Undergraduate Course Contents

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100 Level


PHL 101: Introduction to Philosophy I
A general introduction to the various traditions and problems of Philosophy: Philosophy and related fields – Science, Arts and Religion, etc. A brief survey of the main branches, special fields and problems of Philosophy.

PHL 102: Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy
The state and the citizen. The nature of man and the origins of the state. The nature of political obligation. The ideal state, ethnicity, religion, equality, justice and liberty, social welfare, and human rights.

PHL 103: Introduction to History of Philosophy I: Ancient Greek Philosophy
An elementary historical introduction to the outlines of Greek Philosophy from the sixth century B.C, with special attention to epistemology, metaphysics and ethics as reflected in the work of philosophers from Thales to Aristotle.

PHL 104: Introduction to Philosophy II: Critical Thinking, Argument and Evidence
Arguments and the uses to which they are put in diverse disciplines, such as law, the Arts, the Natural and Social Sciences, Engineering and Business Studies. Argument identification, argument evaluation, classification of arguments, kinds of argument – deductive and inductive arguments. Validity, soundness and truth in deductive arguments. Inductive generalizations, argument from analogy and probabilities, Mill’s methods of inquiry, refutation by formal analogy, fallacious reasoning and sophistry. argumentation in law (method of judicial proof), Arts, ethics, management and science.

PHL 105: Elementary Ethics
Some of the fundamental principles of ethics. A brief introduction to the major theories of conduct and problems about the definition of good. The nature of right and wrong, moral obligation, conscience, principles of justice, virtue and excellence, morality and the good life.

PHL 106: Introduction to History of Philosophy II: Post-Aristotelian Philosophy:
An elementary historical introduction to the outlines of Greek Philosophy from the end of the fourth century B.C. to the middle of the sixth century A.D. with special attention to the ethics and epistemology of the Stoics, Epicureans and the Sceptics.

200 Level


PHL 201: Introduction to Logic I
A general introduction to logic and its principles, with emphasis on clarity of thought and expression. Arguments as providing reasons for conclusions. Deduction and induction as processes of reasoning. Formal and informal fallacies, prepositional logic, truth and validity, proof by means of truth table and reduction ad absurdum. Predicate Calculus.

PHL 202: Introduction to Metaphysics
An outline of the major concerns and scope of metaphysics. A treatment of some traditional metaphysical problems, e.g. the mind-body problems, appearance and reality, substance, causality, universals and particulars, freedom and determinism. The differences between scientific, religious and metaphysical explanations.

PHL 203: Introduction to Epistemology
Types, sources, scope and justification of human knowledge. Knowledge and belief, truth and skepticism. A study of some major schools of thought, such as Empiricism, Rationalism and Pragmatism.

PHL 204: Introduction to Symbolic Logic
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.

PHL 205: African Philosophy I
Current discussion on the Nature and scope of African Philosophy. A study of some philosophical notions among Africans; for example, the concepts of time, cause, person, immorality, fate, ori, and human destiny

PHL 206: History of Philosophy 17th Century Western Philosophy
A historical survey of the development of British empiricism and Continental rationalism from the study of Hobbes, Bacon, Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza.

PHL 207: Professional Ethics
Application of the principles and methods of ethics learned in Philosophy 103 to the various professions which present moral/ethical problems to their practitioners. It is a practice oriented course which deals with medical ethics, engineering ethics, and so on. (Pre-requisite PHL 103).

PHL 208: African Social and Political Philosophy
A study of the philosophical ideas (Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ethics, etc) of Nyerere, Obafemi Awolowo, Nkrumah, Senghor, Azikiwe, Amilcar Cabral, etc as related to their social and political philosophies.

PHL 209: Medieval Philosophy
A study of the philosophical thought of the Middle Ages, with special attention to the key figures of this era from St. Augustine to William of Ockham, and the influence of Aristotle on scholastic philosophy.

PHL 210: Medical Ethics
A study of the ethical dimensions of medical and allied practice. The contribution of ethical theories to the understanding and, ultimately, the resolution of ethical problems in medicine. The issues to be discussed include the following: the nature of moral problems, theories of ethics, the ethics of doctor/nurse and patient relationship, truth-telling, white lie, euthanasia, whether or not health-care delivery is a right, abortion, organ transplantation, foetal experimentation, death and dying, values in health and illness, indigenous and non-indigenous modes of healing, the nature of illness, life and death distinction, the right to live, the right to commit suicide.

300 Level


PHL 301: Symbolic Logic
Natural Deduction, the theory of quantification, normal forms, Perenal forms; the logic of identity, etc., definite description, the logic of relations, etc, Pre-requisite; Philosophy 201.

PHL 302: Theories of Knowledge
A detailed study of selected areas, topics and problems in Epistemology: Knowledge, Belief, Perception, Truth, Analytic-Synthetic distinction and Induction. The course will also deal with epistemological issues raised by Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant (Rationalism and Empiricism) as well as recent contributions in Epistemology and the Philosophy of Science.

