Welcome to Philosophy!

Within the Division of Social Work, Behavioral and Political Sciences, Philosophy is the responsibility of Dr. Mark Tschaepe, who designs and teaches the courses. The two philosophy courses within the core curriculum are Critical Thinking (PHIL2303) and Ethics (PHIL2023). Critical Thinking is a required course for the Legal Studies Minor.

PHIL 2023 Ethics: 3 semester hours.

Combines the philosophical study of normative ethics with the study of contemporary applied ethics through examination of a number of tendencies and schools of ethics from various cultures, societies and historical periods. The aim of the course is to enhance the student’s awareness and sensitivity to the perplexity of morality and the moral life. Prerequisite: ENGL 1123.

PHIL 2303 Critical Thinking: 3 semester hours.

Course is designed to develop students’ ability to recognize and evaluate arguments. Focus will include: The most frequently encountered fallacies and errors in reasoning; the use/abuse of statistics; and principles of logic applied to daily life.

Dr. Tschaepe has a background in a wide variety of disciplines, including philosophy, neuroscience, and public health. In his Ethics classes students are not only introduced to standard theories of Western philosophy, but also to African philosophy. In addition, many of the exercises and readings deal directly with science and medicine, especially as these issues relate to African Americans. In his Critical Thinking classes students learn how to use basic logical tools in order to improve their thinking, which includes their reading comprehension, listening skills, and writing. These classes include examples from epidemiology that help the students analyze real-world arguments that are relevant to all persons and are especially helpful to those students entering nursing, medicine, biology, social work, health and nutrition, political science, sociology, agriculture, and education.  (What can I do with training in Philosophy?)

Apart from teaching at PVAMU, Dr. Tschaepe is Expert Liaison Officer for AIDS Foundation — Houston and serves as Board Director. He also is a regular guest speaker at Baylor College of Medicine, where he presents strategies for medical students to overcome and fight discrimination toward people living with HIV. Dr. Tschaepe is part of a research group focusing on medical information therapy that is working out of Stellenbosch University in South Africa.