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Department of Law & Philosophy
Course Catalog
55 Courses


COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW199 2024-7 CIVIL RIGHTS STAFF RIDE 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE Diversity is of critical importance to our nation and our Army. This course uses the law and history in an interdisciplinary study of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States to gain appreciation for and understanding of diversity. The course includes a week in the classroom and a two-week staff ride (which will count as an AIAD).
2024 7
2025 7
2026 7
2027 7
2028 7

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW310 2024-5 INTRO TO LEGAL METHOD 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course provides an introduction to the study of jurisprudence and, thereby, an intellectual foundation for legal studies. Jurisprudence explores the theory and philosophy of law, its relations to morality, and its limits. The intent of the course is to provide cadets a platform on which to examine the nature of law, legal reasoning, and legal institutions. Topics covered include positivism and natural law theory, theories of criminal justice, concepts of liberty, responsibility, and human rights. Cadets also will learn the fundamentals of legal research and writing.
2024 5
2025 1
2026 1
2027 1
2028 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW399 2025-1 INDIV ADV DEVELOPMENT IN LAW 1.5
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE The Academic Individual Advanced Development (AIAD) program is designed to introduce cadets to the practice of law in the military. The course consists of a three-week internship in one of a variety of legal offices. Possible internships include clerkships with the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, the U.S. Court of Military Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Department of Defense, and the Department of the Army agencies. Cadets may also intern in Staff Judge Advocate or Trial Defense Offices at military installations worldwide.

No Course Offerings


COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW403 2024-5 CONSTITUTIONAL/MILITARY LAW 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course studies the United States Constitution and Military Law. Cadets will acquire information and skills in order to recognize and resolve constitutional and legal problems. The course provides analytical models for dealing with problems regarding societal and military order. Finally, the course seeks to enable the cadet to make an intelligent commitment to the values and preferences embodied in the Constitution and our system of military and civilian law. Examples from military law are used to model fundamental principles examined in the course. Significant court decisions are explored to support the course goals. Specific substantive areas include: separation of powers, judicial review, war powers, the law of armed conflict, equal protection, privacy, individual rights, searches and inspections, military justice processes, and military criminal law.
2024 5
2025 1
2025 2
2025 5
2025 8
2026 1
2026 2
2026 5
2026 8
2027 1
2027 2
2027 5
2027 8
2028 1
2028 2
2028 5
2028 8

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW403L 2025-1 CONSTITUTIONAL/MILITARY LAW 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course studies the United States Constitution and Military Law. Cadets will acquire information and skills in order to recognize and resolve constitutional and legal problems. The course provides analytical models for dealing with problems regarding societal and military order. Finally, the course seeks to enable the cadet to make an intelligent commitment to the values and preferences embodied in the Constitution and our system of military and civilian law. Examples from military law are used to model fundamental principles examined in the course. Significant court decisions are explored to support the course goals. Specific substantive areas include: separation of powers, judicial review, war powers, the law of armed conflict, equal protection, privacy, individual rights, searches and inspections, military justice processes, and military criminal law. This version of LW403 is designed specifically for Law majors who have had LW310 as a pre-req.
2025 1
2026 1
2027 1
2028 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW410 2025-1 COMPARATIVE LEGAL SYSTEMS 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course uses a comparative approach to study the three major legal systems of the world: the English common law system, the civil law system (and its branches) of continental Europe, and the Islamic legal system. These three systems are the foundation for the laws and legal systems of most of the world today, including Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and east Asia. Similarities and differences between these systems and the American legal system are explored. Social, political, and economic factors which distinguish these systems and more recently have begun to integrate them are covered. Emphasis is placed on the sources of law, the procedures for resolving legal disputes, and basic principles of civil and criminal justice.
2025 1
2025 2
2026 1
2026 2
2027 1
2027 2
2028 1
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW461 2025-2 CIVIL RIGHTS AND THE LAW 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE Equal protection is an important aspect of the rule of law, and underlies the American approach to justice. This course uses case law to explore the struggle for civil rights in the United States by those discriminated against based on race, religion, national origin, gender, and sexual orientation. The course will focus on legal decisions that empowered change and the movement toward equality, as well as an understanding of the importance of diversity.
2025 2
2026 2
2027 2
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW462 2025-1 CYBER LAW 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE Cyberspace has become an emerging area for legal regulation and military operations. This domain poses challenges and legal issues that impact criminal law, constitutional law, and international law. This course approaches cyber law from multiple perspectives including both international and domestic regulations. Specifically, the course will focus on international and customary law aspects of cyber operations along with U.S. law pertaining to cyberspace.
2025 1
2025 2
2025 8
2026 1
2026 8
2027 1
2027 2
2027 8
2028 1
2028 2
2028 8

