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University at Buffalo

UB Undergraduate Academic Schedule: Fall 2020

This information is updated nightly. Additional information about this course, including real-time course data, prerequisite and corequisite information, is available to current students via the HUB Student Center, which is accessible via MyUB.


PHI 199SEM - Ub Seminar-Morality, Reality & Meaning
Ub Seminar-Morality, Reality & Meaning LAW Enrollment Information (not real time - data refreshed nightly)
Class #:   24166   Enrollment Capacity:   22
Section:   LAW   Enrollment Total:   22
Credits:   3.00 credits   Seats Available:   0
Dates:   08/31/2020 - 12/11/2020   Status:   CLOSED
Days, Time:   M W F , 10:20 AM - 11:10 AM
Room:   Frnczk 422 view map
Location:   North Campus      
Contemporary popular culture TV programs and films often involve the same issues, questions, and probing reflections that philosophers have explored since the time of Plato: How do we know what is a morally right action? How do we know whether something is real or only an illusion or dream? Is there more to reality that what we can experience with our senses? Do individuals have a purpose or destiny arising from external conditions or supernatural forces, or is this a matter for individuals themselves to decide in freedom? Bringing together pop culture and philosophy is beneficial to both sides. Stories told with skill and imagination in popular culture provide compelling illustrations of ideas treated abstractly and systematically by philosophers. Connecting popular culture with the concepts developed by philosophers makes the concepts seem less abstract, more real. At the same time, by seeing the presence of profound conceptual content in the works of pop culture, we will take these works more seriously?as more than mere entertainment. Sometimes, the best of pop culture provides explorations that take philosophical ideas to unexpected levels, and so occasions a fresh stimulus for deeper philosophical reflection. And so, bringing together some of the most prominent works in contemporary popular culture with relevant classical texts from the history of philosophy is both entertaining and intellectually fruitful. The course will examine episodes from the TV series, The Simpsons and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as the films, Crimes and Misdemeanors, The Matrix, and Avatar.
Enrollment Requirements
Prerequisites: Students who have already successfully completed the first year seminar course may not repeat this course. If you have any questions regarding enrollment for this course, please contact your academic advisor.
  Course Description
The three credit UB Seminar is focused on a big idea or challenging issue to engage students with questions of significance in a field of study and, ultimately, to connect their studies with issues of consequence in the wider world. Essential to the UB Curriculum, the Seminar helps students with common learning outcomes focused on fundamental expectations for critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and oral communication, and learning at a university, all within topic focused subject matter. The Seminars provide students with an early connection to UB faculty and the undergraduate experience at a comprehensive, research university. This course is equivalent to any 199 offered in any subject. This course is a controlled enrollment (impacted) course. Students who have previously attempted the course and received a grade of F or R may not be able to repeat the course during the fall or spring semester.
             Lawler, J M look up    
  On-line Resources
Other Courses Taught By: Lawler, J M