Houston Baptist University Catalog

Philosophy (PHIL) Course Descriptions

PHIL 1300 Introduction to Philosophical Dialogue
This course introduces students to principles of philosophical discourse by means of Socratic dialogue, basic epistemology seminars, scholarly cultural analysis, and study of philosophical texts. Students are taught to recognize and avoid informal fallacies in discussion, and to strive for intellectual precision and logical soundness as they search for truthh

PHIL 1310 Logic
Logic has long been part of the core of a liberal arts education. In this course, students will learn to become better thinkers and communicators; mastering skills in symbolic logic, fallacy identification, and the philosophy of language. Topics in the history of philosophy and other disciplines will be studied to illustrate the role of logic in the liberal arts and to provide an opportunity for students to use their skills in diverse contexts.

PHIL 1313 Introduction to Philosophy
A foundational course designed to familiarize the student with the meaning and relevance of philosophy through a study of its main problems and the principal theories that have been proposed as solutions to them.

PHIL 3323, Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
A study of the historical development of Western philosophy from its early beginnings in Greece to the end of the Middle Ages.

PHIL 3334, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (Apologetics)
Prerequisite: PHIL 1313
An in-depth study of the philosophical foundations for Christian belief and practice, including engaging philosophical criticisms of basic Christian beliefs and teaching.

PHIL 3344 Modern/Contemporary Philosophy
A continuation of PHIL 3323, beginning with the Renaissance and ending with the more important philosophers of recent times.

PHIL 3350 Philosophy of Tragedy
An analysis and evaluation of the tragic worldview as expressed in classic literature and philosophies of life. Topics considered could include the role of fate, free will, luck, and providence in moral responsibility, virtue, and happiness. Works considered could include the philosophies of Aristotle, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche, alongside the dramas of Sophocles and Shakespeare. Special attention will be paid to the problem of evil and the question of whether tragedy is compatible with the Christian worldview.

PHIL 3360 Medical Humanities
A course designed to introduce students to medical humanities. The course is an interdisciplinary approach to looking at medical ethics and culture that will focus on the humanities and especially philosophy. Subjects to be covered may include the concept of personhood at the beginning and end of life, the arts and medicine, the historical development of medicine, theology of medicine, and the philosophy of science and medicine.

PHIL 3365 Medical Ethics
This course will look at debates in medical ethics. Topics may include abortion, euthanasia, medical testing and research, scarcity and distribution of health care, genetics, privacy, and reproductive technology.

For course description and prerequisite(s) for this course, please contact the Dean of the School of Christian Thought.

PHIL 4323 Ethics
A course in which the major ethical systems and their theories of value and conduct are studied critically and evaluated from a Christian point of view.

PHIL 4333, Aesthetics
Prerequisite: PHIl 1313
Examination of texts from the history of philosophy focusing on the questions of beauty, appropriateness, and value of both art and nature.

PHIL 4334, Metaphysics
Prerequisite: PHIL 1313
Metaphysics is the study of the nature of reality. Topics to be discussed may include freedom of the will, causation, being, the nature of universals, possibility and necessity,k space and time, philosophical anthropology and some philosophical theology. This class will provide a survey of these topics as it surveys views of the nature of reality over many different philosophical genres.

PHIL 4335 Epistemology
Prerequisite: PHIL 1313
Considers questions such as the following: Can I have knowledge of anything outside my own mind - for example, physical objects or other minds? Or is the skeptic's attack on my commonplace claims to know unanswerable? What is knowledge?

PHIL 4336 Philosophy of Science
Prerequisite: PHIL 1313
Examination of the philosophical foundations for the natural sciences, as well as conceptual issues surrounding the nature and extent of scientific inquiry.

PHIL 4358, Analytic Philosophy
Prerequisite: PHIL 1313
Readings from post-Idealist Anglo-American philosophers who pursue clarity, precision, and formalized logical argument as the best means to engage recurring philosophical questions.

PHIL 4359, Political Philosophy
Prerequisite: PHIL 1313
Examination of texts from the history of philosophy focusing on the relationship between the individual and collective neighbor. In this course, the great philosophers guide us as we wrestle with questions concerning the polis, state, just and unjust government, and the law.

PHIL 4363 Philosophy of Religion
A critical examination of the nature and validity of religious experience and the place of religion in human life. Consideration is given to religious problems such as the existence and nature of God, the source of religious knowledge, the nature of man, the origin and nature of evil. (Offered also as CHRI 4363.)

