Courses in Philosophy

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PHIL 2110 Biomedical Ethics (4 sem. hours).

An introduction to conceptual and ethical issues concerning medicine and biotechnology, including topics such as the definition of death and disease, the definition of personhood, abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, reproductive technology, patients’ rights, human and animal research, organ transplants, cloning, biotechnological enhancement, and health care rights. Offered occasionally.

PHIL 2230 Philosophy of Happiness (4 sem. hours).

An introduction to the conceptual, ethical, and psychological issues of happiness, including topics such as the proper role of happiness in life, the issue of happiness as an ultimate goal, the definition of happiness, the best ways to achieve happiness, the question of whether happiness is possible, the relationship between happiness and morality, scientific studies of happiness, the rise of positive psychology, mood-altering drugs, conceptual issues of mental health, and criticisms of happiness including issues of the value of misery, suffering, and depression. Offered occasionally.

PHIL 2900 Logic (4 sem. hours).

An introduction to propositional logic and quantification, and to a lesser extent syllogistic logic. Attention will be given to scientific method and induction and to informal analysis of arguments in language. Offered every year.

PHIL 3120 Philosophy of Mind (4 sem. hours).

An examination of the nature of mind, including topics such as mental versus physical explanations of minds, perception, optical and cognitive illusions, the limits of human knowledge, personal identity, artificial intelligence, evolutionary explanations of moral and religious beliefs, and thought experiments about zombies, brains in vats, brain implants, and robot civil rights. Offered occasionally.

PHIL 3300 Moral Psychology and Neuroscience (4 sem. hours).

An examination of the evolutionary, cognitive, and neurological mechanisms of human moral psychology. Topics covered include ethical theories and the intuitive conflicts that arise in classic moral dilemmas, the problem of persistent inconsistent moral judgments, moral decision making, moral development theory, the nature and classification of moral emotions (shame, pride, disgust, etc.), attributions of blame and responsibility, moral judgment and causation, trust and loyalty, moral luck, and cognitive moral pathologies such as psychopathy. The course will cover the history of moral psychology but will focus predominantly on recent empirical studies of moral cognition using neuroimaging and neuro-pharmacological manipulations. This course is the same as PSYC 3300. Offered every other year.

PHIL 3500–3503 Applied Philosophy: Methods and Research (1–4 sem. hours).

A survey of philosophical methods of analysis and applying those methods to a specific research question identified by the student and the instructor. Applied philosophy takes a particular problem or phenomenon, and employs a set of methods to analyze and make recommendations for solving the problem or explaining the phenomenon. Those methods include conceptual analysis, definitional clarification, problem identification, assumption identification, possibility gridding, logical analysis, field observation, and experimental research. Students interested in this course should contact the instructor to discuss their particular interest. While the Philosophy department has significant resources for projects in biomedical ethics and medicine, students may wish to propose projects in law, public policy, religion, or science. Offered every year in fall and spring semesters.

PHIL 3750–3753 Special Topics (1–4 sem. hours).

An upper-level course on special issues not regularly covered by the curriculum. Special topics courses offered in recent years include: Existentialism, Pragmatism, Gender and Technology, Sexual Ethics, Philosophy of Time, Philosophy of History, Philosophy of Personal Identity, Philosophy of Mental Illness, The Concept of God, Philosophy of Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Ethical Theory & Metaethics. Offered occasionally. This course is repeatable under a different topic.

Courses in Neuroscience and Cognitive Studies

NEUR 2000 Introduction to Neuroscience (4 sem. hours).

This course will be a survey of selected topics in neuroscience that will span the breadth of the field, ranging from cell and molecular topics to behavioral and psychological aspects of the field. Topics include biomembrane structure and function, neural signaling, including action potential and neurotransmitter systems, and gross anatomy of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Prerequisite: PSYC 1000.

NEUR 3200 Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology (4 sem. hours).

This course will cover the anatomical structure and physiological function of the mammalian nervous system from a regional and systems level approach. The beginning of the course will concentrate on the regional structure of the nervous system and the electrochemical basis of neural communication. Then, we will integrate this knowledge within sensory and motor systems to understand how specific anatomical pathways convey information between the brain and the periphery. Prerequisite: NEUR 2000.

NEUR 3400 Applied Research Neuroscience (4 sem. hours).

This course will have students participate in applied research in neuroscience with faculty from Millsaps or the University of Mississippi Medical School in a seminar about current neuroscience research, and in regular class sessions related to applied research.

Courses in Psychology

PSYC 2100 Statistics of the Behavioral Science (4 sem. hrs).

This course will introduce students to the most commonly used statistical test in the social sciences. Hypothesis testing, correlations, regression equations, and nonparametric test will be covered in this course. The course will emphasize data analysis and interpretation results. Basic understanding of math and algebra are essential.

PSYC 2110 Research Methods in Psychology (4 sem. hrs).

This course will introduce students to the processes involved in conducting sound experimental research. Students will learn methods of research, subject selection, hypothesis testing, and data analysis. Errors that can affect research and proper control of variables will be covered as well. Student will conduct their own research project and present it to the class at the conclusion of the semester. Required laboratory. Prerequisite: PSYC 2100. Offered alternate terms.

PSYC 2130 Abnormal Psychology (4 sem. hrs).

Presents a psychological understanding and view of abnormal behavior. The presently prevailing system for the clinical classification of abnormal behavior is highlighted. Prerequisite: PSYC 1000.

PSYC 2170 Social Psychology (4 sem. hrs).

Integrates current social psychological theory regarding communication, group dynamics, aggression, and human relations, with its application in real-world settings. Laboratory component. This course is the same as SOAN 3710. Prerequisite: PSYC 1000.

PSYC 2180 Behavioral Neuroscience (4 sem. hrs).

Neurophysiological and neuroanatomical correlates and substrates of behavior, emotion, and cognition. Prerequisite: PSYC 1000. Offered in alternate years.

PSYC 3050 Decision Making (4 sem. hrs).

This course emphasizes the psychological processes utilized in making decisions. Topics covered include judgment, estimation, prediction and diagnosis, choice under certainty, heuristics and biases, risky decision making, and problem solving, as well as methods that have been developed to improve these processes. Prerequisite: PSYC 1000. Offered in alternate years.

PSYC 3060 Psychology of Language (4 sem. hrs).

Examines the perception, comprehension, and production of language. Topics covered include psychological and linguistic aspects of phonology, syntax, and semantics; the biological bases of language; reading; bilingualism; language acquisition; and disorders. Prerequisite: PSYC 1000. Recommended: PSYC 3100. Offered in alternate years.

PSYC 3070 Adulthood and Aging (4 sem. hrs).

This course describes the physical, sensory, cognitive, personality, and social changes that occur in normal aging. Examines the dominant theories of developmental psychology from young adulthood through old age. Prerequisite: PSYC 1000. Offered in alternate years.

PSYC 3110 Sensation and Perception (4 sem. hrs).

Mechanisms underlying immediate experience produced by stimuli and the organization of these sensations into meaningful, interpretable experience. Prerequisite: PSYC 1000. Offered in alternate years.

PSYC 3210 Cognitive Neuroscience (4 sem. hrs.).

This course will survey cognitive neuroscience methods such as brain imaging, neural network modeling, and behavioral testing of neuropsychological patients, toward an understanding of the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying behavior. Topics include: neuroanatomy, sensation and perception, learning and memory, object recognition, attention and consciousness, and language. Prerequisite: PSYC 1000 and PSYC 2210.