North Central College - Naperville, IL

Philosophy Courses

NOTE: This page contains all of the regular course descriptions for this discipline or program. Academic credit for each course is noted in parenthesis after the course title. Prerequisites (if any) and the general education requirements, both Core and All-College Requirements (ACRs), which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms.

PHL 100 Introduction to Philosophy (3.00)
An examination of basic questions in philosophy, such as how we can know anything, whether God exists, how moral judgments can be justified, whether people have souls, and whether people have free will. Core: Humanities; ACR: Religion & Ethics.

PHL 110 Ethics (3.00)
An examination of alternative bases for morality and the arguments by which moral claims are justified. Core: Humanities; ACR: Religion & Ethics.

PHL 210 Professional Ethics (3.00)
Professional ethics in selected career fields including law, business, and biomedicine. Students may apply basic concepts to the career of their choice, relate their personal ethics to professional ethics, and become better informed consumers of professional services. This course begins with an examination of the alternative bases for making moral judgments. Core: Humanities.

PHL 215 Bioethics (3.00)
After a brief overview of ethical theory and the philosophy of medicine, the moral dimensions of the following topics are considered: the health care professional-patient relationship (e.g., truth-telling, informed consent, and confidentiality), euthanasia and physician-assisted death, abortion and maternal-fetal conflicts, the new reproductive technologies, human genetics, research involving human and animal subjects, the allocation of health care resources, managed care, public health, and health care policy. The course is intended to be self-contained and the emphasis on the topics may change from year to year. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

PHL 220 Aesthetics (3.00)
An examination of aesthetic experience, the norms which govern aesthetic judgment, and the significance of the idea of beauty in our experience of art and nature. Same as: ART 270. Core: Humanities.

PHL 225 Environmental Ethics (3.00)
After a brief examination of philosophical and ethical frameworks, the following will be considered: the history of environmental ethics; the problem of the moral status of nonhuman animals and other aspects of nature; the environment and the good life; ethical issues related to population growth, sustainability, diminishing/vanishing resources, and the use of cost/benefit analysis in environmental policy. Same as: ENV 225.

PHL 230 Logic (3.00)
An examination of inductive and deductive reasoning, formal and informal fallacies, and rules and procedures for evaluating arguments. Core: Humanities.

PHL 235 Existentialism (3.00)
An introduction to existentialism as a 19th and 20th century philosophical and literary movement. Authors discussed typically include Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Unamuno, and Merleau-Ponty. Core: Humanities.

PHL 240 Philosophy and Literature (3.00)
An introduction to the relationship between philosophy and literature through an examination of ways in which philosophical ideas and methods can be used to analyze, understand, or criticize literature and critical writing about literature. Prerequisite: ENG 196 or a PHL course.

PHL 241 Philosophy of Law (3.00)
An introduction to the concept of law, including such topics as the nature of law, liberty and law, justice, legal responsibility, punishment, and theories of legal interpretation. Same as: PSC 241. Prerequisite: PSC 103 or a PHL course. Core: Humanities.

PHL 260 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (3.00)
Part one of the History of Philosophy sequence; Ancient Greece through the 16th century. Core: Humanities; ACR: Religion & Ethics.

PHL 270 Early Modern Philosophy (3.00)
Part two of the History of Philosophy sequence; the 17th and 18th centuries. Core: Humanities.

PHL 280 Modern Philosophy (3.00)
Part three of the History of Philosophy sequence; major philosophical developments of the 19th and 20th centuries. Prerequisites: PHL 100, PHL 260, or PHL 270. Core: Humanities.

PHL 290 Philosophic Inquiry (3.00)
An examination of questions or issues of contemporary philosophic interest. Check course schedule for current topic. Prerequisite: PHL 100.

PHL 297 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PHL 299 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PHL 310 Ethical Theory (3.00)
An examination of topics in contemporary and/or classical ethical theory. Course may focus on key figures in ethical theory or issues in normative ethics and metaethics. Topics have included virtue ethics, feminist ethics, and relationships between normative ethical theory and social or natural sciences. Prerequisite: PHL 110.

PHL 320 Philosophy of History (3.00)
An investigation of the nature of history and the nature and limits of historical knowledge. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

PHL 341 Classics of Political Philosophy (3.00)
A survey of the history of Western political thought. Same as: PSC 341. Prerequisite: One 200-level PSC course or two PHL courses.

PHL 343 Economic and Social Justice (3.00)
A brief introduction to the concept of justice, followed by an examination of the alternative views of distributive justice. Alternatives include the various forms of liberalism (contractarianism, libertarianism and utilitarianism), Marxism, communitarianism, feminism, and postmodernism. Same as: PSC 343. Prerequisite: Course in PHL, ECN, HST, PSC, or SOA.

PHL 344 Religion and the Political Order (3.00)
A historical survey of primary texts engaging the intersection of religion and political theory as well as the relationship between political leadership and religious/ethical visions. Emphasis is placed upon Western political philosophers shaped within the traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and/or Islam as well as upon the themes of theocracy, civil religion, and secularization. Thinkers studied may include Plato, early Christian authors, Eusebius, John Chrysostom, Augustine, Al-Farabi, Maimonides, Averroes, Aquinas, Marsilius of Padua, Reformation authors, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, or De Tocqueville. Same as: REL 344. Prerequisite: Two courses in PHL, PSC, or REL. ACR: Leadership, Ethics, & Values.

PHL 360 Philosophy of Religion (3.00)
An examination of the basic issues in the philosophy of religion, including the relation of faith and reason, the problem of the existence and nature of God, and the nature and significance of religious experience. Same as: REL 360. Prerequisite: One course in PHL or REL. ACR: Religion & Ethics.

PHL 361 Science and Religion: Conflict Or Diaglogue? (3.00)
This course examines the contemporary dialogue between science and religion in relation to different Western and Asian religious traditions. The course considers the implications of recent scientific theories for understanding and assessing the belief systems of various theistic and nontheistic religions. Same as: REL 361. Prerequisites: Junior standing, one science course. ACR: Intercultural.

PHL 370 Philosophy of Science (3.00)
An inquiry into the nature of scientific evidence, laws, explanations, and theories, as well as the nature of the relationship between the natural and social sciences. Prerequisite: Course in PHL or natural science.

PHL 380 Epistemology and Metaphysics (3.00)
An examination of such topics as theories of knowledge, truth, and justification of belief, the problem of skepticism, the mind-body problem, the problem of universals, and theories of being. Prerequisite: PHL 100, PHL 270, or PHL 280.

PHL 397 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PHL 399 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PHL 490 Philosophic Problems: Seminar (3.00)
Examination of a major philosopher or central problem in one of the areas of philosophy such as philosophy or mind, metaphysics, epistemology, or value theory. Prerequisites: Philosophy major or minor; Junior standing.

PHL 497 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PHL 499 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.