LARTS 317 – Metaphysics
We will ask about the nature of reality and whether we are able to know what is real. Is the material world as it appears to us all that there is? If we say there is something else beyond what science can measure, how can we prove it? Are there unchanging truths that we should strive to discover, or is the world always in flux? If reason contradicts our senses, which do we trust? (2 credits) Breese   

 

LARTS 335 – History of Philosophy I
This course will look at how some of the major thinkers of the western tradition have dealt with fundamental philosophical questions: both those they inherited and those they created. This course will take us from the early Greek’s conceptions of reality through early modernity’s concerns with what we can know about reality. We will also examine the ways in which each thinker’s ethics, theory of knowledge, etc., are related to one another. (2 credits) Breese   

 

LARTS 336 – History of Western Philosophy II: Descartes to Heidegger
This course examines the theories of modern-era philosophers in the current Western canon. We will look at how they addressed ideas inherited from earlier philosophers and consider the primary conceptual shifts that distinguish these thinkers from “pre-modern” philosophers. We will also study ways in which each thinker’s ideas form a system. (2 credits) Breese   

 

LARTS 339 – Philosophy of Religion
This course examines the philosophical problems that arise when we consider the world’s religions. Can we know whether there is a divine or transcendent reality? How is religious music thought to function within different religions–can it actually convey the listener to the divine, or is it merely expressing human feelings? How do we reconcile multiple religions all claiming divinely given truths? Are reason and faith mutually exclusive? Why does religious language seem so odd? Does evil really exist? Are mystics divinely inspired or insane? (2 credits) Breese   

 

LARTS 340 – Philosophy of Mind
This course will look at the development of the philosophy of mind in the modern era beginning with mind/body dualism, then moving to current issues within the field, such as the implications of recent brain research and claims that computers actually think. We will also consider the ways in which accepted models of the mind help to shape our sense of our own actions and experiences. (2 credits) Gatlin   

 

LARTS 371 – Philosophy of Art
Why is a paint-spattered, stuffed goat with a tire around its middle considered a great American masterpiece and valued at millions of dollars? If a painting that thousands of people have gazed upon in awe is suddenly discovered to be a forgery, is it suddenly worthless? Why does beauty seem so important to us, and what do we even mean by term? Who determines what is or is not art? Do the arts have an ethical function? How do abstract works convey meaning? In this course we will analyze various thinkers’ responses to these and other primary questions in the philosophy of art. We will also attempt to apply their theories to particular pieces, which should help students think more carefully about their work as musicians. (2 credits) Breese   

 

LARTS 453 – The Buddha This course explores the life and teachings of the Buddha through readings of Buddhist scriptures ranging from the earliest written traditions (the Buddhacarita and the Dhammapada) to those of more recent times, including late 20th century writings on Zen. (2 credits) Row   

 

LARTS 454 – Hindu Myths
This course is designed to introduce students to the rich mythology of India, a domain populated by extraordinary deities, powerful demons and supernatural humans all engaged in a complex narrative from creation through the evolution of the significant Hindu concepts of dharma, karma, samsara, and moksha (roughly 1500 BC to 200 AD). Since understanding Hindu Myths requires knowledge of the philosophies and religious practices of Hinduism, the course will use appropriate background reading to supplement inquiry into the myths. While the corpus of Hindu myths is vast, the course will focus on four groups of myths: creation myths, myths of the deity Visnu, myths of the deity Siva, and myths of the mother goddess. (2 credits) Row  

2013-08-19


WITHOUT CRAFTSMANSHIP, INSPIRATION IS A MERE REED SHAKEN IN THE WIND. JOHANNES BRAHMS