Philosophy of Religion
This course is an examination of the philosophical arguments for the existence of God—cosmological, ontological, teleological, moral, and experiential or mystical—as found in the work of such philosophers as Plato, Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, Paley, Kierkegaard, and Buber. The historical development of these various proofs will be studied, including Hume's skeptical arguments against them as well as what has existentially come to be called the I-Thou encounter and its relevance for the modern eclipse of God.
In this course, students explore the ethical questions that have engaged humankind from antiquity to the present. Such questions focus on life's ideals: How should I live? What is the good life? Questions also examine models for relating to others: Why should I care about or be just towards others? Do we need friendship, love, community, and justice? What are social relations? Students critically interpret and evaluate philosophical texts, positions, and arguments as they reflect upon the diverse cultural and sociopolitical environments in which these questions have been explored throughout history.
In this course, students make connections among the ideas of different philosophers. Beginning with Socrates, students trace the history of philosophy as a critical engagement with finite, contingent existence. While some say that philosophy is out of touch with the world, from its beginning, philosophical study has sought to combine critical thinking with reflective living. An unexamined life is not worth living. These words of Socrates reinforce the notion that philosophy is not only a way of thinking, but also a way of living that entails the critical examination of ideas and the world in which we live. As students explore the philosophers of the past and present, they will develop a critical attitude towards the world today and relate philosophical insights to the world in which we live.
In this course, students explore the ideas and traditions of the philosophical thinking and spiritual experience of the East, with special emphasis on Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Zen. Students examine such concepts as yoga, atman, brahman, nirvana, karma, dharma, avatar, bodhisattva, satori, jen, wen, li, tao, and yin yang. Students will also explore concepts of incarnation and reincarnation and relate these ideas to the world in which we live. As students explore the philosophers of the past and present, they will develop a critical attitude towards the world today and relate philosophical insights to the world in which we live.
This course will examine the nature of art and aesthetics as presented in the German Idealist Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, one of the major philosophers instrumental in the formation of modern aesthetic thinking, and as applied to music in particular. The role of the mind and intelligence not only in aesthetic appreciation, evaluation, and judgment, but also in the act of creation itself will be emphasized. The significance of critical interpretation, rational argumentation, and intellectual contemplation for the understanding of beauty and the sublime generally, and for the experiencing of individual works of art, in classical sacred music particularly, will also be studied and analyzed. In the process of evaluating, analyzing, and discussing both philosophical texts and musical compositions, we will explore various theories of art—representational, expressivist, formalist, moral, and inspirational—as well as distinguish various substitutes for or counterfeits of art, including entertainment, propaganda, fashion, sensationalism, and kitsch. Other distinctions between and questions about subjective tastes and objective standards, aestheticism and philistinism, talent and genius, fancy and imagination, reason and intellection are to come under philosophical scrutiny. The approach or method in this course to the assigned material is text-centered discussion.
Philosophy of Education
This course is an introduction to the method and spirit of philosophical inquiry involving the exploration of idealism, realism, pragmatism, and existentialism, and the application of such inquiry to selected educational theories and practices.
In this course, students explore Africana philosophy, beginning with the ancient Egyptians and moving through the diversity of the human condition within the continent of Africa itself, as well as the African Diaspora. Students analyze key readings and examine the fundamental dimensions of Africana philosophy. In particular, students explore Africana philosophy in terms of its history, method, logic, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, religion, and politics. Through analysis of texts and research, students learn about the major scholars and schools of Africana philosophical thought.
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
This course introduces cultural anthropology, which is the study of living peoples, their beliefs, practices, values, ideas, technologies, economies, and more. Through a variety of theoretical approaches and research methods, students study the cultures of people across the world. Students examine human diversity and similarity and explore ways that observing real people in their local environment helps us understand humanity.
This course is a survey of the history, theory, and applications of general psychology, including the study of human behavior, factors in psychological development, methods of measurement, and the brain. Note: This course may be used to fulfill the social science requirement.
Music and Peace
This course explores the ways music and musicians affect social change and peace. It is a laboratory for both study and action and intellectual and experiential learning that operates on four levels: (1) studying conflict and peacemaking from the interdisciplinary perspectives of international relations, political science, psychology, religion and spirituality, and the arts; (2) learning from artists, activists, and academics who will visit the course to share their projects and perspectives; (3) researching the ways music and peace intersect in history and society; and (4) creating a music and peace project individually and/or as a group. Contemporary music can be a powerful vehicle for expressing and transcending pain caused by violence, racism, poverty, war, and injustice. The course deepens understanding of political, ethnic, racial, national, and religious differences in our own lives and society, while experimenting with ways to respond.
Music, Gender, and Society
This course introduces musical genres, repertoire, composers, and performers that reflect or inspire various gender images and identities in society. Drawing on interdisciplinary discourse, this course provides a variety of sources regarding music and gender in society and facilitates discussion of these topics. Students will complete journal entries, essays, peer review editing, and group discussions.
Principles of Economics
An analysis of supply and demand in the international music marketplace, as affecting issues of pricing, employment, the output of goods and services, and competition. Emphasis is also placed on the techniques of financial management found within a music-oriented business, including planning and forecasting, allocation of resources, and profit analysis, as well as the monetary transmission mechanisms found in international business. Note: For MBUS majors, this course can be used to fulfill the social science requirement for degree students.