Current/planned courses - Coastal Carolina University
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Philosophy and Religious Studies

Current and Planned Courses

In Philosophy, every semester includes sections of PHIL 101 (Introduction to Philosophy), PHIL 102 (Introduction to Ethics), PHIL 103 (Introduction to Political Philosophy), PHIL 105 (Critical Thinking), PHIL 110 (Logic), and PHIL 318 (Business Ethics).

In Religious Studies, every semester includes sections of RELG 103 (World Religions). Some semesters include RELG 104 (Introduction to Asian Religions).

Courses for Spring 2023

PHIL 271 Philosophical Writing (Earl)
PHIL 301 Modern Philosophy (Ruse)
PHIL 305 Contemporary Moral Issues: Incarceration (Humbert)
PHIL 309 Philosophy of Mind (Smith)
PHIL 311 Ethical Theory (McGill)
PHIL 319 Environmental Ethics (Trerise)
PHIL 321 Symbolic Logic (Earl)
PHIL 365 Film and Philosophy (Rauhut)

RELG 300 Religion in Public Life (Halverson)
RELG 324 Hinduism (Flick)
RELG 328 Death and Dying (Trittle)
RELG 330 Introduction to Judaism (Todd)
RELG 331 The Quran (Halverson)

For other courses offered by the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, see the CCU Catalog.

What is philosophy?

Philosophy teaches students to think more deeply and rationally about many fundamental questions: how we ought to live, the sources and extent of knowledge, and the world and its nature. Philosophers ask thought-provoking questions about the mind, the self, God, free will, science, morality, justice, and the good life. By engaging with challenging philosophical questions, students learn to think analytically and independently, and they develop excellent skills at critical thinking, reasoning, writing, and communication.

What can you do with a philosophy degree?

The philosophy major provides students with skills in reasoning, analysis, argumentation, close reading, and communication that will prepare them for professional life. The major encourages critical engagement with the major ideas, figures, and theories in philosophical traditions, and it provides extensive knowledge of the field of philosophy in preparation for further study at the graduate level. Philosophy students have careers in politics, law, government, public policy, journalism, non-profit, environmentalism, technology, education, and more!

What are the major/minor requirements?


Philosophy Major Requirements (36 credit hours)

PHIL 101 or 102 (3 credit hrs.)
PHIL 110 and PHIL 271 (6 credit hrs.)
PHIL 300 and PHIL 301 (6 credit hrs.)
PHIL 321 + one 300-level course (6 credit hrs.)
PHIL 311 (3 credit hrs.)
4 PHIL electives (12 credit hrs.)
PHIL Capstone or Thesis (3 credit hrs.)


Philosophy Minor Requirements (18 credit hrs.)

PHIL 110 or 321 (3 credit hrs.)
Two courses in the history of philosophy (6 credit hrs.)
Three philosophy courses at the 300-level (9 credit hrs.)


Spring 2023 courses in Philosophy

PHIL 101 Introduction to Philosophy (Multiple Sections)

Have you ever had an experience that made you wonder what is real? Have you ever questioned whether people actually know what they claim to know? Do you think about what (if anything) really matters? Is there a right way to think about these things? In this class, we will consider fundamental questions about who we are and what reality is like. More importantly, we will cover some of the most important, weird and insightful answers that have been given to these questions throughout human history. Do you even exist?

PHIL 102 Introduction to Ethics (Multiple Sections)

Is it morally okay to get an abortion? What should I do (if anything) about our changing environment? Should I stop eating meat and become a vegetarian? Do I have an obligation to be the best version of myself?  Are my “instincts” good enough to make all these hard choices? If these questions interest you, check out Introduction to Ethics! This class gives you a vocabulary to talk about morality, teaches you a variety of ethical frameworks to help make moral decisions, and will help you become a thoughtful friend, citizen, and employee.

PHIL 103 Introduction to Political Philosophy (Dr. Jonathan Trerise, T/TH 3:03-4:20 PM)

Students will explore fundamental political ideas using immersive role-playing simulations. Students will recreate pivotal moments in political history with an eye toward understanding the political concepts which formed the world we live in. Questions about the value of democracy, the boundaries of citizenship, freedom, and justice are all explored, but this is done by students in character, arguing with each other about how to construct political life.