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW472 2025-1 CRIMINAL LAW 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course will examine the legal, social, religious, cultural, and political motivations that justice systems use to characterize certain actions as "criminal." The course will revolve around the traditional reasons for criminal law, namely blameworthiness and punishment, and also examine how institutions use criminal law to serve their narrow interests. This course will introduce theories surrounding criminal law and illustrate how cadets may apply law immediately in their roles as officers. The course will examine federal and state criminal codes and also the Uniform Code of Military Justice. From a legal perspective based on the U.S. Constitution and other criminal codes, some of the topics covered include the death penalty, insanity, corporate crime, conspiracy, murder, necessity, and self-defense.
2025 1
2025 2
2026 1
2026 2
2027 1
2027 2
2028 1
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW473 2025-1 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE Environmental law has become an integral part of the legal system in the United States today. This course provides an introduction to environmental issues and the framework of the major federal environmental statues (the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, etc.), and how the law works in practice. The course also covers environmental issues in the military and the growing subject of International Environmental Law. This course provides a solid understanding of the legislative, administrative and judicial system of environmental law today.
2025 1
2026 1
2027 1
2028 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW474 2025-1 LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course is designed to develop in each student an understanding of basic law of armed conflict (LOAC), with an emphasis on issues that might arise on the battlefield at a tactical level. The ethical and historical background of LOAC will be examined, including Geneva Conventions and protocols, and how LOAC is enforced on international and national levels, to include prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Illustrative examples will include the Nuremberg Tribunal, My Lai, and the Gulf War. The emphasis is on the LOAC responsibilities of the junior officer.
2025 1
2025 2
2025 8
2026 1
2026 2
2026 8
2027 1
2027 2
2027 8
2028 1
2028 2
2028 8

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW475 2025-1 ADV CONSTITUTIONAL LAW SEM 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This seminar course covers a broad range of traditional and contemporary constitutional law topics. In addition to studying U.S. Supreme Court cases in particular areas of constitutional law, cadets are given an opportunity to study the historical foundations of the U.S. Constitution and underlying theories and principles of constitutionalism. The seminar format demands active participation in classroom debate, role playing, and critical thinking about complex issues of law and policy. As part of the seminar curriculum, each cadet will assume the role of a Supreme Court Justice. In this role, the cadet will study a real case pending before the Supreme Court and will write an abbreviated opinion reflecting the cadet's decision based on principled reasoning. The seminar typically travels to the Supreme Court to hear argument in the studied case as part of the opinion writing exercise.
2025 1
2025 2
2026 1
2026 2
2027 1
2027 2
2028 1
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW476 2025-2 ADVANCED LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE The modern battlefield has had a significant impact on the Law of Armed Conflict in a variety of ways. This course builds on the lessons from LW474 and explores complex issues in modern conflict like Human Rights, Drone Warfare, Civilians on the Battlefield, and War Crimes. The lessons in this course will challenge the cadets to think critically and creatively about the application of the law on the modern battlefield.
2025 2
2026 2
2027 2
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW477 2025-2 MILITARY JUSTICE: FOUNDATIONS 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course introduces future officers to the characteristics that mark American military justice as distinctive, useful, protective, and in some ways inherently problematic. In critically examining military law's practice and procedure, cadets will view military justice as an evolving system within a framework that combines Constitutional structure and requirements, civil-military relations among uniformed professionals, the civilian Commander-in-Chief, and Congress.
2025 2
2026 2
2027 2
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW481 2025-1 INTERNATIONAL LAW 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE The field of international law is one of the most dynamic areas of the law, and its principles are often applied in addressing the complex security problems facing our nation. This course will familiarize cadets with the body of rules and expectations which govern the rights and obligations of states and international organizations, during both times of peace and conflict. In particular, this course will emphasize the aspects of international law that are relevant to the operational and tactical problems that officers will confront as they deploy overseas. This course will integrate some themes from other courses in the Department of Law and reinforce some fundamental principles officers will confront as they seek to understand the relationship between law, diplomacy, and military operations.
2025 1
2025 2
2025 8
2025 9
2026 1
2026 2
2026 8
2026 9
2027 1
2027 2
2027 8
2027 9
2028 1
2028 2
2028 8
2028 9

