Loyola University Maryland

Philosophy Department



Upcoming Spring 2022 Electives

Title Description Instructor Date/Time

PL 334.01

Contemporary Political Philosophy

This course is an introduction to the fundamental ideas which shape the way we think politically such as power, politics, political action, conflict, cooperation and contestation, authority, legitimacy, identity, resistance, and democracy. While exploring these ideas, we will discuss some of the central questions of contemporary political philosophy: Does democracy need a common identity which unites the ‘body’ politic? In what ways does the pluralistic nature of democratic societies challenge the identity of the people? How do different political approaches understand the permanence of pluralism and the inevitability of conflict? How should we understand the nature and limits of politics, power, and authority? Gurzoslu, Dr. Fuat TTH 1:40PM-2:55PM

PL 375D.01

Topics in Buddhist Philosophy

 ‘Emptiness’ (śūnyatā) is the unifying idea around which Mahāyāna (‘Great Vehicle’) Buddhist philosophy revolves. It describes the nature of reality as ‘empty’ of essential existence. But what does that even mean? Why is it so important? And how can understanding emptiness stand to change our lives and our relationship to the world?
This course does not assume any background in Buddhist philosophy. We will therefore begin with an introduction to Buddhism and specifically to Mahāyāna Buddhism, so that we can establish a common vocabulary and philosophical foundation from which to proceed. Then we will move to the works of the Indian sage Nāgārjuna (2nd century CE), who gave what is now widely considered the most influential articulation of emptiness. His work remains a foundational influence in nearly all the Buddhist traditions that came after him; to many, Nāgārjuna is considered a “Second Buddha.” We will end by looking at the ethical ramifications of the view of emptiness in the classic Buddhist ethical text, Śantideva’s Bodhicaryāvatāra, in the Tibetan Buddhist Lojong (Mind-Training) tradition, and in the contemporary social philosophy known as Engaged Buddhism.
Locke, Dr. Jessica TTH 3:05PM-4:30PM

PL 393.01

Technology and the Crisis of Nature

This course takes a philosophical look at the problems besetting our planet, focussing on the kind of thinking engaged in creating and maintaining such a mess. What is the structure of our thinking that has turned us so far away from nature and the natural? Does there have to be conflict between the natural and the technological? We will focus our philosophical minds on the writings of Heidegger through the essays collected in the volume The Question Concerning Technology. But we will also look at thinkers who write about both the physical state of the planet, and the psychological and spiritual state of its inhabitants. This question will guide our inquiries: how must we change our thinking in order to save our home on earth? Hanley, Dr. Catriona W 6:30PM-9:00PM

PL 345.01

Sight and Insight

Studying works of art inevitably brings up philosophical questions about the nature of art and the status of aesthetic judgments. Is art just about emotion and not reason? Is art basically subjective? Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? Are works of art ontologically distinctive from other kinds of objects? Conversely, the philosophy of art must grapple with the acute particularity of artworks, and efforts to probe art in the realm of ideas are inescapably freighted by the objects themselves and the history of art. What do all these references to Manet, Duchamp and Rauschenberg mean? What is modernism? What is the future of art? In short: art history and philosophy of art need each other and students need both to most fully pursue fundamental questions about the role of art in human life. This course will bring abstract theorizing together with contextualized case studies, allowing students to develop nuanced perspectives on our modes of cognizing artwork and our cultural practices of making, exchanging and experiencing art. In this way the course is designed around a dialectic of sight and insight, catalyzed by interdisciplinary dialogue, that engages students in developing critical approaches to understanding art. Biss, Dr. Mavis TTH 9:25AM-10:40AM

PL 373

Philosophy/The Enlightenment

Kant captured the spirit of the Enlightenment well in the motto Sapere aude or “dare to know” --- have the courage to be your own master, make your own way in the world, and accept the responsibility and even loneliness that accompanies autonomy.  The Enlightenment thinkers can be seen as primarily concerned with human freedom.  The focus of this course will be on both the religion and the misunderstandings of religion that they sought freedom from, and what they used this freedom to produce:  secularism, skepticism, humanism, and a moral and political cosmopolitanism.  The significance and value of these achievements was the topic of intense debate in the 18th century, and remain of fundamental concern to contemporary thought.  Snow, Dr. Dale MW 3:00PM-4:15PM

 PL 384


 An introduction to phenomenology through a study of its major representatives, notably Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre.  Stapleton, Dr. Timothy  MWF 11:00 - 11:50 am

Graham McAleer

Graham McAleer, Ph.D.

Known for his striped socks and Scottish accent, this professor has an undeniable gift for making students passionate about philosophy