SP20 PHIL403

Medical Ethics (PHIL403)
Dr. Patrick Dieveney
Monday & Wednesday ·  09:30am–10:45am  ·  LA5–149

In this course, we will be exploring a wide range of issues in contemporary biomedical ethics. Topics discussed in the course include ethical issues concerning the professional-patient relationship, human and animal research, physician-assisted suicide, abortion and embryonic stem cell research, and social justice and health-care policy. The primary goal in the course is to introduce students to various ethical issues in the biomedical sciences, and equip them with the analytical tools necessary to appreciate the various positions and arguments. In the process, students will also gain an understanding of some of the historically prominent theories in normative ethics, e.g., virtue ethics, Kantian ethics, utilitarianism. The course should prove beneficial to those for whom this may be their only philosophy course, and it will provide a good background for those who wish to pursue further studies in philosophy.

This course satisfies GE areas C2 (Philosophy) and F (Capstone)

SP20 PHIL352

Philosophy of Law (PHIL352)
Amanda Trefethen
Mondays  ·  5:30pm–8:15pm  ·  LA5–246

This course will introduce students to the study of philosophical topics related to law and its adjudication. Some of the questions we will address include: What is law? Why, when, and how are we constrained by the law? Is there an essential relationship between law and morality? Can there be a ‘right answer’ in legal disputes? And what does it mean to have ‘liberty’? Toward this end, we will analyze the theoretical debates between legal positivism and natural law, as well as engage in a discussion of more specific legal and normative topics such as tort law, free speech rights, privacy rights, paternalism, and the duty to rescue. Our readings will be drawn primarily from the historical development of the philosophy of law, including works by such philosophers as Thomas Aquinas, John Stuart Mill, John Austin, H.L.A. Hart, Lon Fuller, John Rawls, Judith Thomson, Margaret Radin, and Ronald Dworkin.

This course satisfies multiple GE categories: C2 (Philosophy), D2/D3 (Social Sciences & Citizenship), WI Capstone F

SU19 Graduate Advising

Some open office hours for graduate advising will be held in the coming two weeks during the following times:
  • Thursday August 8th 2:00pm–4:00pm
  • Friday August 9th 11:00am–1:00pm
  • Monday August 12th 2:00pm–4:00pm
  • Tuesday August 13th 2:00pm–4:00pm
During these times, Prof. Wright will be in his office for graduate advising. Any new or continuing graduate students, as well as any prospective students interested in the MA program, are welcome to take advantage of the opportunity. So if you’d like an in-person meeting, or a phone or videochat appointment, please contact Prof. Wright at least one day in advance to make arrangements.

Phone: 562–985–2736
Office: MHB–909
E-mail: cory.wright@csulb.edu

 

FA19 PHIL403

Medical Ethics (PHIL403)
Christa Johnson
Mondays & Wednesdays  ·  9:30am–10:45am  ·  ED2–158

In this course, we will explore the major ethical issues confronting the practices of medicine and biomedical science. We will begin by considering contemporary theoretical approaches to addressing ethical dilemmas in medicine. From there, we will turn to the relationship between health care providers and patients. We will address issues concerning the relationship itself, confidentiality, truth telling, paternalism, autonomy, and informed consent. Finally, we will address particular ethical issues that arise from the decision to have a child through the decision to end a life. Issues include genetic engineering, abortion, experimentation on humans, justice in healthcare, allocation of scarce medical resources, decision-making for incompetent patients, and physician-assisted suicide.

Note also that PHIL403 satisfies GE requirement in both C2 and F subcategories.

FA19 PHIL352

Philosophy of Law (PHIL352)
Dr. Amanda Trefethen
Mondays  ·  5:30pm–8:15pm  ·  LA5–246

This course will introduce students to the study of philosophical topics related to law and its adjudication. Some of the questions we will address include: What is law? Why, when, and how are we constrained by the law? Is there an essential relationship between law and morality? Can there be a ‘right answer’ in legal disputes? And what does it mean to have ‘liberty’? Toward this end, we will analyze the theoretical debates between legal positivism and natural law, as well as engage in a discussion of more specific legal and normative topics such as tort law, free speech rights, privacy rights, paternalism, and the duty to rescue. Our readings will be drawn primarily from the historical development of the philosophy of law, including works by such philosophers as Thomas Aquinas, John Stuart Mill, John Austin, H.L.A. Hart, Lon Fuller, John Rawls, Judith Thomson, Margaret Radin, and Ronald Dworkin.

