Foundations - Philosophy and Literature

Literary and philosophical works represent an ongoing conversation about the fundamental ideas and values that shape cultures and civilization. To participate fully in this conversation requires knowledge, both of those works that are recognized as defining the history of the conversation and of works that offer original or critical additions to it in the present. Through the study of great works of philosophy and literature, you will come to understand more clearly your own response to the world and to the ideas that give it form and comprehensibility. 

Courses in this category introduce you to the interpretation of a significant body of literary or philosophical work and assist you in the careful reading, discussion, and analysis of primary texts.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain principles and questions that define philosophy or literature and its contributions to human knowledge and civilization.
  2. Explain the relationship between the works discussed, the cultures in which they were created, and the human concerns they illuminate.
  3. Analyze and interpret one or more primary texts as a major portion of course content.
  4. Skill Outcome #1:
    • Written communication: Write effectively for multiple purposes and audiences; or
    • Information literacy: Identify the need for information; access, evaluate, and use information effectively, ethically, and legally.
  5. Skill Outcome #2:
    • Oral communication: Effectively prepare and deliver a formal oral presentation; or
    • Ethical reasoning: Apply ethical principles and codes of conduct to decision making.


You are required to take one course in the Philosophy and Literature Foundations category.

CHI 236 — Popular Chinese Fiction
This course is an overview of the most influential works of Chinese fiction in translation from pre-modern times to the present, focusing on the cultural messages embedded in them that have had a deep impact on Chinese culture and society today. Skills: information literacy, oral communication

CLA 101 — Greek and Roman Mythology
An introduction to the gods and heroes of ancient Greek and Roman myths in their cultural and historical contexts, as well as their modern influence. Skills: ethical reasoning, information literacy 

CLA 201 — Classical Literature
Great works from the ancient world in translation, selected from Homeric epics, plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes and from such other classic works as Virgil’s Aeneid, the Bible, and Eastern epics such as Gilgamesh. Prerequisite: Fulfillment of GE Foundations - Writing. Skills: ethical reasoning, written communication 

CLA 231 — Health and Science in Antiquity
An introduction to ancient Greek and Roman medical and other scientific practices in their cultural and historical contexts, as well as their modern influence. Topics include the human body and its relationship to its environment, theories of causality, and early astronomy. Skills: oral communication, written communication

COM 202 — Critical Interpretation
Practice in the art of reading and listening with understanding. Stresses interpretation as an activity common to the writer, speaker, reader, and listener. Skills: ethical reasoning, written communication 

EDF 215 — Introduction to Philosophies of Early Childhood
Inquiry into the different and unique perspectives of early childhood education -  including historical, social, theoretical, and philosophical foundations of the field. Course will examine how schools of philosophies impact how we see children, learning, and education and how they help us understand modern day movements, issues, and events. Skills: ethical reasoning, written communication

ENG 105 — Literatures in English
An introduction to literatures written in English, organized around a theme, period, author, genre, or topic. All sections emphasize close reading, careful writing, and cultural understanding. Besides enhancing these foundational skills, the course will highlight the pleasures and excitements a lifetime of reading offers. Skills: oral communication, written communication 

ENG 112 — Much Ado About Shakespeare
Love and cruelty. Loyalty and betrayal. Ambition. Jealousy. Madness. Engage a vast range of human emotion by reading plays from Shakespeare's major genres, by experiencing his works as produced for modern audiences, and by exploring the wonders of his poetry. The course typically includes attending a live, local performance. Skills: ethical reasoning, written communication.

ENG 115 — Introduction to Science Fiction
An introduction to science fiction literature, focusing primarily on texts from the late nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. Examines the interaction between scientific change and the resulting ethical questions as depicted in fictional texts. Emphasis will be on short stories written by authors from diverse cultural backgrounds and contexts. Skills: ethical reasoning, written communication 

ENG 203 — World Literature
Readings of major drama, poetry, and novels from medieval times to the present, translated from major European and world languages. Authors such as Dante, Voltaire, Mann, Tolstoy, Kafka, Narayan, and Borges offer varied literary glimpses of foreign worlds. Prerequisite: Fulfillment of GE Foundations - Writing. Skills: oral communication, written communication 

ENG/AAA 231 — Early African American Literature
Analysis and discussion of discourse primarily written by African Americans during the formative years of this nation. Emphasizes literary discourse as a means of defining African American consciousness and community, and understanding how African American communities of origin shaped African American discursive expression. Prerequisite: Fulfillment of GE Foundations - Writing. Fulfills Cultures – Global Perspectives. Skills: collaboration, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, written communication 

INT 100 — Reflect, Connect, Engage
Can education transform your life and change your world? Explore how liberal education empowers students to question themselves and their society, through critical engagement with classical and contemporary philosophical and literary texts. Discover how liberal education teaches skills that can help you develop your personal, professional, and civic lives. Skills: ethical reasoning, written communication 

JPN 221 — Pre-modern Japanese Literature and Culture (to 1600)
This course explores Japanese literature and culture from antiquity to 1600. Readings will consist primarily of primary sources in English translation, including literature, history, philosophy, religion, art, and theater. No prior knowledge of Japanese is required. Fulfills Cultures - Global Perspectives. Skills: information literacy, oral communication

JPN 224 — Post-World War II Japan through Literature and Film 
This course examines contemporary Japan through the lens of literature and film from the end of the Pacific War in 1945 to the present. Readings consist mainly of primary sources in English translation. No prior knowledge of Japanese is necessary. Fulfills Cultures - Global Perspectives. Skills: information literacy, oral communication

PHI 101 — Introduction to Philosophy
Inquiry into different perspectives on reality, reason, experience, and human excellence. Intensive reading of at least one classical text and its implications for life in the present. Skills: ethical reasoning, written communication

PHI 102 — Ethics
What is good? What is evil? Are there objective standards for right and wrong? What are these objective standards? How can they be applied to important contemporary moral problems? This course considers the answers philosophers give to these and related questions. Skills: ethical reasoning, written communication 

PHI 202 — Philosophy and Ethics of Health
What is health and what ethical issues surround the care of health? Explore classic theories about the nature of physical and mental health through primary texts and philosophize about key issues in health care, such as consent, augmentation, distribution, and the value of health. Skills: ethical reasoning, written communication

PHI 204 — Knowledge, Politics, and Social Media
An introduction to philosophy focused on humans as knowing beings and as social-political beings. The course explores classical philosophical issues concerning how these facets of human existence interact and applies the understanding gained to analyze how these interactions affect and are affected by the Internet and social media. Skills: ethical reasoning, information literacy

PHI 206 — Business, Value, and Trust: The Philosophy of Work
This course is an introduction to how enduring questions of philosophy thematically connect to issues of work, commerce, markets, and marketing. The course uses historical and contemporary texts along with case studies and examples to explore issues of meaning, value, knowledge, human nature, social and economic justice, identity, and freedom. Skills: ethical reasoning, written communication

PLS/HRT 105 — Introduction to Human Rights
Introduction to the historical and conceptual development of human rights as moral, legal, and cultural constraints on the behavior of states in relation to their citizens. Analysis is theoretical, exploring philosophical arguments surrounding the historical development of human rights and their current role in legal, cultural, literary, and political products. Skills: ethical reasoning, written communication 

Page last modified April 21, 2022