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW482 2025-1 NATIONAL SECURITY LAW 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This seminar examines the legal framework for national security decisions. Cadets will analyze the delicate balance of liberty and security that must exist to preserve a democratic society. Particular areas include: constitutional separation of powers and shared responsibility for national security; the legality and scope of war and other uses of armed force short of war; access to and protection of sensitive information; intelligence collection and clandestine activities; the role of the media, responses to terrorism and international organized crime; and the formulation of national security policy and law.
2025 1
2025 2
2025 8
2026 1
2026 2
2026 8
2027 1
2028 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW488 2025-1 BUSINESS LAW 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course introduces cadets to the basics of business and commercial law. Contractual principles under the common law and Uniform Commercial Code are emphasized. Current legal issues in the following areas are explored: consumer protection; real, personal, and intellectual property law; antitrust law; and employment discrimination. Included is a survey of the basic principles of government contracting law. Additionally, cadets engage in business negotiations exercises. This course employs both case study and problem-solving methods of instruction.
2026 1
2026 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW490 2025-1 SPECIAL TOPICS IN THE LAW 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE An in-depth seminar course concentrating on a single area of the law. The course is conducted by the Department's Visiting Professor or a Law faculty member when the visiting professor is unavailable.
2025 1
2025 2
2025 8
2025 9
2026 1
2026 2
2026 8
2027 1
2027 2
2027 8
2027 9
2028 1
2028 2
2028 8
2028 9

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW490A 2025-1 SPECIAL TOPICS IN THE LAW - A 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE An in-depth seminar course concentrating on a single area of the law. The course is conducted by the Department's Visiting Professor or a Law faculty member when the visiting professor is unavailable.
2026 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW495 2025-2 JURISPRUDENCE AND LEGAL THEORY 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This is the capstone course for both the American Legal Studies and International and Comparative Legal Studies Majors. The course is an advanced seminar in legal philosophy as applied to contemporary domestic and international legal issues. It analyzes these issues using the perspectives of jurisprudence (the ideas and reasoning of jurists) and legal theory (using insight from disciplines such as science, economics, and political theory to address legal problems). It explores theoretical and practical approaches to identifying, developing, and preserving the rule of law. The course integrates legal coursework throughout the Academy curriculum and the Cadet?s respective legal studies major.
2025 2
2026 2
2027 2
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW498 2025-1 THESIS I: PROPOSAL & RESEARCH 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE The purpose of the Senior Thesis is to provide cadets with the opportunity to create a project that is academically, professionally, and personally meaningful to them and that reflects their thinking and abilities as developed at West Point and in the Department of Law. Through the scholarly project that results from this course, cadets will be expected to show how they and their work have progressed and that their work is of professional quality. Cadets will choose a faculty advisor with whom they will work over two semesters. In collaboration with the faculty advisor, cadets will explore their chosen areas of law with a goal of producing a project, usually a thirty page paper that is of professional quality. This paper will be completed during LW499. Cadets will meet individually with their advisors on a regular basis to discuss the law, progress on the thesis, and developmental issues.
2025 1
2026 1
2027 1
2028 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
LW499 2025-1 THESIS II: PAPER & DEFENSE 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course continues the work on the thesis commenced in LW498. At the end of the course, cadets will submit their theses to the Department of Law and orally defend their theses before a faculty committee.
2025 2
2026 2
2027 2
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY201 2024-5 PHILOSOPHY & ETHICAL REASONING 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course helps third-class Cadets develop their capacities to think clearly and critically and to write in a logically rigorous and conceptually precise manner. The course acquaints Cadets with various viewpoints on major philosophic issues, a significant part of it is devoted to developing Cadets' ethical reasoning ability. The study of ethical theory provides the foundation for this ability as well as the foundation for their Academy's character development efforts. The course also includes a substantial block on the ethical application of military power through the study of the Just War Tradition.
2024 5
2025 1
2025 2
2025 5
2025 8
2026 1
2026 2
2026 5
2026 8
2027 1
2027 2
2027 5
2027 8
2028 1
2028 2
2028 5
2028 8