PHL 303: Early Modern Philosophy
A historical survey of the contributions of the major figures in Western Philosophy in the eighteenth century (from Locke to Kant).

PHL 304: Contemporary Issues in Ethics
Topics in standard ethical theories, current moral debates which are of particular relevance and interest to Africa and Nigeria, example, technology transfer, technology and human rights and human values, capital punishment, moral obligation and punishment, religion and ethics, morality and the will of God. Such topics will be studied in the light of standard ethical theories or, where these are deficient, new guiding principles will be formulated.

PHL 305: African Philosophy: Issues in history, epistemology, science and metaphysics
An in-depth study of topical issues in Philosophy and traditional medicine. The course will also treat the history of African Philosophy.

PHL 307: Metaphysics
Analysis of issues in various conceptual systems. Analysis of various ontological positions in metaphysics, such as Causality, Dualism, Idealism, Phenomenalism, Realism, Nominalism, ideas and things, experience and the self, meaning and reference, theory of objects, truth and metaphysics, metaphysics and science. The logical positivist critique of metaphysics.

PHL 309: Social and Political Philosophy
A study of the major themes and/or figures in the history of social and political thought covering specified periods in Western Philosophy. Efforts will be made to relate these to contemporary situations on the African continent.

PHL 310: Logic and Scientific Method
A critical study of the methods of science, the roles of logic and mathematics in scientific methods, the nature, problems and justification of induction, uniformity of nature, John Stuart Mill’s method, problem of inductions, probability and inductive logic with particular reference to the Carnap-popper controversy on the method of science.

PHL 312: Philosophy of Social Science
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 relativism, the meaning of causation, the problem of induction, the use and abuse of statistics, the place of ideological models in social studies, methodological individualism, universalism/relativism in sociological theories, structuralism and functionalism, objectivity/subjectivity in the social sciences, and the methodological distinction between natural (physical) and social sciences.

PHL 313: Philosophy of Religion
A critical study of religious phenomena, traditional proofs for the existence of God, natural versus revealed religion, the problem of evil, atheism and agnosticism, religion, rationality and social co-existence, religion, science and social/scientific/political change.

PHL 315: Existentialism and Phenomenology
An introductory study of some main themes in Existentialism and Phenomenology. Major authors to be studied include Kierkegard, Nietzsche, Sartre, Heidegger and Bubber. The theme will include the meaning of life, the individual (or self) versus society; the existence or non-existence of God, freedom and choice, and the basic logical categories which give meaning to life and experience.

PHL 316: Marxist Philosophy
A study of selected works of Karl Marx, with particular emphasis on their development and influence on Third World countries. The course will also examine some criticisms of Marxism, especially those by Sir Karl Popper and others in the light of modern trends in the world.

PHL 318: European Continental Philosophy
This course will combine the historical and problem approaches to an understanding of various philosophical traditions of the European continent. The traditional to be examined will include German Idealism, Existentialism, Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Critical Theory, Deconstructionism, and Marxism.

PHL 319: Philosophy of Law
This course will be concerned with fundamental questions about the nature, source, grounds, limits and functions of law. It will examine the nature of the judicial process, the connection between law and morality, liberty, and justice, social policy, legal and moral responsibilities and punishment, just and unjust laws, military decrees, civil disobedience, the forms and limits of adjudication, legal reasoning, independence of the judiciary, etc.

PHL 320: Philosophy of History
The course will deal with logic and conceptual analyses of the work and methods of historians. It will also attempt a philosophical investigation of some of the approaches to the writing, interpretation and criticism of history and the various theories of history arising from them. Other issues to be discussed may include some of the following; a definition of the concept of history, history and philosophy, history and social science, the universal in the structure of historical knowledge, the objectivity or otherwise of historical knowledge, history as a system, and the philosophical character of history.

400 Level


PHL 401: Late Modern Philosophy: 19th Century Western Philosophy
A post-Kantian study of the philosophies of figures like Hegel, Karl Marx, Bradley, J. S. Mill, Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, Husserl and Sartre.

PHL 402: Classics in Ethics
A detailed and critical evaluation of some of the most important ethical theories of the modern period. Authors to be studied will be selected by the lecturer but may include Kant, Mill, Marx, Nietzsche, Bradley, and other important figures. The focus will be on a clearer understanding of the person as a moral being.

PHL 403/404: Research Project
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 with standards set by the Department and Faculty.

PHL 405: Topics in Epistemology
Seminar on selected topics on current issues in Epistemology such as, Knowledge/Belief Distinction, Epistemic Foundationalism, Coherentism, Contextualism, Realiabilism, and Cognitivism.

PHL 406: Contemporary Analytic Philosophy
A study of the issue raised by some of the influential figures in this tradition, such as G.E. Moore, Husserl, Wittgenstein, Frege, Ayer, Popper and Quine.