PHIL 4381 Special Topics
Prerequisite: PHIL 1313
Careful study of a few topics in the history of philosophy - either one philosopher's treatment of several philosophical problems or several philosophers' treatments of one or two closely related problems. Examples: selected topics in Aristotle, theories of causation in early modern philosophy, and Kant's reaction to Hume.

PHIL 4390, Great Philosophers and Their Works
Prerequisite: PHIL 1313
This course will closely study one or more philosophical texts from an important philosophical thinker. Examples include a study of Kierkegaard, a seminar on the Critique of Pure Reason, a close look at The Republic and the secondary literature surrounding it, and the writings of Al Plantinga.

For course description and prerequisite(s) for this course, please contact the Dean of the School of Christian Thought.

PHIL 5300 Fundamentals of Apologetics
This course will cover the fundamentals of classic Christian apologetics. Topics such as arguments for God's existence, the problem of evil, and the epistemology of religious belief will be covered.

PHIL 5310, Logic
Prerequisites: None
This course will cover basic logic, including traditional logic, but focusing on modern symbolic logic. In addition to sentence logic and predicate logic, it will include probability and basic modal logic.

PHIL 5320, Philosophy of Religion: Faith and Reason
This course will deal with basic issues in philosophy of religion, such as arguments, the problem of evil, the relationship between faith and reason, miracles, and life after death. Also offered as APOL 5320.

PHIL 5330, Metaphysics
Prerequisites: None
This course will examine fundamental issues such as the nature of ultimate reality or being, the mind body problem, and the nature of freedom and its relationship to determinism. Particular attention will be given to the role of God in metaphysics and to the difference his existence makes for various issues.

PHIL 5340, Epistemology
Prerequisites: None
This course will examine and assess different accounts of warranted belief and grounds for claims to knowledge. It will give attention to religious epistemology and the impact of theistic belief on epistemic theory.

PHIL 5350, Ethics
Prerequisite: None
This course will focus on the nature of the good and the right, and various accounts of these fundamental aspects of moral philosophy, both classical and contemporary. Attention will be given to theistic and Christian accounts of morality, such as natural law theory and divine command theory.

PHIL 5360, History of Philosophy:Ancient and Medieval
Prerequisite: None
This course will survey major figures, issues and ideas in the history of philosophy from the period of the pre-Socratic philosophers through the middle ages. Particular attention will be given to development of Christian thought in these time periods.

PHIL 5370, History of Philosophy: Modern
Prerequisites: None
This course will survey major figures, issues, movements, and developments from Descartes in the beginning of the modern period to the early twentieth century. Particular attention will be given to the period of the enlightenment and other movements that have affected Christianity, either positively or negatively.

For course description and prerequisite(s) for this course, please contact the Dean of the School of Christian Thought.

PHIL 6310, Aesthetics
Prerequisite: None
This course will analyze and assess theories of beauty, value and the nature and meaning of art. Particular attention will be given to the role that belief in God has in the creative process and the meaning and motivation for artistic creation.

PHIL 6320, Science and Faith
This course will explore the history of the relationship between science and religion, including the alleged hostility between the two. It will examine various accounts of the compatibility between the two and ways they can be understood as mutually enriching. Other topics in the philosophy of science and how they interact with theism may be considered. Also offered as APOL 6320.

PHIL 6330, Philosophy of C. S. Lewis
Prerequisite: None
This course will critically examine the main philosophical and religious writings of C. S. Lewis. It will assess the value and ongoing significance of his work for Christian philosophy and apologetics.

PHIL 6340, Church and State
Prerequisites: None
This course is a survey of some of the different views of church-state relations that have been developed in western philosophy and in the Christian tradition over the last two thousand years. Its focus is on contemporary thinkers and also on the political philosophies of the major philosophers in the cannon. It includes studies of monarchy, two-kingdom theory, religious toleration, distributive justice, democracy, establishment and disestablishment, and citizenship, among other topics. Upon completion of the course, students will be familiar with the major theories of the relationship between church and state, and will be able to articulate and defend their own views of church-state interaction.

PHIL 6350, The Problem of Evil
This course will examine the problem of evil as a challenge to theistic and Christian belief, and explore different responses to the challenge, both classic and contemporary.

PHIL 6360, Philosophy of History
This course explores topics in both substantive and critical philosophy of history. These topics may include the nature of historical explanation and narrative, the relation of history to other disciplines, and the way in which scholars have viewed historical progress. Of interest will be the way in which the Philosophy of History can inform our theological beliefs, and in particular, our understanding of the life of Christ.

PHIL 6380 Thesis Research
This is a course for students writing a Master's thesis. Requirements and readings will be set by consultations with a student's advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.

For course description and prerequisite(s) for this course, please contact the Dean of the School of Christian Thought.