Middle East Studies, Minor

Department

Department of Philosophy

Andrew Fiala, Chair
Music Building, Room 102
559.278.2621
FAX: 559.278.6484
www.fresnostate.edu/artshum/philosophy

Degrees and Programs Offered

BA in Philosophy, B.A.
BA in Philosophy - Religious Studies Option, B.A.
BA in Philosophy - Prelaw Option, B.A.
MN in Philosophy, Minor
MN in Peace & Conflict Studies, Minor
MN in Middle East Studies, Minor

The Department

Philosophy is one of the fundamental domains of human thought. It grows out of basic life questions, including questions of ethics, religion, politics, and science. The study of philosophy has had an historic role in the core of sound education, because it helps sharpen skills of careful, independent thinking and aids people of all ages in defining their most important values and beliefs. The examination of great philosophical ideas, and the emphasis on clear reasoning and personal development that are involved in philosophy serve as a strong foundation for life, regardless of one's career objectives.

The Department of Philosophy offers students the following opportunities for a rich and rewarding undergraduate experience: the traditional B.A. philosophy major, the prelaw option, the religious studies option, and the philosophy minor. The department provides ample opportunity for individual attention and student participation in its activities, e.g., student Philosophy Club, symposia, colloquia, etc.

The Prelaw Option emphasizes analytical skills, ethics, and values courses. Law schools seek a broad general education background and do not recommend any specific major. Students who enjoy philosophy and are interested in law should find this option an excellent way to combine their interests.

The Religious Studies Option offers objective methods for exploring the vast and complex human experience known as religion. This study is done with an appreciation for the variety and diversity of religious beliefs and expressions. This option provides students with an academic approach to religion in personal, social, historical, and global contexts.

Courses

Philosophy

ENGL 115W. Literature of the New Testament

(ENGL 115W same as PHIL 133W.) Prerequisite: satifactory completion (C or better) of the ENGL 5B or ENGL 10 graduation requirement. Discussion and close written analyses of selected texts from the New Testament. Meets upper-division writing skills requirement for graduation.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

ENGL 116. Literature of the Old Testament

(ENGL 116 same as PHIL 134.) Discussion and written analyses of selected texts from the Hebrew Bible. Special attention to the sources and styles of biblical literarcy techniques.

Units: 4
Course Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL 1. Introduction to Philosophy

Prerequisite: G.E. Foundation A2. Introduction to the basic issues, disputes, and methods of traditional and contemporary philosophy, including theory of knowledge, ethics, metaphysics, religion, and social theory. Development of skills in analysis, logical thinking, and self-expression. G.E. Breadth C2. (CAN PHIL 2)

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: C2

PHIL 2. Exploring Religious Meaning

Prerequisite: G.E. Foundation A2. Introduction to exploration of the many dimensions of religions. Topics include tools and resources of the academic study of religion, the sacred/holy, symbolism, myth, ritual, religious origin, and destiny. G.E. Breadth C2.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: C2

PHIL 10. Self, Religion, and Society

Prerequisite: G.E. Foundation A2. Conceptions of human nature; nature and varieties of religion; personal and social implications and values of religion. G.E. Breadth C2.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: C2

PHIL 20. Moral Questions

Prerequisite: G.E. Foundation A2. Introduction to ethics and its place in human experience. Ethical theory; methods of reasoning about values. Typical issues include euthanasia, privacy, work ethics, sex, happiness, capital punishment, censorship, social justice, and environment. Non-Western perspectives; materials from arts and humanities (e.g. literature, film). G.E. Breadth C2.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: C2

PHIL 25. Methods of Reasoning

Principles and methods of good reasoning. Typical topics: identification of argument structure, development of skills in deductive and inductive reasoning, assessing observations and testimony reports, language and reasoning, common fallacies. (PHIL 25 and PHIL 45 cannot both be taken for credit.) G.E. Foundation A3.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: A3