PHL 407: Topics in African Philosophy
Seminar on selected topics in contemporary issues in African Philosophy. An in-depth analysis of some particular issues and problems in African Philosophy. Topics may include any of the following: human beings and the natural world, world views, the natural and the supernatural, models and methods of explanation, proof in the African systems of knowledge, African conception of space and time, human nature, causality, human destiny, fate, freedom and determinism, immortality of the soul and reincamation, Ifa and probability, moral systems, modernism, postmodernism and globalization.

PHL 408: Topics in Metaphysics
Seminar on selected topics in metaphysics. The course is designed to deepen the students’ knowledge of the current issues in metaphysics.

PHL 411: Philosophy of Mind
An inquiry into the problems of the mental and the physical. The course will investigate such topics as the relationship between mind and body; dualism, monism, the materialist theory of mind, identity theory, functionalism, mind and machine, knowledge of other minds. Additional topics may include Brentano’s theory of intentionality and other related topics.

PHL 416: Topics in Social and Political Philosophy
Seminar on selected topics. The course is designed to provide an in-depth and rigorous analysis of the existing works in both traditions of Western and African Philosophies.

PHL 419: Philosophy of Science
This course is concerned with thorough philosophical investigation of the nature of scientific knowledge with examples drawn from the physical sciences. These include, among others, the nature of scientific truth, scientific laws, scientific explanations, hypothesis, theories, paradigms in scientific discoveries and scientific revolutions, the experimental procedures, induction and probability, probability and inductive logic, and theories of confirmation and falsifications as adopted and propounded by Camp and Popper.

PHL 422: Philosophy of Feminism
This course will examine critically the nature of man and the issues concerning the differences and similarities between the sexes and their relation to the subjugation of women. Is there any philosophical basis for differential treatment between the sexes? How justify is it for women to be subjugated to men? What is meant by equality between the sexes? Does this justify the Feminist movement? The course will also deal with enfranchisement, the right of inheritance, equal job opportunity, right to possession and right to abortion [unwanted pregnancy], various forms of discrimination, sexual harassment, leadership role in the community, women in academics, business and politics, marriage and career, feminist perspective of various disciplines, for example, philosophy, science and mathematics, history, social science and engineering. The philosophy of Better Life for Rural Women, the role of women in a technological age, and the role of women in a changing world with particular reference to the African situation and experience. The objective of this course is to find out whether, apart from biological differences, there are other difference by which men can claim superiority over women and, if there are none, whether there re compelling arguments to sustain the claim of the superiority of men over women in human endeavours.

PHL 425: Contemporary European Continental Philosophy
This course will study philosophers in non-analytic European philosophy, and specific issues in the areas of epistemology, Metaphysics, logic, philosophy of science, aesthetics and ethics. The Lecturer will select philosophers and issues to be discussed.

PHL 426: Topics in Applied Ethics
This course is a detailed study of some special live issues in current social life; the morality of ethnic and religious discrimination, the ethics of revenue sharing, quota system and Federal character in a pluralistic society, equality between the sexes and nations, abortion and ethics in contemporary life, technology and moral values, models of development, ethical outlook to life and acquisition of material wealth in developing countries, self-discipline and conscience and conscientious objectors.

PHL 431: Environmental Ethics
Human beings have to maintain continuous communion with the environment to produce the conditions for the sustenance of their material life. We need to exploit various resources in the physical environment in order for life to continue at any appreciable level of comfort. The necessity for us to source the wherewithal for our survival in the environment brings in its wake a number of ethical problems. Do we have any responsibility beyond that imposed by prudence to maintain the ethical problems? Do we have any responsibility beyond that imposed by prudence to maintain the environment in a good state? Should we be concerned about the unrestrained exploitation of wasting assets in our environment? Do we have an obligation to future generations to bequeath to them a better environment that we have? Issues to be discussed in this course in addition to those already identified, include: values and the environment, anthropocentrism and moral responsibility, pollution, garbage disposal and quality of life, environmental cleanliness and preventive medicine, industry and pollution, nuclear plants and leakage, pollution, cancer and other disease, the need for environmental designs and management, sanitation education/orientation, environmental laws and enforcement of these laws, level of development and people’s will, the need for the survival of individuals and the human race, the abuse and misuse of natural resources and nature’s revenge.

PHL 432: Business Ethics
Has ethics any place in business? Should business concern itself with ethics? The aim of this course is to look at the interface between ethics and business and by way of examining specific dimensions of business, bring students to an awareness of the ethical problems that occur in business. The course does not presuppose any prior instruction in ethics since it will be prefaced by introductory lecture on theories of ethics.

PHL 436: Philosophical Thought in the African Diaspora
Essentially, this is a study of African-American and the Caribbean philosophical thought. It shall undertake a critical survey of notable figures from Dubois to Martin Luther King.

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