Philosophy of Communication (COM520) - This course is a survey of the genealogy of communication and how communication creates shared experiences between people. Through a collection of readings, students will examine how and why society thinks about communication the way it does. Philosophy of Communication is generally concerned with analytical, theoretical and political issues that cross different discipline boundaries. It explores how people live their lives and deal with the conflicts that are inevitable whenever communication occurs in a society, whether in person, in groups, electronically or through the mass media. Throughout the course, students are exposed to the broader study of the field and how it relates to contemporary philosophical arguments, positions and concerns. By studying the historical and social contexts for communication, students will come to understand and appreciate how meaning is created through human interaction, more about themselves and how they relate to others.
Logic, Reasoning, and Persuasion (COM522) - This course studies the development of reasoning and formal logic and its relationship to persuasion and argumentation. It provides an overview of logical thinking, distinguishing rational inquiry from mythological inquiry and regulative thinking from associative thinking. Students will learn to articulate logical thinking or reasoning as a process of making logical argument and will discuss 3 basic modes of reasoning in persuasion and argumentation: deduction, induction, and abduction, explaining their practical applications in the studies of humanities. Students will also be introduced to possible world semantics and thought experiments, which help participants to build logical foundations for developing rational, independent, critical, and creative thinking.
Politics and the News (COM580) - This course will critically analyze how the news media influenced public discussion of political and social issues in the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as examine how these issues were debated in the news. Drawing on readings from political science, communications, and history, students will also examine how political powers in mass democracies use the news media as a mechanism of persuasion and social control.
Issues in Cyberspace (COM630) - This course explores some of the social, cultural, legal and political issues associated with the evolution of the online world or Cyberspace. From its origins as a government-sponsored communications network, the Internet has evolved to become the center of information society. This course examines the boundaries of online behavior and freedom of expression when it comes to issues such as privacy, piracy, copyright, anonymity, libel, cyberbullying, indecency, and social networking just to mention a few. Topics are covered through a series of readings, reflections, exploration of web sites, online exchanges and writing assignments that look at how the issues evolved and the different ways of addressing them.