PHIL 45. Introduction to Logic

Basic concepts and methods of logic; development of skills in deductive and inductive reasoning, with emphasis on deduction. Elementary formal techniques for propositional logic; categorical logic, fallacies, and language. (PHIL 45 and PHIL 25 cannot both be taken for credit.) G.E. Foundation A3

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: A3

PHIL 101. Ancient Philosophy

Development of Western Philosophy from its beginning; the emergence of critical theory, doctrines, and schools of thought in Greek and Roman culture. Topics considered may include: Presocratic, Sophists, Socrates, and the works of Plato and Aristotle.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

PHIL 103. Bacon to Kant

Development of early modern philosophy: the search for new scientific methods -- Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza, Newton, and Locke; empiricism and skepticism -- Berkeley and Hume; rational ist metaphysics -- Leibniz; influences on moral and political thought -the Enlightenment; Rousseau; Kant's critical philosophy.

Units: 3

PHIL 104. Nineteenth Century Philosophy

Principal developments in European and American Philosophy from Kant to James. Figures and movements to include: Hegel, Fichte, Schelling, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Feuerbach, Marx, Engels, Mill, Nietzche, Emerson, Thoreau, Peirce, James, and others; idealism, dialectical materialism, transcendentalism, pragmatism, existentialism, and humanism.

Units: 3

PHIL 105. Twentieth Century Philosophy

Principal developments in philosophy after 1900. Figures and movements include: logical atomism, logical positivism, linguistic analysis, pragmatism, phenomenology, existentialism, G. E. Moore, Russell, Wittgenstein, Whitehead, Dewey, Santayana, Husserl, Heiddegger, Sartre, Austin, Ryle, Strawson, Carnap, and Ayer.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Spring

PHIL 107. Existentialism

Examination of roots of existentialism in Kierkegaard and Nietzsche; study of such 20th century existentialists as Sartre, Heidegger, Jaspers, Buber. Typical problems examined: nature of mind, freedom, the self, ethics, existential psychoanalysis.

Units: 3

PHIL 110. Feminist Philosophy

Introduction to feminist approaches to philosophy and to specifically philosophical approaches to gender. Several philosophical issues will be explored at some depth. These might be drawn from the following areas: personal identity; values and society; political authority; knowledge and reality.

Units: 3

PHIL 115. Ethical Theory

Introduction to the fundamental concepts and problems of moral theory. Examination of various ethical theories, including relativism, egoism, utilitarianism, intui tionism, and non-cognitivism; the meaning of ethical terms.

Units: 3

PHIL 118. Social and Political Theory

Examination of traditional and contemporary theories of society and government. Analysis of basic concepts such as the common good, social contract, authority, justice, and natural rights.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL 120. Contemporary Conflicts of Morals

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area C. Exploration of moral issues through great works, such as philosophy, novels, dramas, or films. Looks at questions such as, "What is it to be moral? Why be moral? Why care about others? How should scarce resources be distributed? What is integrity?" G.E. Integration IC.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: IC

PHIL 121. Ethics in Criminal Justice

Philosophical issues concerning society's treatment of criminal behavior. Topics discussed include: morality and law; punishment or rehabilitation; safe vs. repressive society, and what types of deviant behavior should be regarded as criminal?

Units: 3

PHIL 122. Introduction to Professional Ethics

Survey of ethical issues and standards facing a range of professionals in their careers, including engineering, law, medicine, the media, science, agriculture, education, and business. Introduction to basic ethical theories and methods of reasoning about moral dilemmas.

Units: 3

PHIL 123. Bioethics

Pre-requisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area B2 and either PHIL 20 or PHIL 120 or instructor consent. Not open to Freshmen. Survey of ethical issues within the biomedical sciences. Typical issues include research ethics, informed consent, genetics, stem cell research, non-Western perspectives, ethical and legal regulations. (Formerly PHIL 165T)

Units: 3

PHIL 125. Issues in Political Philosophy

Examination of prominent political philosophies and contemporary issues of politics and public policy. Policy issues may include the scope and limits of government authority, the role of government in the economy, foreign policy, health care, education, agriculture, and the environment.

