For current students, here are my syllabi for Spring of 2018:

Frans Hals - Portret van René Descartes

Frans Hals – Portret van René Descartes

Philosophy 2050: Ethics and Values (046) (047)

Philosophy 2150: Early Modern Philosophy (001) (002)


For students interested in majoring/minoring or taking more courses in Philosophy:

E-mail me @ eric.stencil at uvu.edu to set up an appointment.

For anyone interested in taking a course from me in the future, or just curious about how/what I tend to teach:

I began teaching at UVU as an Assistant Professor during the summer of 2012.  Prior to that I was a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Madison College.

I have been teaching three lower-level courses regularly at UVU: Introduction to Philosophy; Critical Thinking and Philosophical Writing; and Early Modern Philosophy.

My introduction to Philosophy courses tend to focus on a combination of historical figures (e.g., Socrates and Descartes) combined with contemporary articles/books by contemporary philosophers written within the last 50 years or so.  We tend to cover topics like: Whether we have souls; In what our personal identity consists; Whether we have free will; and Conceptions of justice.  The syllabi for recent Intro Philosophy class I taught is available below.

Elizabeth, Princess Palatine by Gerrit van Honthors

Elizabeth, Princess Palatine by Gerrit van Honthors

My Critical Thinking and Philosophical Writing courses focus on several forms of Formal Logic (very roughly, the study of arguments and inferences involving formal systems), Inductive Inferences (very roughly, arguments or inferences trying to show that the conclusion is more probable than not), and on Philosophical Writing.  One of the main features of this course is that we cover (chosen by the students) recent op-ed columns and construct and evaluate the arguments therein.  The syllabi for the Critical Thinking and Logical Writing classes I am teaching now is available above.

When teaching courses in the history of philosophy, in addition to covering the more traditionally covered figures (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant) I like to devote some time to discussions of less-studied figures, who were important figures and very active members of the intellectual climate of the time (e.g., Arnauld, Malebranche, Elisabeth of Bohemia, Conway and Astell).  The syllabus for my most recent Early Modern Philosophy is available below.

In addition to introductory level courses, I often teach upper-level more seminar style courses focusing on either one figure (e.g., Descartes) or one topic in Early Modern Philosophy (God and Evil).  Those syllabi are available below.

Please e-mail me any questions: eric.stencil at uvu.edu

Courses that I have taught at UVU:

Introduction to Philosophy

Logical Thinking and Writing

Ethics and Values

Ethics and Values Hybrid

Ethics and Values Special Topics: Food and Animal Ethics

Ethics and Values Special Topics: Food and Animal Ethics, Service Learning

Early Modern Philosophy


Scotus, Ockham and Descartes.

Descartes Seminar

Spinoza and Kant: Freedom and Nature

God and Evil (cross-listed with Religious Studies)

Modern Legacies: God, Self and Science and the Rise of Modern Philosophy (Honors Seminar)








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