• HNRS 1100
    Honors Philosophical Inquiry
    Prof. Catherine Peters

    Philosophical Inquiry is an introductory exploration of central questions and interpretations of human existence, with special emphasis on theories of knowledge and theories of reality, carried on in light of the Catholic intellectual tradition. While there are many ways to go about pursuing this inquiry, this course will be divided according to Ancient (beginning circa 600 BC), Medieval (circa 300-1300AD), and Modern (circa 1500-1800AD) periods, examining some key themes and central figures in each. Our goal is to trace the development of philosophical thought in order to inform and enrich discussions today.

    HNRS 1100
    Honors Philosophical Inquiry
    Prof. Robin Wang

    This course is designed to introduce students to the various modes of philosophical inquiry and to the great philosophical questions that are relevant to a humanistic education in the Catholic intellectual tradition. More specifically, the aim of this course is to help students to acquire an understanding of fundamental metaphysical (the study of the nature of what is) and epistemological (the study of the nature and scope of human knowledge) questions in ancient philosophical texts from Greek and Daoist traditions. We will read classic texts such as Plato’s Dialogues, Epictetus, Daodejing and Zhuangzi so on. This course will assist students in acquiring the interpretive and evaluative skills necessary for assessing various answers to these fundamental questions, and to encourage them to develop a lifelong habit of philosophical self-reflection. A wider range of the course activities will be selected to promote each of these aims. It includes careful reading classical texts, a close analysis of these texts and formulations critical questions from class lectures, research project, course assignments and self-reflection.

    HNRS 1200
    Honors Theological Inquiry
    Prof. Matthew Petrusek

    This course provides a broad survey of foundational ideas and texts that have contributed—and continue to contribute—to the vast, diverse, and living body of moral thinking that constitutes “Christian Ethics.” The course is divided into two interconnected parts. First, we will examine the relationship between God and the good from philosophical, literary, and psychological perspectives. Second, we will leverage the questions and responses gained from our broad consideration of the question to critically examine the uniquely Christian conception of God and the good, especially mindful of its biblical roots. Here, we will also focus on the theology and ethics of two watershed Christian thinkers: St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. The course’s methodology and content engage the topic primarily from conceptual and theoretical perspectives; however, we will continually highlight the practical, concrete, every-day implications of the ideas throughout the semester. There will also be a unit dedicated solely to studying the principles of good argumentation.

    HNRS 2000
    Honors Colloquium: Research and Exhibition
    Prof. Andrew Dilts

    This course—required for all University Honors Program students—is an orientation to the practice of research and creative activity from a scholarly point of view. It introduces young scholars and creative people into the mechanisms, habits, assumptions, and knowledges of the academy. This includes 1) the formulation by the student of a problem worthy of in-depth study, 2) the articulation of how that problem can be addressed, and 3) the public exhibition of the student's work. In short, the course introduces students to formal, mentored academic research and creative work.

    HNRS 2100
    Honors Historical Analysis and Perspectives
    Prof. Nicolas Rosenthal

    This course examines the history of the United States and its place in the world through the lens of civil rights activism and advocacy, from the late-nineteenth century to the present. It traces the efforts by different groups to achieve and expand the full rights of United States citizenship, focusing on women, African Americans, and LGBTQ persons. Throughout the course we will ask a series of fundamental questions as we trace the experiences of these groups over time: What have been the conditions of these groups and what demands have they made for full citizenship in US society? What have been the different forms of activism and advocacy and how have they changed over time? How have their efforts been received and what changes have they made? What is the nature of these struggles today and how can we better understand them by examining this history? Since this is a survey class we will pay particular attention to how these efforts by different groups are contextualized within the broader changes of American society and culture.

    HNRS 2200
    Honors Nature of Science, Technology, and Mathematics
    Prof. John David Dionisio

    The course aims to introduce you to the theory and practice of computation as a scientific and engineering endeavor. Long after you finish this course, my hope is that you will be able to:

    1. Understand the concept of computation through the lens of computer science, the primary discipline that studies it as a phenomenon in its own right.
    2. Apply this knowledge of computation through rudimentary computer programming in either the JavaScript or Python languages.
    3. Integrate this deeper knowledge of computation with its many uses in the real world, including but not limited to algorithms, networks, artificial intelligence, entertainment/media, and robotics.
    4. Appreciate the abstract meaning of computation as a pure idea, separated from technology, particularly its relationships to infinity, complexity, tractability, and what problems are even “computable.”

