F   1:00 – 2:20pm  Hybrid: Mix of in-person/online                                                                               S. Blake

PH 230A: Identity, Knowledge, & Ignorance Practicum                                            1 Cr.

Note: Enrollment in PH 230C-002 Identity, Knowledge & Ignorance is required to enroll in the Practicum

This course examines and evaluates the ideas presented in PH-230C-002 through application; it will require students to examine the ways in which epistemic injustice is produced and reproduced in their lives, as well as the ways in which we experience and participate in epistemic injustice. Activities will include reflection on current events and events in their own lives, as well as communicating with others about the ideas discussed on PH230C-002, perhaps through writing letters to relevant political entities.

Fulfills the Bridge Experience requirement.

M  1:00 – 1:55pm  Online: Synchronous                                                                                                     S. Blake

PH 230C-003: Philosophy of Social Science                                                                3 Cr.

Social science, the quip goes, is a bit like meteorology if the weather had its own ideas about what it wanted to have happen. Human behavior is notoriously variable, unpredictable, and capricious. Are sciences based on such behavior possible and, if so, what truth value do their conclusions have? Are these eternal and reliable? Are social sciences’ truth the same or similar to the claims of natural science or do they differ in fundamental ways? Can we study human beings like we do minerals? Where should social scientists start their analyses, with individual psychology or with observations of group behavior? Are their limitations or ethical constraints to human studies? Is an objective study of other humans possible or are we trapped in our own ideas about what other humans are up to?  By surveying the recent history of social scientific thought and contemporary judgments about the status of the knowledge that social scientific disciplines produce (economics, politics, sociology, anthropology, history) this course will attempt to answer such questions. 

W/F   10:30 – 11:50  Online: Synchronous                                                                                                W. Lewis

Note: 1-credit intensifier may also be taken (PH 330A-001)

PH 330A: Philosophy of Social Science Intensifier                                                     1 Cr.

Students will extend their consideration of the Philosophy of Social Science by closely examining the philosophy of an individual social science of their choice.

Note: Enrollment in PH 230C-003 Philosophy of Social Science is required to enroll in the Intensifier

Online: Asynchronous                                                                                                                                 W. Lewis

PH 241:  Mind, Thought, and Consciousness                                                               3 Cr.                                       

This course deals with the nature of the mental and its relationship to the physical, the distinctive characteristics of mental content, and attempts to answer the “hard problem” of consciousness—how and why some animals experience the world in the distinctive ways we do.

Fulfills humanistic inquiry requirement

M/W    5:10 – 6:30pm  Online: Mix of Sync & Async                                                                              S. Blake

PH 307: Twentieth Century Philosophy                                                                      4 Cr.

This course will look at major thinkers in 20th and 21st century (mostly) European philosophy.  The organizing theme this semester will be “The Whence  and Whither of the True,” and will examine how the understanding of ‘truth’ and ‘certainty’ characteristic of early modern philosophy (and science) is fundamentally challenged by contemporary thought.    We will read works of, among others, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Derrida, Foucault, Butler, Spivak. 

Fulfills humanistic inquiry requirement.

Prerequisite: PH 204 or permission of the instructor.

T/TH   4:30 – 6:20pm  Online: Synchronous                                                                                               R. Lilly

PH 330D-001: Recognition and Self                                                                             4 Cr.

A self is constituted through others and in concrete social contexts. It exists only if it is recognized. Therefore, selves are not self-sufficient; rather, they attain independence by negotiating relations of dependence with others. These are the fundamental ideas of some of the most important continental theories of self and society. They also inform contemporary discussions in a number of fields, including ethics, moral psychology and politics. Both are the focus of this course, which examines the development of the notions of recognition and self. Authors studied include, among others, Hegel, Simone de Beauvoir, Frantz Fanon and Judith Butler.

Prerequisites: one course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

T/TH    11:30 – 12:50   Hybrid: Mix of in-person/online                                                                              S. Carli

PH 375: Senior Seminar                                                                                                4 Cr.

A capstone course in which students develop a portfolio of representative work in philosophy. Open to senior Philosophy majors. 

Prerequisites: philosophy major or permission of instructor.

T/TH  1:10 – 2:30 & M  2:15-3:10pm   Hyflex: In-pers or Online(Sync)                                              L. Jorgensen

PR 324W: Philosophy of Religion                                                                                4 Cr.

Philosophy and Religion are often linked conceptually and institutionally. They are supposed to be natural allies. But they are often antithetical, or thought to be anyway. What does faith have to do with reason? Religious fervor with critical thinking? Should philosophy dictate the parameters of religious belief? Or does religion signify the limits of the philosophical endeavor? We will explore answers to these questions through texts from Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Soren Kierkegaard, and contemporary voices in the field, including feminist and non-Western approaches.

Prerequisites: one course in philosophy or religion or permission of instructor.

M/W   3:30 – 5:20    Online: Mix of Sync & Async                                                                                   B. Onishi