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Philosophy

Philosophy Department

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COURSE DESCRIPTIONS (SYNOPSES)

PHL 101: INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY 2 UNITS

A general introduction to the notions, language, style and method of Philosophy. Philosophy and related fields - Science, Arts and Religion. A brief survey of the main branches of philosophy: viz: Epistemology. Metaphysics, Ethics, Logic, Philosophy of Religion, and Social and Political Philosophy.

PHL 102: INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY 2 UNITS

Meaning of Political Philosophy; differences between political philosophy and political science, and political ideology. The State and the citizen. The nature of man and the origins of the state. The nature of political obligation. The ideal state.

PHL 103: INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS I 2 UNITS

Some of the fundamental principles of Ethics, a brief introduction the major ethical theories. Definition of good. The nature of right and wrong; principles of justice and conscience. Knowing the good and doing the good.

PHL 104: INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS II 2 UNITS

 A continuation of PHIL 103. More detailed discussions on some of the issues raised in PHL 103.

PHL 152: HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY I (Ancient Philosophy) 2 UNITS.

The beginnings of Western Philosophy from the Pre-Socratics to Roman times. Special attention to their cosmology, epistemology and ethics. The rise of Greek Civilization and the contexts of philosophy. The Milesian school: Thales. Anaximander, Anaximenes; Pythagoras, the Atomists, Heraclitus, Parmenides, and Anaxagoras. Socrates, the development of Plato’s Theory of Forms, political theory (Utopia), theory of immortality and theory of knowledge. Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Politics, Logic, and Ethics. The Sophists, Skepticism; Epicureanism.

PHL 201: INTRODUCTION TO EPISTEMOLOGY 2 UNITS

Types, sources, scope and justification of human knowledge; relation of knowledge to belief and truth; skepticism. A study of the major schools of thought, such as Empiricism. Rationalism and Pragmatism.

PHL 202: INTRODUCTION TO METAPHYSICS 2 UNITS

An outline of the major concerns and scope of metaphysics. A treatment of some traditional metaphysical problems such as the mind body problem; appearance and reality; universal and particulars; act and potency. The differences between scientific and metaphysical explanations.

PHL 203: INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC 2 UNITS 

A general introduction to Logic, with emphasis on clarity of thought and expression. Arguments: premises as providing reasons for conclusions. Formal and informal fallacies. Deduction and Induction as processes of reasoning. Analysis and testing of arguments for validity. Venn diagrams.

PHL 205: INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 2 UNITS

This course deals with the importance and problems of philosophical Anthropology found within the domains of use of Language, Art, culture and inventions.

PHL 212 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION I (Elements of Religion) 2 UNITS

A survey of some elements of religion such as divine revelation, prophecy, sacrifice, witchcraft/sorcery, mysticism, mystical power, rituals, the living-dead, ancestral cult, self denial and meditation.

PHL 222: PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION 2 UNITS

An inquiry into the educative process with readings selected from significant works; Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Fregge, Dewey, etc. The problem of education in Nigeria today.

PHL242: PROFESSIONAL ETHICS 2 UNITS

This course seeks to apply the principles and methods learned in PHL131 and 132 to various professions which present moral/ethical problems to their practitioners. It is a practical oriented course which takes in medical ethics, business ethics, engineering ethics, accounting ethics, confidentiality and so on. It further discusses ethical issues in contemporary life such as Abortion; Euthanasia, Genetic manipulations, suicide, capital punishment, war and Nuclear weapons. Pre-requisite: PHL132

PHL 251: HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY II (Medieval Philosophy) 2 UNITS

A study of the philosophical thought of the Middle Ages, with special attention to the key figures of this era from St. Augustine to Williams of Ockham. The influence of the Church on philosophical thought and vice-versa during this period. Universities and Scholasticism; Origins of universities. Universities and the assimilation of Greek philosophy. Early and Middle 13th Century thinkers. The early Franciscans, Albert the Great, Roger Bacon, St. Bonaventure and St Thomas Aquinas. Master Eckhast, John Duns Scotus.

PHL 261 PHILOSOPHY OF DEVELOPMENT I 2 UNITS

Examination of the nature of conceptions and theories of Development: their philosophical basis and related issues.