    HNRS 3000
    Honors Colloquium: Post-Baccalaureate Success
    Prof. Cassidy Alvarado

    HNRS 3000 is an orientation to opportunities that await students beyond LMU (including national and international fellowships, postgrad service, and career opportunities) and preparation for pursuing them effectively. Early in the course, students will explore a variety of post-baccalaureate opportunities and reflect on their undergraduate experiences. Through peer-led writing workshops, students will learn how to connect their experiences to their future goals. Students will develop a personal statement and statement of purpose, which they can adapt for internship, job, graduate school, or prestigious fellowship applications. By the end of the course, students will submit a mock fellowship application package, and will be able to express their academic and professional goals.

    HNRS 3100
    Honors Ethics and Justice
    Prof. Sue Scheibler

    What does it mean to be a good person? How have philosophers answered this question? How can we use their work as a series of lenses through which to analyze media texts? As we read, think, write, watch, play, and discuss, we will attempt to answer the following questions: What role do media (film, TV, and video games) play in our construction of ourselves as ethical and moral people? Why do so many media texts rely on a simple binary of heroes versus villains, protagonists versus antagonists? In what ways does this overarching assumption about storytelling impact our individual and collective thinking about what it means to be human? Does it contribute to a worldview that sees things in black and white; placing people in categories of self/other; friend/enemy; member/outsider? Why do so many of our movies, TV series and video games stage the struggle between good and evil through the spectacle of violence? What roles do empathy and affect play in our responses to the images we consume and the ethical values we may take away from them? In what ways do technologies such as video games, AR and VR intensify our relationships to the questions we're exploring? Is there such a thing as an ethical gaze?

    HNRS 3110
    Beyond Good and Evil
    Prof. Andrew Dilts

    What does it mean for “morality” to have a history? What about “freedom”? Equality? The Self? The Psyche? The Soul? How are we to orient ourselves toward the task of living if we take seriously Nietzsche’s declaration that it is precisely “we knowers” who are “unknown to ourselves?” Beyond Good and Evil is a course in critical ethical and moral theory, studying the cultural and ideological formations that have shaped our understandings of ethical, social, political, and economic questions in our contemporary moment. In this small and reading-intensive seminar, we will focus on the fraught relationships between three definitive modern terms: the self, society, and freedom. We will ask hard questions about these terms which are meant to disorient ourselves from the certainty we have, so that we may be able to think more ethically, freer, and more honestly about our actions and reactions to the world in which we find ourselves.

  • FFYS 1000
    First Year Seminar: Truth and Lies in Politics
    Prof. Richard Fox

    FFYS 1000
    First Year Seminar: Sex, Science, and Society
    Prof. Mairead Sullivan

    FFYS 1000
    First Year Seminar: Thinking, Feeling, and Being
    Prof. Brett Marroquín

    FFYS 1000
    First Year Seminar: On the Technological Sublime
    Prof. Susan Scheibler

    HNRS 1000
    Honors Colloquium: Introduction to Honors
    Prof. Trevor Zink

    HNRS 1100
    Honors Philosophical Inquiry
    Prof. Sina Kramer

    HNRS 1100
    Honors Philosophical Inquiry
    Prof. Scott Roniger

    HNRS 1200
    Honors Theological Inquiry
    Prof. Amir Hussain

    HNRS 1200
    Honors Theological Inquiry
    Prof. Charlotte Radler

    HNRS 2000
    Honors Colloquium: Research and Exhibition
    Prof. John David Dionisio

    HNRS 2100
    Honors Historical Analysis and Perspectives
    Prof. Amy Woodson-Boulton

    HNRS 2200
    Honors Nature of Science, Technology, and Mathematics
    Prof. Todd Shoepe

    HNRS 2300
    Honors Literary Analysis
    Prof. Kelly Younger

    HNRS 3000
    Honors Colloquium: Post-Baccalaureate Success
    Prof. Cassidy Alvarado

    HNRS 3110
    Beyond Good and Evil
    Prof. Brian Treanor

    HNRS 3110
    Beyond Good and Evil
    Prof. Jennifer Ramos

  • HNRS 1100
    Honors Philosophical Inquiry
    Prof. Jason Baehr

    This is an introductory course in philosophy. It will focus mainly on a range of classical philosophical issues in metaphysics (the philosophical study of reality) and epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge), including: What is ultimately real? How is knowledge possible? What’s the nature of the “soul”? What happens when we die? Readings will include a combination of historical and contemporary philosophical texts.

    HNRS 1200
    Honors Theological Inquiry
    Prof. Amir Hussain

    This course takes a comparative approach to theological inquiry, examining fundamental religious questions in relation to two or three religious traditions (one of them being Christianity). The course emphasizes comparative analysis of primary religious sources and focuses on how diverse religious approaches to questions of ultimate concern might be mutually illuminative. The course also includes interactive encounters with practitioners of the religions under consideration.

