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From antiquity to the information age

Philosophy courses at NCC seek to foster a deeper understanding of the world's people and their perspectives and ideas. The college is particularly interested in fostering sound ethical reasoning through a variety of classes and support for the academic mission of the college.


PHL 101 Introduction to Philosophy

Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101. 3 credits

This course is an introduction to the basic themes of philosophy. It explores the nature of man, the universe in which we live, knowledge, language, the divine existence, and values. Students are encouraged to relate ideas from the great philosophers to their own thinking through Socratic dialogue and writing assignments.


PHL 111 Ethics

Prerequisite: ENG 101. 3 credits

This course introduces the student to the major philosophical theories about values Topics include values based on the search for happiness, religion, economics and the material world, social and political structures and natural law. In addition, the last part of the course focuses on contemporary moral problems.


PHL 112 Medical Ethics

Prerequisite: ENG 101; PHL 111 recommended. 3 credits

This course explores, through lecture and Socratic dialogue, the philosophical and moral dimensions of current and future health care issues. It seeks to clarify the basic assumptions and practical implications involved in the study of medical ethics. Topics will include the practitioner-patient relationship, abortion, confidentiality, treatment and informed consent, experimentation and use of human subjects, withdrawal of lifesaving treatment as well as

the allocation of scarce resources.


PHL 120 Environmental Ethics

Prerequisite: ENG 101; PHL 111 recommended. 3 credits

This course explores, through lecture and Socratic dialogue, the philosophical and moral dimensions of environmental concerns. It will examine the basic theoretical assumptions and practical implications in the study of the environment. Topics will include economics, cost/benefit analysis, sustainability, pollution, the greenhouse effect, hazardous waste, population, world hunger, and urban sprawl.


PHL 121 Computer Ethics

Prerequisite: ENG 10 or permission of the instructor. 3 credits

Description: This course investigates ethical issues involved in computing. Special attention will be given to the moral, legal, and constitution concerns surrounding computer security. Through lecture, discussion and case study research, students will be encouraged to learn the various ethical system, encounter questions regarding the scope and limits of each ethical approach, and engage the moral dilemmas arising not only from the use but the uniqueness of interactions over the Internet. The Socratic Method will be employed in classroom discussions to encourage dialogue and reflection on cyberspace issues such as: privacy and security concerns; free speech and libel; copyright and fair use; privacy and information sharing.


PHL 122 Ethics and Literature

Prerequisite: ENG 101. 3 credits

This is a course structured to investigate by means of lecture, literary criticism and Socratic

dialogue - the nature, theories, methods and issues of ethics through the prism of literary narrative. Works from authors such as Leo Tolstoy, Jhumpa Lahira, Victor Hugo, Ursula

LeGuin and Nathaniel Hawthorne will be used to focus attention onto issues such as the

Struggle of Good and Evil; Does Life Have Meaning Beyond Mere Survival?; What is the

Purpose of the Individual Autonomy?; and What is the Purpose of Sex, Love and Marriage?


PHL 124 Engineering Ethics

Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101. 3 credits

This course explores the philosophical and moral dimensions of real-life engineering

concerns. It will seek to stimulate critical reflection by combining practical insights from engineering practice with perspectives drawn from ethical theories while considering moral dilemmas. Topics may include engineering as social experimentation, commitment to safety,

workplace responsibility and rights, and environmental concerns.


PHL 125 Feminism

Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101. 3 credits

Description: This course will explore the plurality of theories and narratives on feminism from the philosophical perspective, as well as practically through the lived stories of women. Class sessions will consist of a mixture of methods of presentation [lecture, first-person narrative, and dialogue], with the aim of using theoretical constructs as a springboard for the plurality of experiences and narrative of and about societal roles of sex, gender, etc.


PHL 131 Logic

Prerequisite: ENG 101. 3 credits

Logic is the study of the laws of correct thinking and their application to logical

reasoning, which includes an analysis of language, informal fallacies of thought and the

rules of inductive and deductive thinking.


PHL 132 Critical Thinking

Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101. 3 credits

This course examines the notion that self-discovery is the fundamental process of learning and that critical thinking is the basic tool of the self-discovery process. Students will explore strategies for conceptualizing, analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information gathered from a variety of sources. The concepts learned in this course will be useful in both academic and professional settings.


PHL 151 World Religions

Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101. 3 credits

Seven of the major religious traditions of the modern world are introduced: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, as well as Chinese and Japanese religious thought. The course explores the history of each tradition, its major ideas and its leading figures. It also covers the influence of these traditions in the world today.


PHL 164 Non-Western Philosophy

Prerequisite: ENG 101. 3 credits

This course is intended to encourage American students to expand their vision of the world by

learning more about how people from other cultures live and think. Through texts and

philosophers from China, Japan, India, Tibet, Africa, and the Middle East, students explore

how philosophical concepts are embedded in the cultures that produce them. As we move toward a global community, it is imperative that we know about and understand the values and traditions of our world partners and neighbors.


PHL 191 Death and Meaning of Life

Prerequisite: ENG 101. 3 credits

This course investigates philosophical theories about life and death and their application to current issues from various ethical perspectives. The course?s focus will be the meaning of life

when confronting our mortality; the balance between sanctity of life and quality of life worldviews; the moral dilemmas found in contemporary topics such as euthanasia, suicide, human cloning, famine relief, the death penalty, and war.


PHL 199 Special Topics in


Prerequisite: ENG 101 or permission of instructor. 3 credits

This course explores the philosophical dimensions of selected current issues, ones which will be of continuing concern into the future as well. The course attempts to clarify the basic assumptions and broad implications of each issue. Topics change from semester to semester. Possible topics include ecology, war, male/female relationships, poverty, biomedical technology, medicine and health.