Undergraduate Courses - Department of Philosophy, University of Santo Tomas

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Undergraduate Courses

Basic Philosophy Courses (General Education)

PHL 1/101 Introduction to Philosophy 3 units

Philosophical evaluation encompasses various areas of human thoughts.  This course aims at initiating the student on a journey to intellectual inquiry. Evaluation of beauty or art, study of the ultimate reality, understanding a life worth living, knowledge of valid standard of truth or fallacy of reasoning, understanding concepts of ideal state, nature of man and the knowledge of God.  The course intends to give the student highlights of these areas of human understanding from both the Western and Eastern traditions.

PHL 2/102 Logic 3 units

The most fundamental branch of philosophy which deals with science and art of valid inference.  It reflects on the very nature of thinking itself. This course will have two versions; The traditional Aristotelico-Thomistic logic (or logic of classes) tailored for Liberal Arts program; and the modern mathematical (or symbolic) logic (or the logic of propositions) aimed for the Science program.

PHL 103 Philosophical Anthropology 3 units

This course aims at discovery and understanding of the Human Person. It presents the basic Christian understanding of the nature of human person. Then the course proceeds to investigate the Hindu View, the Chinese View, and the contemporary Phenomenological and Existential reflections on human person.

PHL 104 Ethical Systems 3 units

Surveys the various theories of right conduct and the good life- the life worth living, and the code or set of principles of which people live in rectitude.  Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhist Middle Path, Platonism, Aristotle’s Golden Mean, Hedonism, Cynicism, Stoicism, Christian Ethics, Spinoza, Utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, Kantian Ethics, Subjectivism and Objectivism will be discussed.

PHL 105 Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Information 3 units

This hybrid course will deal with the philosophical understanding of three spheres of contemporary life: science, technology, and information.  The first part is the examination of the nature of scientific inquiry via a survey of the different theories of scientific progress, the difference between science and pseudo-science, and the role of scientific presuppositions in society.  The second part is an examination of the relationship between science and technology and how advancements in both factor in the way we view the world, interact with one another, organize ourselves, and discern the difference between right and wrong.  The third part is an examination of the normative- and axiomatic role of information technology in contemporary life—its epistemological, social, political, and ethical consequences.

PHL SCI Philosophy of Science 3 units

This course deals with the logical and historical analysis of the methodology, theories, aim of science, as well as its function in the society. It surveys the history of science and looks at it from the different philosophical views as a kind of knowledge and a way of explaining the world. It also deals with the ethical value of scientific exploits in general and medical practice in particular. Thus, it emphasizes the interrelationships of NATURE, SCIENCE, and VALUES.

Core Courses

PHL 201 History of Philosophy I: East 3 units

This course is a historical survey of Eastern Philosophy.  The course is designed as a general introduction to the general themes of Eastern philosophy.  The purpose of this course is to introduce undergraduate students to the main philosophico-religious ideas of the Indian and Chinese cultures, by surveying their literature as well as some of their major thinkers.

PHL 202 History of Philosophy II: West 3 units

This course is a survey of the history of Western Philosophy.  Basically divided into four periods—Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and Contemporary—the course introduces students to the major issues and debates that shape the development of Western Philosophy.

PHL 203 Metaphysics 3 units

A vast and all-encompassing branch of philosophy it studies the ultimate nature of reality.  This course introduces the student to some of the basic metaphysical problems that have persisted through the ages. The problem of permanence and change, the mind-body problem, the problem of free will and determinism, essence and existence, of potency and act, space-time, causality, identity and change, possibility and necessity, and particulars and universals.  It surveys some of the great metaphysical theories.

PHL 204 Epistemology 3 units

This course studies the origins, nature, and limitations of knowledge. This course aims at discovering the means by which human knowledge is acquired, the extent of this knowledge, and the standards or criteria by which we can judge the reliability of knowledge –claimed. This course will discuss the Greek Sophists, Plato’s Theory, Descartes’ Theory, Hume’s Theory and also Intuitive Theories.

PHL 205 Philosophy of Religion 3 units

This course examines the intellectual questions in considering and understanding religious views.  It will investigate the problems connected with the theory of knowledge as applied to religious knowledge and concerning metaphysical problems involved in efforts to construct a satisfactory and consistent explanation of certain concepts employed in various religions. Discussion will focus on religious knowledge, revelation, natural and revealed religion. Major religions will be taken for analysis and evaluation.

