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Course Description

PH2100 - Critical Thinking

The goal of this course is to provide a rigorous philosophical analysis foundation for students studying in the Philosophy M.A. program at RUPP. In particular, it aims to develop students’ ability to recognize arguments, understand their content and structure, and critically evaluate them; to identify and avoid fallacious reasoning; to create solid arguments that are clear and well-supported; and to exercise the habits of a critical thinker. Developing a disposition to think critically and skills in the use of these critical thinking tools are essential for success in academic and working environments and enable students to live reflectively in a changing world.

PH2300: Logic

This course aims to familiarize students with formal methods for representing statements and their relationships. The goal is the correct evaluation of arguments and inferences. The course will include topics in sentential and predicate logic.

PH2110 – Philosophical Research Methods

This course introduces a practical knowledge of philosophical research methods, which aims to train students on how to research, develop, present, and write scholarly papers and theses in the postgraduate level. Through lectures, seminars, and one-on-one tutorials, students learn the broad concepts of research and philosophical knowledge; and move towards the details of literature review, research design, methods of data collection, analyzing skills, and academic writing skills. The students are continually encouraged to keep their research question in mind while developing a critical and creative analysis of various literature appropriate to their research topic. Finally, through this course, the students are expected to have self-confidence in their theoretical and methodological argument on the research topic.

PH2200/PH2210/PH2220 - English for Philosophical Analysis I, II, III

The aim of the English courses in the philosophy M.A. program are to develop students’ ability to read and understand primary texts in philosophy; to strengthen skills in philosophical essay writing; to improve speaking skills and confidence through presentations, debates, and other activities; and to increase the breadth of knowledge of philosophical terminology in English.

PH2400 - Asian Philosophies

This course provides a broad overview of Asian Philosophies such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Neo-Confucianism. In comparison with these Asian philosophical and religious traditions, a study of Islam and Christianity will be also included. The first half of the course focuses on the development of South Asian philosophies and the second half of the course deals with the development of East Asian philosophies. Through lectures, readings, presentations, and active discussions, this course aims to help students have a good understanding of the Asian Way which can be characterized as a harmony in diversity. The course also aims to develop students’ competence for the critical analysis of the Asian philosophical texts.

PH2410 – Discovering a Khmer Philosophy

The aim of this course is to examine selected philosophical, religious, historical, and literary texts in order to articulate a virtue ethics unique to Cambodia, i.e., a “Khmer Philosophy”. Themes will be drawn from religious/philosophical sources such as Hindu texts and practice prior to Jayavarman VII’s reign; Buddhist philosophy revealed in the life of Siddhartha and in the Buddhist stories and teachings of his followers; literary sources such as 19th and 20th century poetry, stories, and other texts; the lives of Cambodia’s martyrs, leaders, and heroes; and other relevant sources. Through examination of these texts, we will reflect on the challenges of bringing these themes together into a cohesive “Khmer Philosophy”, one that forms a potentially normative foundation for a virtue-based ethos in Cambodia.

PH2430 – Buddhist Philosophy

This course will focus on the central philosophy of Buddhism. As Buddhism basically consists of three major traditions, the central philosophy of Theravada Buddhism will be the main focus, though relevant variational teachings from the standpoint of Mahayana Buddhism and Vajrayana Buddhism will be discussed. This course includes the following topics: Background for the Rise of Buddhism; the Question of Buddhism as a Religion or a Philosophy; Buddhist Worldview; Four Noble Truths; Noble Eightfold Path or the Middle Path; Dependent Origination (paticcasamuppada); Three-fold Teachings; Three Characteristics (Impermanence, Satisfactoriness, No-soul); Karma and Re-becoming; The Teaching of Causation; The Analysis of Name and Matter, Five Aggregates, Six Sensual Bases and Six Faculties; The Teaching of Two Truths; Mental States and Meditation Practices; The Teaching of Nirvana (Summum Bonum of Buddhism). By the end of the course, students are expected to have a good understanding of Buddhism and Buddhist Philosophy, be able to demonstrate with confidence the principal tenets of Buddhism, and could carry on further studies of the subject independently.

