Philosophy Course Descriptions

PHL 101:        Introduction To Philosophy
A general introduction to the notions, language, style, and method of Philosophy. The etymological definition of philosophy, philosophy as worldview, as science, as discipline. The characteristics and value of philosophy. Philosophy and related fields – Science, Arts and Religion. A brief survey of the main branches of Philosophy – Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ethics, Logic, Philosophy of Religion, Social and Political Philosophy. (3 Credit)
PHL 103:        Elementary Ethics
Origin, assumptions, definition, division and methodology of ethics.  The value of ethics; is ethics a science?; human conduct; human acts; the relationship between ethics and morality; ethics and law; the concept of moral law. Some of the Fundamental Principles of Ethics; a brief introduction to 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. (3 units)
PHL 105:        Introduction To Logic I
The basic elements of Logic. The nature of Logic; the laws of thought; concept, terms, propositions and judgements.  The principles of definition, the processes of inference, inductive and deductive arguments as well as the nature and types of syllogism. Standard form categorical propositions, their diagrammatical representations, using Venn diagrams to test the validity of syllogisms, traditional square of opposition, types of inference, including conversion, obversion and contraposition, etc.
(3 Credits)
PHL 141:    History of Ancient Philosophy
Early philosophical thought: Egypt, China, India, Persia, Greek Philosophy; the Ionian and Eleatic Schools; the Sophists; Socrates, Plato and the Academy; Aristotle and the Peripatetic School; The Stoics and Epicureans. Greaco-Jewish Philosophy; Plotinus and neo-Platonism.
(3 Credits)
PHL 102:        Introduction To African Philosophy
Philosophy and African philosophy. The problem of definition and the debate about the nature and existence of African philosophy. The currents of African philosophy: Ethno-philosophy, sage philosophy, nationalist ideological current, the critical current. History and historiography of African Philosophy, Division/branches of African philosophy.
(3 Credits)
PHL 104:        Introduction To Philosophical Anthropology
History and methodology of Philosophical Anthropology. Relationship between Philosophy and Anthropology. Problems of philosophical Anthropology or the mystery of man.
(3 Credits)
PHL 106:        Elementary Ethics II
Major theories of ethics: egoism, altruism, stoicism, epicureanism,  utilitarianism, kantianism, natural law, intuitionism, emotivisim, prescriptivism, existentialist ethics, situation ethics, etc.
(3 Credits)
PHL 132:        Introduction To Logic II
The nature of truth and validity; induction and analogy; the nature of fallacies and psychological pitfalls in thinking; modern scientific method of inquiry with reference to Mill’s method.
(3 Credits
PHL 201:        Introduction To Metaphysics
The nature, origin, object and value of metaphysics. Branches of metaphysics.   Metaphysics and other branches of philosophy. Treatment of some traditional metaphysical problems, e.g. the problem of being, mind-body problem, appearance and reality, universals and particulars. The difference between metaphysical and scientific explanations.
(3 Credits)
PHL 203:        Introduction To Epistemology
Philosophical problems concerning the nature, foundations, and scope of knowledge. An introduction to the types, sources, approaches, validity and justification of human knowledge. Relating knowledge to opinion, belief, truth.  A study of skepticism. (3 Credits)
PHL 251:        African Philosophy
Descriptive and analytic examination of African traditional thought, its world-views and main characteristics (religious, moral, mythological etc). The African ontological notions of force, being and spirits. Cosmological notions, the concepts of life, death, mystical power, destiny, nature, etc. Rites and institutional structures embodying African traditional thoughts. Relating African tradition and thought to the African environment.
(3 Credits)
PHL 261:        Social And Political Philosophy
An introduction to the study of Social and Political Philosophy, its methods and relevance.  A study of the major themes and figures in the history of social and political thought such as: Justice (Plato, Aristotle), Power and Authority (Machiavelli and Hobbes), State of Nature and Social Contract (Hobbes and Locke), General Will (Rousseau) Majority Rule (Locke), Liberty (Mill), Revolution and Alienation (Marx), Democracy, etc.  Attempts should be made to relate these themes to contemporary concerns in African Thought and situation.
(3 Credits)
PHL 211:        Philosophy of Time
Theories of Time; The relationship of time, space and consciousness.  The perception of time in various cosmologies; Time, permanence and change; Time, temporality and eternity.
(2 Credits)
PHL 221:        Environmental Philosophy
Examination of the philosophical issues arising from man’s unprecedented exploitation of the environment with special reference to metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics. An examination of the contending environmental philosophies.
(2 Credits)
PHL 241:        Comparative Philosophy
A comparative study of Asian, African and Western systems of thought in relation to such themes as the origin of life, the status of man, the nature of morality, God and the meaning of life, destiny, death and post-mortem states. The problem of cross-cultural understanding.