PHIL 110 Introduction to Logic (Multiple Sections)

Logic studies reasoning, or what makes good reasoning good and bad reasoning bad. You study logic to improve your thinking abilities, and that’s a good skill anywhere. In the class, you’ll learn about arguments (or pieces of reasoning), different types of arguments, what some distinctively bad ones look like (those are fallacies), and some important technical things about how an argument can be a real proof of its conclusion. In that more technical or ‘formal’ part of the class, you’ll learn a logical language we can use to symbolize arguments and see whether they’re any good or not.

PHIL 271 Philosophical Writing (Dr. Dennis Earl, T/TH 10:50-12:05 AM) (Pre-req: ENGL 101 and a C or better in any other philosophy course, or permission of the instructor)

This course will improve your argumentative writing skills. You should then be able to think more clearly, reason better, communicate better, and even read better. We have philosophical content too! We will be addressing the question of whether we have free will.

PHIL 301 Modern Philosophy (Dr. Michael Ruse, MWF 2:00-2:50 PM) (Pre-req: At least sophomore standing or permission of the instructor)

Ever wonder why we think the way that we do? This course studies seminal thinkers from the modern era (1600-1800) who explore the relationship between our thought and the “external world”. This period of time gave rise to modern science, modern mathematics and laid the groundwork for the arising of modern technology.

PHIL 305 Contemporary Moral Issues: Incarceration (Dr. Emily Humbert, MWF 12:00-12:50 PM) (Pre-req: At least sophomore standing or permission of instructor)

This course will explore the ethical issues of the U.S. incarceral system including but not limited to: discipline and punishment, the history of convict leasing systems, the prison-industrial complex, prison labor, experiments in prisons, solitary confinement, and prison mental health access.

PHIL 309 Philosophy of Mind (Dr. Renée Smith, T/Th 12:15-1:40 PM) (pre-req: PHIL 101 and at least sophomore standing or permission of the instructor)

How should we understand the nature of the conscious mind? Why are explanations that appeal simply to our behaviors or to our brains insufficient? How can we account for the private nature of our sensory, perceptual, and emotional experiences? In this course, students will get to learn how contemporary philosophers have tried to answer questions about the nature of the mind, mental states, and consciousness.

PHIL 311 Ethical Theory (Dr. Emily McGill, T/TH 9:25-10:40 AM) (Pre-req: PHIL 101 or 102, at least sophomore standing, or permission of the instructor)

We often say that things are good or bad, right or wrong. But what do we mean when we make these judgments? When we say that something is good, are we just exclaiming that we like it? Does everyone get to decide what’s right for them, or are there some universal moral rules that apply to us all? Is the right thing whatever causes the most happiness or is there something else to it? In this class, we will read, discuss, and debate work by classical and contemporary philosophers who attempt to answer these important questions.

PHIL 318 Business Ethics (Multiple Sections)

Is it right for employers to track the social media behavior of their employees? Is lying to a boss ever the right thing to do? What about a manager lying to an employee? Do businesses have a moral responsibility to invest in local schools and communities? Business creates a complex network of social connections that give rise to a special set of moral issues. In this class, we will examine several of these issues and discuss various ways ethicists navigate through them.

PHIL 319 Environmental Ethics (Dr. Jonathan Trerise, T/TH 10:50 AM-12:05 PM) (Pre-req: At least sophomore standing or permission of the instructor)

If you were the last person on the planet, would blowing it up be morally wrong? Even if you wouldn’t do it, would it be morally wrong to do so, if you were the last sentient being? Why, if so? In Environmental Ethics, students explore our responsibilities to the environment, trying to understand what and why they are. Other specific topics include the ethics of policymaking regarding climate change mitigation, and the difficult ethical trade-offs between our social and environmental duties.

PHIL 321 Symbolic Logic (Dr. Dennis Earl, T/Th 3:05-4:20 PM) (Pre-req: C or better in PHIL 110 and at least sophomore standing)

This class builds on what you learned in PHIL 110. You will learn a new way of doing proofs, as opposed to using truth tables or natural deduction, that is good for some of the more complex sentences and arguments. You will learn several new logical languages, each more powerful than sentential logic, where we can analyze more logical patterns and a wider variety of inferences. We will also take time out to examine philosophical issues related to logic, including questions about truth, relativism, existence, and possibility and necessity.

Philosophy Courses Spring 2023 QR Code (Added 10/3/22) MCD

For more information, please contact the chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies,

Ron Green,, AOC2 332, 843-349-2782, or visit