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Minor in Philosophy

Why Minor in Philosophy at Eastern? 

The minor in Philosophy may include coursework in the Christian mind, modern philosophy, medieval philosophy and continental philosophy.

PHI 100 or 211, 303, one of 304, 305, 306, 350, either 440 or 450, and six additional elective hours in Philosophy

PHI 100 The Heritage of Inquiry: An Introduction to Philosophy 3
An introduction to philosophical inquiry as it has been practiced since Socrates, with attention to classic problems of philosophy such as the relation of mind and body, the nature of learning and knowledge, and the concept of truth.

PHI 211 Faith and Philosophy 3
A course on learning to reason about matters of faith. Topics may include classic arguments for the existence of God, the rationality of believing without “proof,” and theistic responses to the problem of evil.

PHI 220 Introduction to Logic 3
Focus on learning the art of critical thinking and its application to the kinds of arguments found in everyday life. Attention will be given to informal fallacies and to elementary formal logic (the sentential calculus).

PHI 222 Art and Culture 3
Christian reflection on selected topics and figures in aesthetics and cultural analysis.

PHI 225 Christian Sexual Ethics 3
In this introductory-level course, we will interact with contemporary and foundational philosophers and moral theologians in an effort to think clearly and Christianly about issues such as the significance of the body, contraception, chastity, the goods of marriage, and so on. The course will be divided roughly into two portions: 1) A History of Christian Sexual Ethics; 2) Inhabiting the Body, Catholic and Evangelical Models of Christian Sexual Ethics.

PHI 303 Ancient Philosophy: Origins 3
Readings from the ancient classical texts that originated the Western philosophical tradition, focusing especially on Plato and Aristotle and investigating both their usefulness and their provocative aspects for Christian thought.

PHI 304 Medieval Philosophy: The Christian Tradition 3
Readings from medieval philosophical texts in which Christians such as Augustine, Anselm and Aquinas use, criticize and transform ancient philosophy for specifically Christian purposes.

PHI 305 Modern Philosophy: The Quest for Foundations 3
Readings from texts in the Western philosophical tradition from Descartes to Hegel, with attention to how they have shaped modernity and its understandings of knowledge, morality and human nature.

PHI 306 Continental Philosophy: Existentialism and Postmodernism 3
A survey of key thinkers and movements in the history of Continental philosophy from the 19th century through the present (e.g., Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Buber, Sartre, Levinas, Derrida, Marion) with special attention to implications for Christian belief.

PHI 311 Ethics and Justice 3
A historical investigation of the development of moral reflection in the Western tradition. Through careful readings of key texts, we will trace the movement from ancient concerns with the good life and the virtues it requires, through the patristic and medieval attempt to synthesize Judeo-Christian law traditions with  ancient virtue ethics, to the modern emergence of more deontological or consequentialist systems, such as divine command theories, Kantianism, and utilitarianism.

PHI 321 Symbolic Logic 3
A course that emphasizes the development of systematic techniques for assessing the validity of arguments. The techniques we will consider include symbolizing English sentences, truth tables, set theory, and propositional calculus.

PHI 350 Epistemology and Metaphysics 3
A survey of key thinkers and problems in recent Anglo-American philosophy (e.g., Ayers, Wittgenstein, Ryle, Kuhn, Quine, Davidson, Rorty, Plantinga, Lonergan) with special attention to implications for Christian belief.

PHI 360 Philosophy and Literature 3
Readings from literary texts (poems, plays or stories) that conduct philosophical inquiries in literary form, with attention to why the irreducible literary form, with its special challenges and pleasures, is inseparable from the pursuit of philosophy.

PHI 440 Truth and Meaning: Hermeneutics 3
A seminar course on selected problems and topics in the area of hermeneutics (e.g., the nature of understanding, the place of horizon and tradition in interpretation, the status of objectivity) with special focus on the transformative power of hermeneutics to read as Christians. Prerequisite: one 300-level Philosophy course.

PHI 450 The Christian Mind 3
A seminar course on selected topics on the tasks and promises of Christian philosophy, including the question of whether there is such a thing as Christian philosophy. Attention is paid to both theory and praxis of the Christian philosopher and intellectual. Prerequisite: one 300-level Philosophy course.

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