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY251 2025-1 ADVANCED PHILOSOPHY AND ETHICS 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course is an advanced introduction to philosophy and ethics. It helps third-class Cadets develop their capacities to think clearly and critically and to write in a logically rigorous and conceptually precise manner. The course acquaints Cadets with various viewpoints on major philosophic issues, and a significant part of the course is devoted to developing Cadets' ethical reasoning ability. The study of ethical theory provides the foundation for this ability as well as the foundation for the Academy's character development efforts. The course also includes a substantial block on the ethical application of military power through the study of the Just War Tradition.
2025 1
2025 2
2026 1
2026 2
2027 1
2027 2
2028 1
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY300 2025-1 PHILOSOPHICAL METHODS 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course provides cadets the methodological tools required to analyze and understand the important moments and topics in philosophy, developing the philosophical language necessary for success within the philosophy curriculum. Through the study of philosophy within the western tradition, cadets will learn about major developments in logic, metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, among other areas. This background provides the foundational knowledge required of a philosophy major.
2025 1
2026 1
2027 1
2028 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY305 2025-2 LOGICAL REASONING 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course blends two areas of study that are often kept separate in university courses on logic: informal logic and formal (or symbolic) logic. Informal logic's emphasis is on natural language arguments relatively simple in structure, on rules of valid inference as codified in what is called traditional logic, and on the identification of mistakes in reasoning that make arguments logically weak though possibly persuasive (fallacies). Formal logic builds a symbolic representation of sentences and arguments, describes rigorous tests for determining whether symbolized arguments are valid, and provides the means to assess arguments of far greater complexity than the rules of traditional logic are able to manage.
2025 2
2026 2
2027 2
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY310 2025-1 REALITY AND KNOWLEDGE 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course will address the perennial questions concerning the nature of reality (metaphysics) and what we can know about it (epistemology). How do we acquire knowledge of the physical world, the nonphysical world? Are there noncorporeal entities (souls, deities, angels)? If so, what can we claim to know about them? How are belief and knowledge related? A systematic and comprehensive approach to these problems and others will entail reading works by Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Hume, and Kant, as well as more recent metaphysicians and epistemologists.
2026 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY320 2025-2 ETHICS 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course offers a systematic examination and comparison of standard Ethical doctrines as well as an analysis of some of the fundamental concepts and assumptions belonging to the nature of ethical thinking itself (Meta-ethics). The ethical doctrines to be studied include those associated with renowned philosophers such as Aristotle (virtue theory), Kant (deontology), and Mill (utilitarianism). The focus will be not only on original texts which advance the doctrines but also on criticisms and defenses of them by contemporary philosophers. The texts of Meta-ethics to be studied belong to the analytic tradition of Philosophy and concern the meaning and status of normative language in general. PY320 provides a worthwhile background Cadets may apply in any course in applied Ethics, such as PY325 Military Ethics and PY326 Cyber Ethics. It will also prove useful to Cadets in other academic majors, particularly in Political Theory, Law, and History.
2025 2
2027 2
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY325 2025-1 MILITARY ETHICS 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE The fundamental values and principles of the warrior ethos can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome. These values provide the moral boundaries of the military profession and distinguish members of this profession from other individuals and groups who employ violence to achieve their ends. Cadets in this course will examine the moral principles that define the profession of arms, both in terms of when the use of force is permissible (or even obligatory) to achieve political objectives, and what, if any, limits ought to govern how that force is used.
2025 1
2025 8
2025 9
2026 1
2026 8
2026 9
2027 1
2027 8
2027 9
2028 1
2028 8
2028 9