(2 Credits)
PHL 214:        Philosophy of Religion I
The existence and nature and activity of God and other spirits from the point of view of metaphysics and cultural experience. Creation, analogy and participation. The questions of evil and determinism. The experience of the sacred and communication with the divine. The origin and nature of religion. Religious language, myth,  symbol and ritual. The question of placating and controlling or submitting to spiritual powers.
(3 credits)
PHL 232:        Symbolic Logic
An introduction to the development, importance and uses of symbolism in Logic: This is designed to enable students develop skills in symbolic reasoning; the tools and techniques of formal logic, dealing mainly with propositional and first order quantificational logic.
(3 credit)
PHL 234:        Philosophy of Language
Contemporary issues in the philosophy of language, including private language, theories of meaning, dimensions of meaning and reference, naming and necessity theories of description and indexical reference, the language of thought. Emphasis will be placed on isolating and clarifying the problems and attempting solutions to them.
(3 Credits)
PHL 236:        Research Method in Philosophy
An in-depth study of the purpose and methods of philosophical research. The course should acquaint students with the most current edition of MLA research and reference method.  Emphasis should be laid on selection of topics for research, how to locate, analyse, assess and collect information from libraries and other sources and how to document research in the humanities.
(2 Credits)
PHL 242:        Western Mediaeval Philosophy
A detailed study of the philosophical thought of the Middle Ages with special attention to the key figures of the era. The Christian synthesis: St Augustine, St Anselm, St Aquinas etc. The Arabic synthesis:  Avicena, Averoes, etc. The Ontological argument, Philosophy versus Theology.
(3 Credits)
PHL 311:        Philosophy of Religion II
Further exploration of philosophical theology, religious reasoning and language; mysticism; symbolism and reductionism; immortality; the relationship of religion and society; a critical study of important texts.
(3 Credits)
PHL 321:   Professional Ethics
Application of the principles and methods studied in PHL 103 to the various professions which present moral/ethical problems to their practitioners. It includes medical ethics, business ethics, work ethics, the ethics of state/war/rebellion, engineering ethics etc.
(3 Credits)
PHL 331:        Theories of Knowledge
A detailed treatment of typical epistemological problems e.g. truth and meaning; knowledge of other minds, justification and verifiability of knowledge claims; foundationalism and fallibilism; The continental rationalists, (Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza), British empiricists (Locke, Hume and Berkeley); epistemological problems of particular disciplines e.g. science or history.
(3 Credits)
PHL 333:        Philosophy of Education
An introduction to philosophy of education, the relations of philosophy and education; an examination of the basic concepts, principles, nature, goal and forms of education; the implications of the various schools of philosophy  for education; philosophic study of leading theories of education; the problems of education in Nigeria today and their implications for nationhood and national development.
(3 Credits)
PHL 335:        Analytic Philosophy
An examination of the emergence, nature and methods of contemporary analytic philosophy with emphasis on logical atomism; positivism, ordinary language philosophy. Attention will be focused on scholars like Carnap, Wittgenstein, Frege, Russell, Quine, Ryle, etc.
(3 Credits)
PHL 313:             Philosophy of Labour
Labour in pre-civil societies and political communities, past and present. The relationship between the arts and human labour; effects of human work on nature. Examination of related concepts such as anthropotechnics, technocracy. Human labour and economics with reference to the various theories of capitalism, marxism and other economic philosophies. The relationship between conceptions of law and ethics and labour.
(2 Credits)
PHL 323:             Philosophy of Arts and Literature
A general introduction to aesthetics; theories of art, such as formalism, expressionism, functionalism, contextualism etc. Philosophical problems that arise in art and literature; art, literature, and the human good; Criticism in art and literature.
(2 Credits)
PHL 325:             Philosophy of Sports
The nature and history of sports; theories of sports; philosophical issues in sports; sports and human relations.
(2 Credit)
PHL 341:             Philosophy of History
The philosophical problems involved in the historian’s attempt to understand and explain human history. Questions like, is history a science?  Is there objectivity in history?  What is the nature of historical explanations?  Sources of historical knowledge and the meaning of history as a cognitive discipline; causation in history, etc.
(2 Credits)
PHL 361:             Philosophy of the Social Sciences
A philosophical inquiry into the methodology of the Social Sciences; 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, the place of ideological models in social studies; the ethical implications of social engineering, etc.
