Associate Professor John A. Laumakis

The purpose of the courses in Philosophy is to acquaint students with the philosophic thought of the past and present and with philosophical argumentation and analysis.

Majors & Programs


PH 115: Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking

Logic is the study of natural language, arguments, and systems of reasoning. This course will have five parts: (1) natural language and arguments; (2) fallacies; (3) inductive reasoning (e.g., arguments by analogy); (4) deductive reasoning (e.g., categorical syllogisms); and (5) using logic to explain and evaluate classic philosophical texts, including Plato's Euthyphro, Meno, and Phaedo (Platonism) and Lucretius's On the Nature of the Universe (materialism). Several times during the semester we will see the similarity between the study of logic and the study of law by examining the LSAT (Law School Admission Test).

PH 170: Philosophy of Mind

As the scientific study of the human mind, psychology arose from philosophy. In this course, we will study the historical background and current broader context for psychology by examining philosophical views of the human mind. We will focus on (1) the nature of the self, including the mind-body problem and personal identity, (2) the selfs ways of knowing and communicating, including sensation, perception, imagination, understanding, thinking, and language, and (3) the self's awareness, that is, consciousness. What is the human mind? How does the human mind know? What does human language reveal about the human mind? What is human consciousness? These are the primary questions we will consider in reading traditional and recent works in philosophy of mind.

PH 216: Computer Ethics

An introduction to the ethical theories needed to examine various ethical issues in computing such as privacy, security, reliability, responsibility, intellectual property, and freedom of expression. Examples illustrating important concepts are drawn from both the past and current media. A brief history and overview of computing is provided so that prerequisite courses in computer science are not needed other than familiarity with current popular applications software.

PH 315: Business Ethics

In this course, we will study and apply Western theories of ethics to the policies and actions of companies in the mixed market economy of the United States and other capitalist countries, that is, an economy in which the production and sale of goods and services are structured by a combination of market forces, such as supply and demand, and government regulations. We will discuss broad moral issues, such as the relation between business and government, as well as specific issues that arise in ordinary business practices, such as marketing, product safety, and workers' rights In our spotlight section near the end of the semester, we will focus on the healthcare industry in the United States. (See MG 315 IS.)

PH 350: Biomedical Ethics

This course introduces students to matters of social justice related to health. There is a focus on fundamental ethical theories and principles relevant to modern healthcare and health disparities. Case studies are used to emphasize and put into practice ethical decision-making models and processes.