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY326 2025-1 CYBER ETHICS 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This multi-disciplinary course will examine the current ethical, social and legal issues related to cyberspace, with a particular focus on: (1) the regulation or regulability of cyberspace; (2) the inherent tensions between traditional government surveillance and public safety efforts and the growing necessity for strong cyber security practices; (3) the ethical concerns surrounding government secrecy; (4) privacy and anonymization in cyberspace; and (5) cyber weapons and cyberwar.
2025 1
2026 1
2027 1
2027 8
2028 1
2028 8

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY329 2025-2 TOPICS IN ETHICS 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course provides cadets an opportunity for reading and analysis in depth of some of the seminal philosophical works in ethics. Taught in seminar format, the course challenges first-class and second-class cadets to take responsibility for discussion and analysis and for drawing connections between ideas as they occur throughout history and across cultures. The cadets will gain a deeper understanding of the human condition and of the complex world of values.
2026 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY329A 2025-2 TOPICS IN ETHICS-A 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course provides cadets an opportunity for reading and analysis in depth of some of the seminal philosophical works in ethics. Taught in seminar format, the course challenges first-class and second-class cadets to take responsibility for discussion and analysis and for drawing connections between ideas as they occur throughout history and across cultures. The cadets will gain a deeper understanding of the human condition and of the complex world of values.
2026 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY329B 2025-1 TOPICS IN ETHICS-B 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course provides cadets an opportunity for reading and analysis in depth of some of the seminal philosophical works in ethics. Taught in seminar format, the course challenges first-class and second-class cadets to take responsibility for discussion and analysis and for drawing connections between ideas as they occur throughout history and across cultures. The cadets will gain a deeper understanding of the human condition and of the complex world of values.

No Course Offerings


COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY330 2025-1 POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE Examining the major theories and problems in the history of political philosophy from Plato to Rawls and emphasizing contemporary theory, this course includes such topics as liberty, equality, political authority, the obligation to obey the State, civil disobedience, anarchism, liberalism, conservatism, democracy, meritocracy, affirmative action, and global politics.
2025 1
2027 1
2028 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY345 2025-1 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course examines the nature of religion and its truth claims from the perspective of philosophical analysis. It examines such perennial questions as: is there a God? What are the arguments for and against the existence of a Supreme Being? How can a good God permit Evil? Is there life after death? Is it rational to believe in God or does faith stand above or against reason? What is the relationship of religion to ethics? Is the Good good because God commands it, or does God command the Good because it is good?
2026 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY350 2025-2 PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE Mathematics and the sciences (especially the natural sciences) have often been portrayed in the modern era as paradigmatic sources of knowledge. Nevertheless, one can still pose a number of lively and much-debated questions: what makes something a science? Is there a single "scientific method" or ideal way of discovering, confirming, or disconfirming scientific truths? Are there limitations to the knowledge the sciences can provide? Indeed, do the sciences provide knowledge? Does science make any presuppositions about the nature of the world or about what exists (ontology)? What is the nature of mathematics? Does it apply to a world of ideal objects, to rules for using symbols, or to the physical world? What kinds of things are numbers? Readings will include works by Peirce, Frege, the Vienna Circle, and Kuhn, as well as contemporary readings in the philosophy of science and mathematics and in the philosophies of physics, biology, the social sciences, and logic.
2026 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY355 2025-2 PHILOSOPHY OF MIND 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course will jointly address major topics in the traditional philosophy of mind and questions created by recent developments in artificial intelligence: what is mind? What is the relationship of a mind to the physical world, including the brain? What is consciousness and self-consciousness? What are the definitions of mental states and processes, such as perception, desire, belief, emotion, reasoning, and action, and their relationship? Can computers be constructed to think or behave like human beings, or to have consciousness? Readings will come from classical sources, such as Descartes, as well as contemporary literature in philosophy, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence.
2025 2
2025 8
2025 9
2027 2
2027 9
2028 2
2028 9