    HNRS 1200
    Honors Theological Inquiry
    Prof. Jonathan Rothchild

    This Honors Theological Inquiry course introduces central thinkers, methods, themes, and concepts of Christian Ethics. Students will critically analyze the moral arguments of traditional and contemporary thinkers in relation to fundamental questions about theological anthropology (e.g., freedom, agency, responsibility, sin), basic goods and values (e.g., teleology, deontology, virtue theory), theological frameworks (e.g., liberation, feminist, natural law, revisionist) and wider cultural, political, legal, and scientific developments. Students will also comparatively explore the reception of religious ideas and perspectives in different global contexts. The course will examine three case-studies—sexual ethics, criminal justice and restorative, and health, disease, and bioethics—as well as additional topics in environmental ethics and comparative religious ethics.

    HNRS 2000
    Honors Colloquium: Research and Exhibition
    Prof. Andrew Dilts

    This course—required for all University Honors Program students—is an orientation to the practice of research and creative activity from a scholarly point of view. It introduces young scholars and creative people into the mechanisms, habits, assumptions, and knowledge of the academy. This includes 1) the formulation by the student of a problem worthy of in-depth study, 2) the articulation of how that problem can be addressed, and 3) the public exhibition of the student's work. In short, the course introduces students to formal, mentored academic research and creative work.

    HNRS 2200
    Honors Nature of Science, Technology, and Mathematics
    Prof. David Moffet

    Our students, like society in general, are bombarded with information from a multitude of different platforms. Knowing how to process this information, understanding how to verify its accuracy, and discerning how the information was produced will all be keys to success in an ever-growing technologically advanced world. This course will tackle some of the contemporary scientific issues of our time. Students will be taught the general facts of these issues, but will also be given the opportunity to review the data and information collected and disseminated by the scientists working in these fields through reading scientific articles, current reviews, and general information from the news. Whenever possible, students will analyze the data themselves to draw their own conclusions, just as is done in science and research labs around the world. Students will collect and analyze data themselves. Students will view their own cells under the microscope and isolate DNA from those cells.

    HNRS 2300
    Honors Literary Analysis
    Prof. Robin Miskolcze

    What defines a short story and makes it different than a novel, even though they both convey fictional stories? What makes particular modes of writing seem timeless, appearing and reappearing within works of fiction over long periods of time? How do texts suggest different meanings even though we are all reading the same words?

    These are a few of the questions that will guide us in this literary analysis class that asks you to critically read and write about challenging and provocative texts from the classical age to the present.

    HNRS 3000
    Honors Colloquium: Post-Baccalaureate Success
    Prof. Cassidy Alvarado

    HNRS 3000 is an orientation to opportunities that await students beyond LMU (including national and international fellowships, postgrad service, and career opportunities) and preparation for pursuing them effectively. Early in the course, students will explore a variety of post-baccalaureate opportunities and reflect on their undergraduate experiences. Through peer-led writing workshops, students will learn how to connect their experiences to their future goals. Students will develop a personal statement and statement of purpose, which they can adapt for internship, job, graduate school, or prestigious fellowship applications. By the end of the course, students will submit a mock fellowship application package, and will be able to express their academic and professional goals.

    HNRS 3100
    Honors Ethics and Justice
    Prof. Eric Perl

    What does it mean for a human being to be good, or to live a good life? How is it that there is such a thing as “good and bad” or “right and wrong” at all? What, if any, are the grounds of normativity, that is, the conditions in the nature of reality and of human beings for there to be any moral standards? The course will address these questions by examining the ethical theories of four major philosophers, two classical (Plato and Aristotle) and two modern (Hume and Kant).

    HNRS 3110
    Beyond Good and Evil
    Prof. Trevor Zink

    Beyond Good and Evil is an exploration of practical moral problems through the study of philosophical ethics—learning and then applying the classic ethical theories. First, we will investigate the underpinnings of morality in the major ethical traditions. Then, we will explore the implications of these traditions by investigating many controversial issues across a broad spectrum of the human experience. The specific applications areas are primarily driven by student interest, which we will determine at the start of the semester. Past topics have included business ethics issues such as consumer protection, governance, and economic systems; social justice issues such as alleviating poverty, free speech and hate speech, and indigenous rights; environmental issues such as wildlife conservation, the place of humanity on Earth, and food distribution diet; bioethics topics such as population limits, organ donation, healthcare, birth, death, euthanasia, and genetic modification; and others.

    As ethics is an applied branch of philosophy, the course will emphasize developing a practical understanding of how to approach and resolve ethical quandaries likely to be relevant in your life. The main term project will be to sculpt your own personal ethos, which will ideally help guide you in whatever professional path you embark upon after university.