Units: 3

PHIL 127. Philosophy of Law

Nature and functions of law; methods of justifying legal systems; logic of legal reasoning; analysis of fundamental legal concepts.

Units: 3

PHIL 130. Philosophy of Religion

The nature and function of religious faith, belief, and practice; relations between religion and morals; existence of God; problem of evil; nature and significance of religious experience.

Units: 3

PHIL 131. Comparative Religion

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D. A study of major religions of the world, their traditions, teachings, influential texts, methodological and comparative approaches. Emphasis on major Western and non-Western religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. G.E. Multicultural/ International MI.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: M/I

PHIL 132. Religion and the Margin

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D. Exploration of elements facing religious studies that have been historically moved from the center to the side (marginalized), such as women's experience, ethnicity, gender, and class. Focus will include how religion has both supported and resisted this move. G.E. Multicultural/International MI.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: M/I

PHIL 132Z. Religion and the Margin-London Semester

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area D. Exploration of elements facing religious studies that have been historically moved from the center to the side (marginalized), such as women's experience, ethnicity, gender, and class. Focus will include how religion has both supported and resisted this move. G.E. Multicultural/International MI.

Units: 3

PHIL 133W. Literature of the New Testament

(ENGL 115W same as PHIL 133W.) Prerequisite: satifactory completion (C or better) of the ENGL 5B or ENGL 10 graduation requirement. Discussion and close written analyses of selected texts from the New Testament. Meets upper-division writing skills requirement for graduation.

Units: 3

PHIL 133WZ. Literature of the New Testament

(PHIL 133WZ same as ENGL 115WZ)

Units: 3

PHIL 134. Literature of the Old Testament

(ENGL 116 same as PHIL 134.) Discussion and written analyses of selected texts from the Hebrew Bible. Special attention to the sources and styles of biblical literarcy techniques.

Units: 4

PHIL 135. Asian Religious Traditions

A study of the major beliefs and values of the Asian religious traditions, including an examination of some of the classical texts central to Asian religions.

Units: 3

PHIL 136. Buddhism

Introduction to Buddhism. Life and teachings of Gautama Siddhartha Buddha; development of Buddhism after death or mahanirvana of the Buddha.

Units: 3

PHIL 137. Hinduism

Introduction to the development and ideas of Hinduism, including an examination of classical scriptural texts, e.g., Upanishads, Bhagavad-gita, as well as modern Hindu writings.

Units: 3

PHIL 138. Chinese Thought

Introduction to the development of major ideas and systems of thought in China; emphasis on Confucian, Taoist, and Chinese Buddhist traditions.

Units: 3

PHIL 139. Islam

Introduction to Isalm, including the Qur'an, life of Muhammad, sectarianism, leadership, Islamic Law, science, calligraphy, Ramadan, and Hajj.

Units: 3

PHIL 140. Advanced Reasoning Skills

Development of skills in the analysis of arguments, thinking clearly, and reasoning well. Emphasis on problems and skills involving language (e.g., clarifying meaning, handling vagueness, handling verbal component of disputes), and on inductive inferences in everyday life.

Units: 3

PHIL 145. Symbolic Logic

(Similar to MATH 110; consult department.) Prerequisite: PHIL 25 or PHIL 45 or permission of instructor. Theory of deductive inference; includes propositional logic, predicate logic, relations, identity, definite description, nature of axiom systems.

Units: 3

PHIL 146. Philosophy of Language

Nature and uses of language; theories of meaning; concepts of reference, predication, truth, name, ambiguity, vagueness, definition, metaphor; relationships between methodology in philosophy and theories of language.

Units: 3

PHIL 150. Foundations of Knowledge

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area C. Nature, sources, and limits of human knowledge; roles of perception, reason, testimony, and intuition in acquiring rational beliefs; e.g. science, mathematics, values, the arts, religion, social issues, and psychological states. G.E. Integration IC.