(2 Credits)
PHL 312:        Existentialism, Hermeneutics And Phenomenology
An introductory study of major themes and scholars in existentialism and phenomenology. Major authors to be studied include Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, Heidegger and Buber. The themes will include the meaning of life, the individual (self) versus society: the existence or non-existence of God, freedom and choice
(2 Units)
PHL 314:        Metaphysics II
The systems of metaphysics; realism, idealism, nominalism, universalism, etc; Concepts of nature, reality and thought; Problems of Being and human nature; substance, freedom, determinism, fatalism, participation, essence and existence, chance etc. The relevance of metaphysics to contemporary problems.  Major modern and contemporary philosophers.
(2 Units)
PHL 322:        Contemporary Issues In Ethics
Topics in current moral debates of particular relevance and interest to Africa and Nigeria, e.g. technology transfer, bio-technology, capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia etc will be selected. Such topics will be studied in critical light of standard ethical theories, and with creative vision of human existence.
(3 Units)
PHL 342:        Early Modern Philosophy
The beginning of modern philosophy; the rise of science; Descartes, Berkeley, Locke, Hume, Leibniz, Spinoza. Emphasis will be placed on the empiricist/rationalist controversy.
(3 Units)
PHL 344:        Oriental and Islamic Philosophy
An introduction to the main schools of Indian and Chinese philosophy. The historical background of Islam; the translators and the first sects. Al-Farabi, Ib Sina, Al-Ghazali, Ibn Rushd; faith and reason in Islam; Sufism.
(3 Units)
PHL 316:        Philosophy of Gender
Gender issues in human relations; Gender relations in such social contexts as the family, organizations, education, politics.  Study of feminist philosophies.
(3 credits)
PHL 332:        Philosophy of Mathematics
A general introduction to the principles of mathematics.  Logistic, formalist and intuitionist views/theories of Mathematics; Mathematics and reality.
(3 credits)
PHL 362:        Philosophy of Development
An examination of the key concepts current in the analysis of cultures, politics and economics of third world nations such as social progress, evolution, modernization, etc. Examination of the nature of development, conceptions and theories of development; their philosophical basis and related issues.
(2 credits)
PHL 364:        Philosophy of Money
The nature, function and history of money.  Money, labour and value; Money functionalism; The relationships of money to exchange, human personality and individual freedom and human existence.
(2 credits)
PHL 366:        Philosophy of Nationalism
The concept of nationhood; relationships of nation, state, country, government etc, nationalism and ethnicity; individualism, communalism and nationalism; philosophy and conflict resolution.
(2 credits)
PHL 411:        Philosophy of Mind
An inquiry into the problems of mind and consciousness. Materialist theories of mind; dualist theories; analysis of the mind or soul; functions attributed to the mind, classical problems of philosophical psychology e.g. personal identity, disembodied existence, etc.
(3 credits)
PHL 413:        Metaphysical Anthropology
Theories of the human person, body and soul, transcendence, immortality and after life; individualism and communalism; the problem of personal identity.
(3 credits)
PHL 421:        Classics In Ethics
A detailed and critical evaluation of some of the most important ethical theories of the modern period.
(3 credits)
PHL 431:        Further Mathematical Logic
The contribution of scholars like Frege, Russell, Godel, Whitehead, Quine, etc will be examined. Treatment of predicate calculus; proofs and disproofs in predicate calculus, identity and non-identity inference patterns; probability calculus, axiomatic method and set theory; rules of inference, the tree test, problems, adequacy of the tree test and deduction trees; logic of descriptions, classes and relations.
(3 credits)
PHL 433:        Philosophy of Science
Basic issues in the philosophy of science; the nature and methods of science; metaphysical foundations of science; the nature of scientific truth; science and reality.
PHL 432:        Analytic Philosophy
Twentieth Century Analytic Philosophy. Attention will be focused on issues in this tradition raised in the works of Carnap, Wittgenstein, Frege, Russell and Quine.
(3 credits)
PHL 442:        Late Modern Philosophy
A study of selected works of Karl Marx, with particular attention to their development and influence on African and other countries. A study of post-Kantian influences on the philosophies of Merleau–Ponty, Heidegger, Husserl and Sartre.
(3 credits)
PHL 462:        Philosophy of Law
Basic issues in the Philosophy of Law; the concept of justice, the nature  of  law, the logic of rational reasoning, legal responsibility and morality, legal rights and obligations of persons. A detailed examination of theories of law;  legal realism, positivism, marxist theory of law, etc.
(3 credits)
PHL 472:        Seminar
As directed by the lecturer, students will write long essay on problems in any area of  philosophy. The long essays will be presented and discussed in seminar meetings.
(3 credits)
PHL 482:        Project
Under the supervision of lecturers  assigned by the department, each student shall undertake a research project on a subject of interest in any area in philosophy.  The result of the research shall be embodied in a long essay which shall be defended in an oral examination.
(6 credits)