Philosophy (PHIL)

Philosophy Graduate Courses

PHIL 8225  PHILOSOPHY OF ART (3 credits)

The course is an inquiry into historical and contemporary philosophical perspectives on the making, interpreting and criticizing of works of art, including relations of the arts to other dimensions of cultures. Students will wrestle with foundational questions (e.g., "What is beauty?", "What is art?", "What makes good art good?", "Is there a right way to interpret art?"), consider connections between art and ethics, culture, and politics (e.g., "Can an artwork be both immoral and good?", "Can a particular culture have exclusive rights to an artform?", "How does public art create political communities and divisions?"), explore questions within particular arts (e.g., "Can music represent?", "Why do we respond emotionally to fictions?"), and experience and evaluate art in light of these investigations. (Cross-listed with PHIL 3220)

Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing


Consciousness is often considered one of the last great mysteries of science. Despite our internal experience of pleasures, sights, sounds, and pains, it is a largely open question why we have these experiences and what makes them happen. This upper level seminar class examines the philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience of consciousness. Topics covered will include neuroscientific theories of consciousness, unconscious perception, the relationship between attention and consciousness, animal consciousness, and detecting consciousness in the persistent vegetative state. (Cross-listed with PHIL 4250, PSYC 8256, PSYC 4250).

Prerequisite(s): PSYC 1010; or 6 hours in Philosophy. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

PHIL 8655  PHILOSOPHY OF MIND (3 credits)

A discussion of various accounts of the nature of minds which focuses upon philosophical problems such as whether the mind is identical with the brain, the extent of similarities between human minds and computers, the nature of personal identity and the relationship of mental activity to behavior. (Cross-listed with PHIL 3650, PSYC 3650)

Prerequisite(s): No Prerequisites. Some prior coursework in Philosophy is recommended, but not required.


An individually organized program of readings pertinent to one or more topics subordinate to the heading of Philosophy. To be carried out under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty. May be repeated once for credit.

Prerequisite(s): Graduate, permission of instructor, and no "incompletes" outstanding.