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY360 2025-1 ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE The heritage from ancient Greece and Rome provides the foundation for the Western concept of the universe and the place of people in it. This course examines the origins of philosophy; the essentially secular view of man and the world established during the classical period; and major figures whose views continue to shape Western thought.
2026 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY369 2025-2 ASIAN PHILOSOPHICAL TRADITIONS 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course focuses on philosophies originating in Asia, possibly including, but not necessarily limited to, those of India, China, Japan, and Korea. These philosophical traditions offer a valuable opportunity to broaden a student's intellectual perspective because they are largely free from the influence of the Hellenic philosophers that are so foundational to the Anglo-European canon. The course emphasizes engagement with primary source texts and attempts to locate those texts within the social, political, and historical contexts from which they emerged. The particular content of the course may vary in terms of the traditions explored and historical timeframe but will always do so in a way that respects the richness of the many distinct philosophies that have emerged from the Asian continent.
2026 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY370 2025-1 17TH & 18TH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course examines a selection of texts written by central figures in the formative centuries of modern European philosophy. Their ideas have had continuing influence on philosophers down to our present day, as well as profound influence on the development of political thought and on the scientific understanding of human beings. Two schools of thought will be covered: Rationalism and Empiricism. Associated with the first school are the continental philosophers Descartes (widely accepted as the founder of Modern Philosophy), Spinoza and Leibniz. The school of Empiricism includes the British philosophers Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley and Hume.
2025 1
2027 1
2028 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY375 2025-2 KANT & 19TH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course gives primary attention to the systematic philosophy of the German thinker, Immanuel Kant, whose influence on Nineteenth Century thinking was widespread and who is commonly recognized as one of the pillars of Modern Philosophy. The course will also devote attention to other important areas of philosophical thinking in the Nineteenth Century, whether within the Kantian tradition or lying outside it in other movements, such as Utilitarianism or Pragmatism, which had a continuing and significant influence on later philosophical thinking.
2025 2
2027 2
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY380 2025-2 20TH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course will introduce cadets to a representative sample major of figures and topics which have set the stage for understanding contemporary Philosophy in the so-called Analytic Tradition. Major figures include Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Moore, the philosophers of the Vienna Circle, and American philosophers such as Quine, Putnam, Davidson and Kripke. Topics include the ideal of a logically perfect language, meaning and reference, the nature of truth, the distinction between analytic and synthetic statements, the common sense analysis of metaphysical concepts, and the rule-centered social nature of language. As appropriate, leading figures and ideas drawn from Continental Philosophy will be introduced.
2025 2
2027 2
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY390 2025-2 INTER-DEPARTMENT SEMINAR 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE PY390 brings together a faculty member from DEP and one other department with Cadets majoring in those two departments with the aim of conducting a joint investigation of an important topic or cluster of topics, or the work of a single author, of recognized significance and shared interest. It will be taught every other year, on each occasion combining Philosophy with another discipline. Examples of second disciplines include History, Political Theory, Psychology, and Law. Examples of topics include: justice, philosophies of history, the evolution of human rights theory, the relationship between morality and law, cognition and mental phenomena, and evolving conceptions of citizenship. Examples of single author investigations include: Locke, Rousseau, Hume. The course will count as credit towards the major in both of the paired departments.
2026 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY390A 2025-1 INTER-DEPARTMENT SEMINAR-A 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE PY390 brings together a faculty member from DEP and one other department with Cadets majoring in those two departments with the aim of conducting a joint investigation of an important topic or cluster of topics, or the work of a single author, of recognized significance and shared interest. It will be taught every other year, on each occasion combining Philosophy with another discipline. Examples of second disciplines include History, Political Theory, Psychology, and Law. Examples of topics include: justice, philosophies of history, the evolution of human rights theory, the relationship between morality and law, cognition and mental phenomena, and evolving conceptions of citizenship. Examples of single author investigations include: Locke, Rousseau, Hume. The course will count as credit towards the major in both of the paired departments.

No Course Offerings


COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY390B 2025-1 INTER-DEPARTMENT SEMINAR-B 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE PY390 brings together a faculty member from DEP and one other department with Cadets majoring in those two departments with the aim of conducting a joint investigation of an important topic or cluster of topics, or the work of a single author, of recognized significance and shared interest. It will be taught every other year, on each occasion combining Philosophy with another discipline. Examples of second disciplines include History, Political Theory, Psychology, and Law. Examples of topics include: justice, philosophies of history, the evolution of human rights theory, the relationship between morality and law, cognition and mental phenomena, and evolving conceptions of citizenship. Examples of single author investigations include: Locke, Rousseau, Hume. The course will count as credit towards the major in both of the paired departments.