PHL 262 PHILOSOPHY OF DEVELOPMENT II 2 UNITS

In-depth study of important philosophical issues relating to development, such as environmental and genetic determinism, voluntarism, social consciousness, materialists and non-materialist explanations of development; philosophical values – ethical, epistemological, metaphysical values, technical creativity (innovativeness) etc. with respect to development generally and political, economic, and social dimensions particularly; methodological problems relating to the study of development and major aspects of development.

PHL272: AFRICAN PHILOSOPHY I 2 UNITS

The course will enter into the current discussion on whether there is such a thing as African Philosophy what it is, and how it is done. The initial ground-clearing will be followed by a study of some philosophical notions among Africans; for example, the concepts of time, person, fate and destiny, Igbo Metaphysics as an articulation of African Philosophy.

PHL 274: IGBO METAPHYSICS 2 UNITS

An in-depth study of Igbo Metaphysics as a foundation for African theology. The phenomenon of sacrifice in Igbo Cosmo-ontology should be looked into. Other ingredients of Igbo Metaphysics such as Ofo, Anunebe, Trajectory objects are explicated. Examination of vital forces/Energies as understood by Igbo is inescapably imperative. Reality of mystical powers.

PHL291: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 2 UNITS

The use of a library and bibliographies. Primary and Secondary sources. The format for writing a term paper and seminar papers.

PHL 371: AFRICAN PHILOSOPHY 11 2 UNITS

A continuation of PHIL 202, this course seeks to further develop and deepen our understanding of some issues of philosophical interest in the African life experience. The topics will range from metaphysical to social and political issues. Emphasis will be placed on the articulation of points of view peculiar to the African which at the same time will contribute to a fuller knowledge of man. Pre-requisite: PHIL 202.

PHL313: PHILOSOPHY OF NATURE 2 UNITS

Aristotle’s idea of matter and form; motion and change, nature, time, place, and causes of motion. The Neo-Thomistic concept of impetus, modern ideas of matter, mass, energy, and particles.

PHL 311: PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION II 2 UNITS

A critical study of the religious phenomenon as manifested in human experience; the existence and nature of God; natural versus revealed religion; the problems of evil. Atheism and Agnosticism.

PHL 312: METAPHYSICS II 2 UNITS

Detailed discussion of the theories of major metaphysicians.

PHL 314: EXISTENTIALISM AND PHENOMENOLOGY 2 UNITS

An introductory study of some main themes in Existentialism. Major authors to be studied will include Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, Heidegger, and Buber. The themes will include the meaning of life, the individual (or self) versus society; the existence or non-existence of God; freedom and choice.

PHL321: EPISTEMOLOGY II (THEORIES OF KNOWLEDGE) 2 UNITS

A detailed study of selected areas, topics or figures in Epistemology, such as the continental Rationalists (Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza); British Empiricists (Locke, Hume, and Berkeley) and recent contribution to the theory of knowledge.

PHL 322: PHILOSOPHY OF THE SOCIAL SIENCES 2 UNITS

A philosophical inquiry into the methodology of the social sciences and the problems encountered in the disciplines concerned with man and society. Topics to be discussed will include the meaning of causation, the problem of induction; the use and abuse of statistics and the places of ideological models in social studies.

PHL 323: PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE 2 UNITS

Contemporary issues in the philosophy of language, including private language, meaning and reference, naming and necessity, theories of description and indexical reference, and the language of thought. Emphasis will be placed on isolating and clarifying the problems, and attempting solutions to them.

PHL331: SYMBOLIC LOGIC 2 UNITS

An introduction to the tools and techniques of formal logic, dealing mainly with propositional and first order quantificational logic. The emphasis will be on formal tests for validity of arguments. Pre-requisite PHL211.

PHL 342: CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN ETHICS 2 UNITS

Topics in current moral debates of particular relevance and interest to Africa and Nigeria, e.g. technology transfer, capital punishment etc, will be selected by the lecturer. Such topics will be studied in the light of standard ethical theories or where these are deficient new guiding principles formulated.

PHL 344: AESTHETICS 2 UNITS

Theories of Art and art criticism. This course examines such topics as what constitutes a work of art; the social and moral functions of art; criteria for the interpretation and evaluation of a work of art; the distinction between or and content in art; the relation between the affective and the cognitive in art production and appreciation.