Units: 3
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
GE Area: IC

PHIL 151. Cognitive Science: Mind

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area C. The interdisciplinary study of cognition and mind: cognition includes mental states and processes such as thinking, reasoning, remembering, language understanding and generation, visual perception, learning, consciousness, emotions, self-awareness, and our place in the world. G.E. Integration IC.

Units: 3
GE Area: IC

PHIL 152. Philosophy of Science

The nature of scientific inquires as outcomes and/or practices. Theories of explanation, confirmation, induction, and discovery; (anti-)realism, instrumentalism, and social constructivism; nature of scientific theories, models, and laws of nature; scientific changes and revolutions; philosophical problems in particular sciences.

Units: 3

PHIL 155. Metaphysics

Analysis of classic and contemporary problems of metaphysics: the nature of the mind-independent world; the reality of abstract objects and types; the nature of time and causality; realism and anti-realism; essentialism, modality and possible worlds; naturalism and emergent properties.

Units: 3

PHIL 156. Moral Psychology

Analysis of mind and morality: philosophical perspectives on cognitive and affective aspects of virtuous and non-virtuous dispositions and behaviors. Topics may include agency, motivation, intention, desire, deliberation, practical judgment, self-control, weakness of will, akrasia, compulsion, self-deception, self-knowledge, regret, blame.

Units: 3

PHIL 157. Freedom, Fate, and Choice

Nature of human action, free will and determinism, free will and moral responsibility; analysis of basic concepts; for example, will, action, freedom, determinism, fatalism, chance, choice, decision, intention, reason, desire, belief; implications for everyday life.

Units: 3

PHIL 158. Judaism

Introduction to Judaism, including Torah, Jerusalem, Mishnah, Talmud, midrash, synagogue, Orthodox, Reform, Halakha, Passover, Shabbat, Yom Kippur, anti-Semitism, and Holocaust.

Units: 3

PHIL 165T. Special Topics

Topics of current or interdisciplinary interest or requiring special background.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 9 units

PHIL 165T. J.R.R. Tolkien and his Critics

This seminar focuses on "The Lord of the Rings" with particular attention to Tolkien's theory of subcreation. Methods of analysis will include the role of religion in the work and in its composition; ethics, feminist analysis; and cultural criticism. Particular attention will be made to the function of fantasy as a progressive force and the construction of Otherness.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 9 units

PHIL 170T. Senior Seminar

Prerequisites: senior standing or permission of instructor and at least one upper-division philosophy course. Intensive investigation of selected problems, major figures, or a historical period in philosophy. Extensive writing and supervised research.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 12 units

PHIL 170T. Epistemologies Resistance

This course lies at the intersection of epistemology and social-political philosophy. Rather than studying what justifies either knowledge or the state, we will study the roles knowledge and ignorance play in forming, nurturing, and injuring communities and persons. We will consider the epistemic powers involved in democratic participation, epistemic injustices (harms done to one's capacity to know), and modes of resistance that use epistemic resources for changing oppressive structures. Whose knowledge do we trust? Who lacks credibility? How should we assess credibility in societies marked by inequality and discrimination?

Units: 3

PHIL 172T. Seminar in Religious Issues

Prerequisite: one upper-division philosophy course. Intensive investigation of problems in philo sophical theology, comparative religion, and culture. Extensive writing and supervised research.

Units: 1-4, Repeatable up to 12 units

PHIL 190. Independent Study

See Academic Placement -- Independent Study. Approved for RP grading.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring

PHIL 192. Directed Reading

Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Supervised readings in a selected philosopher or field of philosophy. Combined units of PHIL 190 and PHIL 192 may not exceed 6 units.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units

PHIL 198. Applied Ethics Internship

Prerequisite: junior standing, PHIL 120, PHIL 122, or applied ethics courses and permission of instructor. Workstudy experience in community service, with a focus on ethical analysis and understanding. CR/NC grading only.

