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Academics: Core Requirements

Meet core requirements with courses in philosophy

Take care of a Core requirement in your next philosophy class. The following courses fulfill requirements in Integrative Studies, Persons in Community, Global and Historical, and Cross Cultural Engagement (CCE).

Integrative Studies Core

203: Understanding Natural Science: Its Nature, Status, and Limits
An investigation of the nature of science (its structure, methods, and status), and its place in human life, by looking at the historical development of science, including its interactions with other human activities, especially religion. The course will encourage students
to develop their own views on major issues regarding the nature of science and its appropriate relations to worldviews and faith. It will use history of science both to place these issues in context and to test rival pictures of what science is, how it works, and how is has been — and should be —related to Christian faith. Special emphasis will be given to the diverse ways these issues have been approached within the reformed tradition. Students taking this course to fulfill the integrative studies requirement of the core must have the following prerequisites in addition to Philosophy 153: two courses in the natural sciences.

205: Ethics
This course reflects on the moral dimension of life as a whole, in its relation to what we believe, what we do, and what sorts of people we want to be. It studies basic ethical questions such as the objectivity of right and wrong, what justice is, how we ought to live, why we should try to be morally good. It considers these questions both theoretically and practically (by applying them to issues in contemporary social life, such as capital punishment or abortion). It also uses both historical sources (such as Aristotle and Kant) and contemporary sources . Finally, it considers what difference Christian faith makes to the theory and the practice of morality. There may be a service-learning component in the course, depending on the instructor. Students taking this course to fulfill the integrative studies requirement of the core must have the following prerequisites in addition to Philosophy 153: two courses in philosophy and/or religion.

207: Justice and the Common Good: Studies in Political Philosophy

A study of the historical sources and philosophical dimensions of the major debates in contemporary political thought, including an analysis of the basic terms of current political discourse — such as freedom, justice, rights, and equality — and an assessment of their role in the debates over such issues as racism, gender relations, multiculturalism, and religion in the public square. The course also explores traditions of Christian reflection on the purpose of the state, the limits of legislation, the nature of community, the requirements of justice, and the calling of the Christian citizen. Students taking this course to fulfill the integrative studies requirement of the core must have thefollowing prerequisites in addition to Philosophy 153: two courses in social sciences.

215: Business Ethics
A systematic examination of ethical concepts as they relate to business conduct, designed to be of interest to all students who are concerned about justice and fairness in the marketplace. Issues such as discrimination and affirmative action, the ethics of advertising, protection of the environment, responsibilities of employees to the firm and of the firm to employees, and the rights of other stakeholder groups will be examined in the light of current debates in ethical theory. Students taking this course to fulfill the integrative studies requirement of the core must have the following prerequisites in addition to Philosophy 153: two courses in business/economics.

Persons in Community Core

211: Philosophy of Gender
In this course students are offered the opportunity to gain a historically-grounded philosophical understanding of the concept of gender, to understand the ways in which gender concepts are formed by and, in their turn, form contemporary cultural beliefs and practices, and to consider how these issues intersect with a reformed understanding of human life.

 

318: Minds, Brains, and Persons
An introduction to contemporary analytic philosophy of mind. Central issues in the philosophy of mind include such topics as the relation between mental states and the brain, the nature of consciousness, questions related to the kind of thing human persons are, including careful consideration of contemporary defenses of dualism and problems related to personal identity.

Global and Historical Core and Cross Cultural Engagement Core (CCE)

226: African Thought and Culture
Philosophies and worldviews of Africa, including traditional cosmologies and moral systems, philosophical responses to the legacy of transatlantic slavery, and political ideologies of the era of African independence . The role of Christianity in African thought, and the issue of race and African identity are also examined. Sources include selected writings of philosophers and other scholars; literature, art and music; and collaborative activities with Africans residing in West Michigan. This course fulfills the global and historical requirement of the core.