PH2500 – Ethics

This class will introduce students to the basic theories and concepts of moral philosophy through a reading of the original sources. Texts include Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics, John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism, Immanuel Kant's Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Friedrich Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals and selections from John Rawls's A Theory of Justice and the Dhammapada.

PH2510 - Applied Ethics

This class will utilize ethical theories to analyze issues of relevance today. We will examine business ethics, including stockholder and stakeholder theories, corporate social responsibility, and transparency; social ethics, especially issues that relate to Cambodian tradition and culture; environmental ethics; bioethics; and issues in Community Development relevant to Cambodia.

PH2520 - Social and Political Philosophy

This course examines the norms or principles that establish and justify societies and determine the rights and responsibilities of a society in relation to its own members, of the members in relation to each other and to society as a whole, and of a society in relation to other societies.

PH2530 - Philosophy of Feminism

The course's aim is threefold: to understand the dynamics of relations between genders and social conditions; to engage in understanding feminists’ perspectives and a range of methodological approaches; to analyze theoretical and policy debates about the links between sex, gender, conflicts and arguments. This course will explore the beginnings of feminist thoughts and development in the history of America. We will consider feminist attempts to reveal, unravel, and remedy the conceptual, psychological, and economic dimensions of the oppression of women by starting with the publication of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex to the present. We will examine feminist positions on the nature and scope of women's oppression, how it gets perpetuated, and possible amelioration. We will then focus on debates among feminists on cultural traditions and social problems in some specific areas. We will also discuss the feminist arguments about how femininity, as it is currently practiced and understood, is a psychological form of sexist social conditioning.

PH2600 – Metaphysics, East and West

This class will look at the writings of great thinkers from the East and West on a broad range of metaphysical topics, including monism, theories of individuation, the mind/body problem, free will and the relationship between reality and falsehood.

PH2610 – Virtue Epistemology

This course is focused on a family of approaches to epistemology that puts an emphasis on a similarity between knowing responsibly and acting ethically. The basic idea is that the importance of virtues for the moral life is analogous with the importance of virtues for intellectual agents and knowing communities. Special attention will be given to specific epistemic virtues such as conscientiousness, open-mindedness, intellectual courage, and many others, which are discussed by virtue epistemologists such as Linda Zagzebski, Robert C. Roberts, and W. Jay Wood. The discussion of the foregoing epistemic virtues will be oriented towards addressing practical concerns such as rectifying epistemic injustice, advocating cultural reformation, or fostering intellectual flourishing. If time permits, the last part of the course will feature a discussion of a new challenge to virtue epistemology: situationism. Epistemic situationists believe that most people do not and cannot possess the intellectual virtues countenanced by virtue epistemologists.

PH2620 - Philosophy of Science

This course focuses of five major themes: demarcation; theory change; induction, confirmation, and evidence; explanation and laws; and natural kinds. Students will examine questions such as: How is science different from non-science? How do scientific theories change and when is a change revolutionary? How does evidence confirm a scientific theory and is evidence required? What is required of a scientific explanation? Is there one particular way to carve up nature into kinds of things?

PH2900 – Thesis Seminar

Thesis Seminar aims to help each student find a thesis topic, complete his/her thesis proposal, and understand how to apply the knowledge and tools garnered in the Research Methods course to the thesis writing project. A student takes this course together with the others in the cohort and is, as such, encouraged to discuss thesis topic ideas and the proposal with them, as well as with the seminar’s teacher. By the end of the seminar, each student should have a written proposal which has been approved by the Thesis Supervisor.

Contact Info

Program Coordinator:

Dr. Saphon Somolireasmey
Tel: (855) 12 250 368
(855) 69 777 855
Email: saphon.somolireasmey@rupp.edu.kh
Office: Campus II

Assistant to the Program:

Prof. Mech Samphors
Tel: (855) 12 581 106
Email: mech_samphors@yahoo.com
Address: Office of MA in Philosophy (Room: 111), Royal University of Phnom Penh (Campus 2)


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