Units: 3

PHIL 199. Fieldwork in Philosophy and Law

Prerequisites: senior standing, permission of instructor. Practical community work-study experience in legal or paralegal setting. Student works under sponsorship of a law firm or law-related agency, meets periodically with instructor, and submits a written report on relevant issues in ethics, jurisprudence, or philosohpy.

Units: 3

Requirements

Middle East Studies Minor - Requirements

The Minor in Middle East Studies is a broad, interdisciplinary program designed to provide students from all disciplines with an introductory foundation of knowledge about different subjects related to the Middle East. Students will select from a variety of courses offered throughout the university that study the linguistic, social, cultural, artistic, literary, historical, political and economic factors that define this region of the world. Upon completion of the minor, students will be able to communicate in one of the languages spoken in the region, have a broad contextual understanding of the region, and be afforded the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge in one or more areas of study related to the region. The minor is composed of 21-23 units. These include 3 units of a required lower-division introductory course MES 10; 6-8 units of lower-division courses in Middle Eastern languages selected from Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, and Persian; and 12 upper-division units selected from courses offered by the departments participating in this program. Courses taken for the minor may count toward fulfilling General Education requirements, but not toward fulfilling the student's major. Students in the minor must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Required Course (3 units)
MES 10 (fulfills G.E. Area D3)

Lower-division Language Requirement (6-8 units)
Select from: ARAB 1A-1B; ARM 1A-1B; HEBR 1A-1B; PERS 1A-1B (some courses fulfill G.E. Area C2)

Electives (select 4 courses) (12 units)
ANTH 135; ECON 183; ENGL 179, ENGL 193T; HIST 107, HIST 109T, HIST 110; MUSIC 171; PHIL 139, PHIL 158; PLSI 144T; SSCI 150T

Total (21-23 units)

Other courses can be used to fulfill electives upon approval by minor adviser.

Faculty

The department has a diverse and well-trained faculty with special interests ranging from logic and scientific method to existentialism and philosophy of religion. All members of the department share the conviction that the best way to teach philosophy is through an intense but sympathetic interchange between the teacher and the student.

Name Degree Email Phone
Amaral, Pedro Doctor of Philosophy pedroa@csufresno.edu 559.278.2621
Anagnostopoulos, Mariana Doctor of Philosophy marianaa@csufresno.edu 559.278.6329
Athithan, Vanneya P Doctor of Philosophy vathithan@csufresno.edu
Berliner, Ann Doctor of Philosophy annb@csufresno.edu 559.278.5654
Beversluis, John Doctor of Philosophy jbeversluis@csufresno.edu
Biondo, Vincent F Doctor of Philosophy vbiondo@csufresno.edu 559.278.6644
Cusick, Carolyn M Doctor of Philosophy ccusick@csufresno.edu
Elson, Thomas O Doctor of Philosophy telson@csufresno.edu
Fenton, Andrew Doctor of Philosophy afenton@csufresno.edu
Fiala, Andrew Doctor of Philosophy afiala@csufresno.edu 559.278.2124
Haar Farris, Matthew S Doctor of Philosophy mhaarfarris@csufresno.edu
Higgins, J. T Doctor of Philosophy thiggins@csufresno.edu 559.278.5376
Howard, Beena R Doctor of Philosophy vehoward@csufresno.edu
Kapoor, Sudarshan Doctor of Philosophy skapoor@mail.fresnostate.edu 559.278.2013
Maldonado, Robert D Doctor of Philosophy robertma@csufresno.edu 559.278.2879
Meinhoff, Sharon S Master of Arts smeinhoff@csufresno.edu 559.278.5376
Olson, Leonard D Doctor of Philosophy lolson@csufresno.edu
Tahvildary, Negin Doctor of Philosophy ntahvildary@csufresno.edu 559.278.2621
Winant, Terry R Doctor of Philosophy terryw@csufresno.edu 559.278.3631