No Course Offerings


COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY395 2025-1 SPECIAL TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course explores an advanced topic in Philosophy. Specific subject matter will vary with the expertise of the senior faculty member conducting the course.
2025 1
2027 1
2028 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY400 2025-2 SENIOR SEMINAR IN PHILOSOPHY 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course provides cadets with the opportunity for advanced study in the discipline. Through the advanced study of a topic in philosophy, cadets will build on the foundation established in PY300 and throughout their academic career at West Point. They will deepen their mastery of philosophical concepts and methods and grow as scholars by applying those concepts and methods to a number of different disciplinary perspectives. Through intensive study of primary and secondary texts, this course broadens the knowledge base by bridging disciplinary approaches and setting the stage for cadets' continued educational development.
2025 2
2026 2
2027 2
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY433 2025-1 PHILOSOPHY SENIOR SEMINAR 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course provides cadets with the opportunity for advanced study in the discipline. Through the advanced study of a topic in philosophy, cadets will build on the foundation established in PY333 and throughout their academic career at West Point. They will deepen their mastery of philosophical concepts and methods and grow as scholars by applying those concepts and methods to a number of different disciplinary perspectives. Through intensive study of primary and secondary texts, this course broadens the knowledge base by bridging disciplinary approaches and setting the stage for cadets' continued educational development.

No Course Offerings


COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY490 2025-1 THESIS RESEARCH 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course permits cadets with the requisite energy and talent to initiate a yearlong project requiring research in depth that culminates in a substantial thesis of high scholarly quality.
2025 1
2026 1
2027 1
2028 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY491 2025-2 SENIOR THESIS 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course permits cadets to complete a yearlong project requiring research in depth that culminates in a substantial thesis of high scholarly quality.
2025 2
2026 2
2027 2
2028 2

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
PY495 2025-1 INDEPENDENT STUDY: PHILOSOPHY 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This optional elective offers the cadet an opportunity for in-depth study of an advanced topic in Philosophy under the mentorship of a senior faculty advisor. The scope and topic of the course are developed in consultation with the faculty advisor and appropriately build upon academic work already completed in the regular Philosophy electives. Since such a course is beyond normal teaching duties, an agreement to serve as a faculty advisor will be at the discretion of the faculty member. Enrollment is subject to Department approval.
2025 1

COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
XH400 2025-1 INTERCOLLEGIATE SEMINAR 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE The focus of the course is a topic such importance that it deserves a multi-disciplinary examination. Previous iterations of the course carried out with Bard College, examined the nature and cultural traditions of a Just War, and the complex nature of human intolerance. The course has included faculty and Cadets from the departments of English and Philosophy, History, Law, and Social Sciences. Intended for cows and firsties, it counts for credit towards the major in their respective departments. The course is conducted as a seminar course meeting in two-hour blocks during which the Cadets have chief responsibility for the discussion. A parallel course at the other institution engages undergraduates and faculty representing a comparably wide range of disciplines.

No Course Offerings


COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
ZH343 2025-1 PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course, taken abroad by the cadet as part of a foreign study program approved by West Point, falls within the disciplinary area covered by the Department of English and has been determined by the Department as suitable to earn West Point academic credit.

No Course Offerings


COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
ZH353 2025-1 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course, taken abroad by the cadet as part of a foreign study program approved by West Point, falls within the disciplinary area covered by the Department of English and has been determined by the Department as suitable to earn West Point academic credit.

No Course Offerings


COURSE TITLE CREDIT HOURS
ZH363 2025-1 ETHICS 3.0
(BS=0.0, ET=0.0, MA=0.0)
Scope Offerings
SCOPE This course, taken abroad by the cadet as part of a foreign study program approved by West Point, falls within the disciplinary area covered by the Department of English and has been determined by the Department as suitable to earn West Point academic credit.

No Course Offerings