PHL 352: HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY III (Early Modern Philosophy) 2 UNITS

A historical survey of the contributions of the major figures in Western philosophy from seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.

PHL 354: ASIAN/ORIENTAL PHILOSOPHIES 2 UNITS

A broad introduction to the methods and insights of Buddhist, Hindu, and Confucian philosophies, including their world views, ethics and logic. Comparison between Asian and Western philosophies. Asian and African thought; similarities and differences The translation and development of early Greek philosophy among the Arabs. The philosophies of Alkiadi and Alvarabi, Avicenna and Averoes. Jewish philosophy – Solomon Ibn Gabriel and Moses Maimonides. Jewish Movement of translation, Shemtoh Ben, Joseph Ibn Falgera, Philosophy of Kabala.

PHL362: POLITICAL AND SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY 2 UNITS

A study of the major themes and/ or figure in the history of political and social thought covering specific periods. Efforts will be made to relate these themes to contemporary concerns in the African continent. Emphasis will be on Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau.

PHL364: MARXIST PHILOSOPHY 2 UNITS

A study of selected works of Karl Marx, with particular attention to their development and influences on the world especially the Third World Countries.

PHL 412: PHILOSOPHY OF MIND 2 UNITS

An inquiry into the problems of mind and consciousness. The course will investigate such topics as the relation between mental phenomena and the physical world; our knowledge of other minds; the mentalists and physicalist controversies. Additional topics will include Brentano’s theory of internationality and Husserl’s Phenomenology.

PHL 421: PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE 2 UNITS

Philosophical investigation of the nature of scientific knowledge with examples from the physical sciences. The nature of scientific truth; hypotheses, theories and scientific laws; paradigms in scientific discoveries and scientific revolutions; the experimental procedure; induction and probability.

PHL 431: FURTHER LOGIC 2 UNITS

A continuation of PHIL 361. This course will cover the theory of quantification. The logic of identity; definite description; the logic of relations. Pre-requisites: PHL 261 and PHL 361.

PHL 441: CLASSICS IN ETHICS 2 UNITS

This course will provide a detailed and critical evaluation of some of the most important ethical theories of the modern period. Authors to be studied include – Kant, Mill, Marx, Nietzsche, and Bradley. The focus will be on a clearer understanding of oneself as a moral agent,, and how these contribute to that understanding Major theories of Ethics and meta-ethics such as Utilitarianism, Kantianism, Natural Law, Intuitionism, Emotivism, Descriptivism, and Prescriptivism.

PHL 443: ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY 2 UNITS

This course aims at providing students with the means to comprehend the environmental crisis confronting humanity, what is required to confront it, and to provide an alternative approach to our relations to each other and to nature. After completing the course students will be expected to understand the forces driving global environmental destruction and what is required to overcome these forces. The course addresses core issues in philosophy of the environment and environmental ethics. It is designed to familiarize students with issues concerning value conflicts, and principles involved in conflicts over our relationship with the environment, with particular reference to our careless disposal of chemicals, our wasteful consumption habits, and the depletion of many non-renewable resources. Policy issues such as sustainability and conservation are addressed in the light of the intractable problems associated with the current state of our environment. Central issues addressed are anthropocentrism vs. ecocentrism, the intrinsic vs. the instrumental value of the environment, historical shifts and cross-cultural tensions involving world views, etc.

PHL 451: HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY IV (Late Modern Philosophy) 2 UNITS

 A study of Post-Kantian influences on the philosophies of Merleau-ponty, Heidegger, Husserl and Sartre.

PHL 452: CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY 2 UNITS

This course addresses contemporaneous issues in Philosophy such as gender, rights, truth, fundamentalism, minority question, ethnicity and national integration by the study of some major philosophers such as Hannah Arendt, Ayn Rand, Habermas, Gadamer, Foucault, Derrida, etc.

PHL 454: CONTEMPORARY ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY 2 UNITS

20th Century analytic philosophy. Attention will be focused on one or more of the more influential figures or issues in this tradition, including Wittgenstein, Frege, Russell and Quine, Moore, Logical Positivism-Rudolf Carnap, A.J. Ayer, Alfred Tarski and Karl Popper.