PHL 206 Aesthetics 3 units

Aesthetics is about the nature of beauty and art, and whether art can provide us with a certain kind of knowledge about the world we live in.  If so, what kind of knowledge can art provide?  Can the knowledge that art provides transform the way we experience and think of the world?  Does art have a social role?  This course commences with the basic philosophical problems of beauty and pleasure, which will progress to the examination of the question of whether taste is subjective or objective.  Moreover, we take into consideration the view that art is a way of expressing a culture’s understanding of nature, society, and the self.  Furthermore, Hegel's famous observation that art has reached its end in modernity will also be tackled.

PHL 207 Social and Political Philosophy 3 units

This course highlights philosophy as a social and political discourse; it examines the different social and political theories of philosophers from both East and West, such as, Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Kautilya, Meng Zi,  Lao Zi, Shang Yang, Han Fei Zi, St. Thomas Aquinas, Niccolo Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, GWF Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Weber, Karl Marx, Mao Zedong, Leo Strauss, Isiah Berlin, Jurgen Habermas, John Rawls, and Robert Nozick.  Discussions will touch on various topics, such as, the ideal state, democracy, citizenship, the Arthaśāstra, anarchy, absolute monarchy, right to revolution, mandate of heaven, theory of alliance, power, law and statecraft, right and duty in a civil society, the social contract, modern liberalism, the problem of modernity, socialism, justice, and utopianism, inter alia.

PHL 208 Philosophy of Science 3 units

This course endeavors to study what science is, its structure, methods, aims, scope and limitations, if any. It studies the nature of scientific theories, the logical structure of scientific laws and explanations, the ontological status of the entities it studies, the relation of science to culture and human values.

PHL 209 Indian Philosophy 3 units

This course  surveys the great philosophical traditions of India. The Orthodox Schools of the Vedantic tradition namely; Nyaya School, Vaisesika School, Samkya School, Yoga School, Mimamsa School, and the Vedanta School.  Also to be discussed are the Heterodox Schools of Buddhism, Jainism and Charvaka School.

PHL 210 Chinese Philosophy 3 units

This course studies the great ancient Chinese Philosophy that developed during the Golden Age of Chinese Philosophy known as the Period of Hundred Schools.  To be discussed in this course are the thoughts of Kong Zi, MoZi, Lao Zi, Sun Zi, Lie Zi, Yang Chu, Shang Yang, Zhuang Zi, Meng Zi, Hui Shih, Tsou Yen, Xun Zi,  Kung Sun Lung, Han Fei Zi, and Li Si.

Major Courses

PHL 301 Scholasticism 3 units

This course studies the church’s fathers of the medieval ages who tried to understand and explain Christian doctrines in the light of ancient Greek Philosophy.  This course will focus on the development of the three great scholastic troikas, namely; St. Augustine, St. Anselm, and St. Thomas Aquinas.

PHL 302 Rationalism and Empiricism 3 units

This course is designed to survey the two dominant philosophical movements that emerged during the 17th and 18th centuries: Rationalism and Empiricism.  Discussions will be based on the works of Rene Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, GW Leibniz, John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume.  Special attention is given to their contrasting views on reality, knowledge, human nature, and morality.

PHL 303 Theorizing Enlightenment and Modernity 3 units

This course will cover the major philosophers of the 18the century and 19th century. An in depth analysis on the thoughts of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Baron de Montequieu, Voltaire, Diderot, Alexis de Tocqueville, Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Arthur Schopenhouer, and Friedrich Nietzsche.

PHL 304 Phenomenology and Existentialism 3 units

This course tackles two major philosophical movements of 20th century European Philosophy: Phenomenology and Existentialism.  The course is divided into two major parts, one surveys the works of Edmund Husserl, Max Scheler, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Emmanuel Levinas; the second part surveys the tradition initiated by Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Albert Camus, down to Jean-Paul Sartre.  The course highlights the attempt of these two movements to reassess and revise the method of philosophical inquiry in order to salvage it from the abstraction of traditional philosophy via the re-emergence of the role of human experience in philosophical reflection.