This course satisfies multiple GE categories: C2 (Philosophy), D2/D3 (Social Sciences & Citizenship), WI Capstone F

FA19 PHIL370

Rationality and Decisions (PHIL370)
Instructor: Gerard Rothfus
Tuesdays & Thursdays  ·  11:00am–12:15pm  ·  SPA–212

Decisions—choices of what to do or believe from a set of alternatives—are a pervasive feature of our daily lives. Many decisions are quite mundane (e.g., what to eat for lunch), while others (e.g., whether to invest in an exciting but risky business venture) have the potential to alter the trajectory of one’s life. This course introduces students to formal techniques for making and evaluating decisions. A formal approach to decision-making is powerful, as it allows rules of good reasoning to be applied across whatever kinds of decisions one might face, no matter their specific content. Students will be exposed to concepts and methods from symbolic logic, probability theory, and game theory, in order to develop their skills in representing and analyzing decisions. While we will be interested primarily in normative issues (having to do with how one ought to reason), we will also take note of empirical findings regarding how human beings tend to actually make decisions. The course is aimed at equipping students with tools they can use to improve the decisions they make and to avoid common errors of reasoning. Thus the emphasis is on becoming able to apply what is learned in the course to real-world problems, rather than simply gaining a certain facility with performing ‘cookbook’ calculations. No advanced mathematical background is required.

Note also that PHIL370 satisfies the GE requirement for upper-division category B. Additionally, PHIL370 can satisfy the M&E distribution for Philosophy majors, and can also be used for the Philosophy minor.

SP19 PHIL414/514

British Empiricism (PHIL414/514)
Professor: Marie Jayasekera
TuTh  ·  9:30am–10:45am  ·  LA5–355

This course aims to illuminate not only the commonalities but also the significant differences in the approaches and views of the main representatives of the tradition labeled ‘British Empiricism’: John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume. Thus, in addition to seeing how they understand the view that sense experience is the ultimate source of our concepts and knowledge, we will explore the differences in their aims and projects as well as their positions on various metaphysical and moral issues. The latter will include some of the following topics: the nature of the human mind, personal identity, divine and human agency, causation, arguments for and against the existence of God, and the foundations of morality.

SP19 PHIL381

Philosophy of Science (PHIL381)
Professor: Cory Wright
MW  ·  2:00–3:15pm  ·  LA1–304

PHIL381 is an introduction to core issues in general philosophy of science. These include the distinction between science and pseudoscience, experimentation, models and modeling, the varieties of scientific reasoning, the problems of induction and confirmation theory, scientific laws, and conceptions of scientific explanation. A range of philosophical positions will be considered, including naturalism, empiricism, and scientific realism. The course will focus on a range of subdisciplines rather than any particular one. Participants need not have a background in science, but are encouraged to bring to the discussion material from sciences that they are familiar with if so. Having completed the course, students will have an appreciation for the central issues in philosophy of science, will be better prepared to critically assess reasoning in scientific texts, and will have developed both their skills in writing and analysis and their abilities to articulate and evaluate arguments.

SP19 PHIL306

Philosophies of China and Japan (PHIL306)
Kourosh Alizadeh
MW at 3:30pm–4:45pm in PSY–236

In PHIL306, our primary goal will be to understand the basic concepts and ideas of the major schools of Chinese and Japanese thought, including Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. To do so, we will study the schools chronologically, contrasting them with one another and studying the arguments for and against each of the various positions that they occupy. Throughout, we will aim to bring these (sometimes quite ancient) ideas into contact with contemporary life, seeing how philosophers of ancient China and Japan continue to have relevance today.
 
Satisfies GE areas: C2b, Global Issues

 

Kyle Waterbury-Drake