PHL 462: PHILOSOPHY OF LAW 2 UNITS

Philosophical views concerning the nature of and the basis for legal norms and institutions. Philosophical investigation of views of punishment and justice in the law. The logic of legal reasoning. Legal responsibility. Legal rights and obligations of persons, judicial precedence.

PHL 471: CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN PHILOSOPHY 2 UNITS

A comprehensive study of the socio-political philosophies of African nationalists: e.g. Nkrumah, Azikiwe. Nyerere, Senghor, Awolowo, etc. Besides, a study of the philosophical leanings of the professional philosophers, e.g Wiredu, Anyanwu, Shodipo, etc. shall be conducted.

PHL 472: AFRICAN ORGIN OF PHILOSOPHICAL ANTIQUITY 2 UNITS

The course attempts to resurrect and re-emphasize the condition and relevance of Africa in the development of Philosophy and knowledge. An exposition of the teachings of the Egyptian mystery school and a critical look at the works of Onyenwenyi shall be carried out. The course generally tries to revive the spirit and philosophy of Afrocentricism.

PHL473: HERMENEUTICAL CURRENTS IN AFRICAN PHILOSOPHY 2 UNITS

The context of African liberation was articulated by African scholars from different perspectives. Philosophically, “ethnophilosophical” orientation, which researched and elaborated “traditional African wisdom,” generated an opposition by “professional philosophy”, which emphasized a “scientific”—quantitative, technical, and historico-materialistic—approach to reality. Then comes the political context which aimed virtually at African decolonization. These are various interpretations of the African experience that culminated in the works of Theophilus Okere, Nkombe, Kingongo, Okolo, Okonda and Serequeberhan, K. C. Anyanwu, and Joseph Omoregbe. This course exposes the student to these debates and highlights the usefulness of the debate to the development of the African worldview and development.

PHL491: SEMINAR 2 UNITS

The Seminar may be done in small groups or individuals. Each seminar will involve an intensive study and a colloquium on selected problems, issues of interest, notable works or periods as approved by the department. It is expected that at the end, the student will be able to choose an appropriate topic for his/her project. .

PHL492: PROJECT/LONG ESSAY 6 UNITS

The long essay will involve an independent and original research project in an approved area of the discipline. The topic of the Long Essay must have received the approval of the Department and the length style and format of the essay must conform to standards set by the department and Faculty.

GENERAL STUDIES COURSES

GST 102: FUNDAMENTAL PHILOSOPHY 1 UNIT

The course shall treat the basic themes of Philosophy; definition of philosophy; philosophy of science; philosophy of value; theories of truth; and Edeism/Eptaism.

GST 112: LOGIC, PHILOSOPHY, AND HUMAN EXISTENCE 2 UNITS

A brief survey of the main branches of Philosophy, Symbolic Logic, Special symbols in Symbolic Logic – conjunction, negation, disjunction, equivalence and conditional statements, Laws of Thought. The method of deduction using rules of inference and quantification theory. Types of discourses, nature of arguments, validity and soundness, etc. Techniques for evaluating arguments, distinction between inductive and deductive inferences, etc. Illustrations will be taken from familiar texts, including literature materials, novels, law reports and newspaper publications.

GST 211: FUNDAMENTAL THEOLOGY 1 UNIT

Fundamental Theology discusses the basic themes to Christian knowledge about God as public discourse, thus not in the form of a catechism of apologetics. Basic truths of Christian faith in open disposition to the world. This leads from Classical Apologetics through Vat 11 to Fundamental. Theology. Classical Apologetics by the Fathers of the Church remained cases of defensor fidei that is to say, in confrontational language to other systems of meaning within history, to recalcitrant powers persecuting the Church etc. Fundamental Theology does not remain merely on the defensive or on the offensive in the face of the European Project of Enlightenment. Faith and reason need to understand each other, like in Anselm’s earlier project of fides quarens intellectu.

NB: Information on Departmental General Regulations can be obtained here

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Rivers State Nigeria,
Okija, Anambra State Nigeria,
Akpugo, Enugu State Nigeria 

CONTACTS
Email: registrar@madonnauniversity.edu.ng
info@madonnauniversity.edu.ng
Phone: 08137180957, 08078130033,
08078129083, 08135955826,
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