PHL 305 From Hermeneutics to Deconstruction 3 units

This course surveys the works of the major hermeneutical philosophers, namely, F. D. E. Schleiermacher, Wilhem Dilthey, Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, and Jurgen Habermas, as well as thinkers who contributed to the hermeneutical debate, such as, Theodor Adorno, Jürgen Habermas, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Richard Rorty.  The first part of the course will focus on intellectual history, the place of Philosophical Hermeneutics in the development of Western philosophy, and an exposition of the ideas of the main hermeneutical philosophers, from Schleiermacher to Habermas.  The second part of the course will be devoted to deconstructive philosophyers, such as, on Adorno, Derrida, Foucault, and Rorty.

PHL 306 American Philosophy 3 units

This course examines the rise and development of a distinct American philosophy, beginning from 19th century transcendentalism, pragmatism, and liberalism.  Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau are going to be examined, then the works of the pragmatists, such as, C. S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey.  Recent American philosophers are also going to be tackled, such as, Richard Rorty, Noam Chomsky, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, and Cornel West.

PHL 307 Dialectical Materialism 3 units

An examination of the tradition initiated by Karl Marx: Marxism.  The course is an introduction to the important works of Marx and emphasizes Marx’s critique of capitalist economy and social alienation.  The course is also a survey of the intellectual tradition ensuing from Marxist socio-political critique—looking at how the ideas of Marx have been used, abused, and revised by later orthodox Marxists and unorthodox Marxists.

PHL 308 German and French Critical Theory 3 units

The point of depature of Critical Theory as a socio-political discourse is the philosophy of Karl Marx.  This course surveys the neo-Marxist traditions which emerged in Germany during and after the Second World War, in the body of a group of schorlars from the Institute for Social Research known as the Frankfurt School (Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Jürgen Habermas, and Axel Honneth), and in France through Marxist oriented social critics, such as, Louis Althusser, Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva and Jacques Lacan.  Central to the works of the critical theorists is the relentless critique of socio-political pathologies, such as, social domination, instrumental reason, the culture industry, apparatuses of policing and control, as well as implications of the tyrrany of linguistic normative practices.

PHL 309 Philosophy of History 3 units

This course examines the role of history and historicity in human thought.  It surveys the different theories of history culled from the works of thinkers, such as, Giambattista Vico, Johann Gottfried Herder, G.W.F. Hegel, Henri Bergson, R. G. Collingwood, Martin Heidegger, and Michel Foucault.

Seminar Courses

PHL 401 Philosophy Seminar Course I 3 units

The following are the possible content of the seminar to be determined by the Seminar Director:
• A survey of the different dialogues of Plato or
• A survey of the Thomistic system, and elaboration of Aquinas’ metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical anthropology, ethics, and theology.

PHL 402 Philosophy Seminar Course II 3 units

The following are the possible content of the seminar to be determined by the Seminar Director:
• A survey of current issues in moral philosophy: theoretical, meta-ethical, and applied.
• Seminar in Filipino Philosophy – This seminar course does not presuppose the existence of Filipino Philosophy, rather it is aimed at philosophical investigation on the existence, or development of it.  As such, it is offered to allow students to search rather than to discuss a specific course on Filipino thought. The course therefore is a survey of the corpus of writings of published Filipino Philosophers. Survey should include readings of the works of the following; Romualdo Abulad,     Claro Ceniza , Alfredo Co, Manuel Dy, Jr., Leonardo Estioko, Leovino Garcia, Vitaliano Gorospe,Rainier Ibana, Leonardo Mercado, Josephine Pasricha, Emerita Quito, Quintin Terrenal, Florentino Timbreza, Tomas G. Rosario, Jr., Armando Bonifacio, Manuel Pinon, Antonio Pinon, Quintin  Terrenal, Ranhilio Aquino
• A survey of emerging trends in philosophy.

Research Courses

PHL 501 Philosophical Research I: Technical Research in Philosophy 3 units

Training in philosophical research with the aim of teaching philosophy majors the rudiments of writing a thesis in philosophy.

PHL 502 Philosophical Research II: Thesis Proposal Writing 2 units

Training in philosophical research with the aim of requiring students to submit full-blown thesis proposals at the end of the semester.

PHL 503 Philosophical Research III: Thesis Writing and Defense 1 unit

Regular thesis consulations with appointed adviser, then an oral defense at the end of the semester.

Foreign Language

PHL FL Philosophy Foreign Language 3 units

Latin, German, French, Chinese, or Japanese
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