PHIL 1110 B (CRN: 94350)
Philosophy: God, Morality, Mind
3 Credit Hours
Explores three major topics in philosophy using the tools of philosophical argument and analysis. Content, readings, and assignments vary by section and instructor.
Open to degree and PACE students
This course gives students a broad introduction to philosophy by examining three central topics: philosophy of religion, ethics, and free will. Part of what characterizes philosophy is its subject matter. Philosophy typically asks questions that are more fundamental or general than other disciplines. Rather than asking if God parted the sea, philosophy asks if God exists. Rather than asking if van Gogh’s “Starry Night” is beautiful, philosophy asks whether beauty is objective or subjective. Rather than just trying to decide if gun control is good, philosophy seeks a systematic account of the nature of goodness in general. Philosophy is also distinctive in its focus on arguments. Unlike other disciplines, philosophy has no proprietary area of empirical data. Instead it often relies upon banal pieces of common sense, e.g. that 2 + 3 = 5, that pieces of wax change shape when heated, or that we sometimes misperceive things. As a result, less emphasis is on the evidence and more on the argument itself, i.e. to the reasoning that leads from such everyday facts to the conclusion. This also means that difficult reasoning is common fare and that clarity and precision are at a premium. The philosophers whose works we will study span the last twenty-five centuries and include widely known figures such as Plato, Hume, Leibniz, and John Stuart Mill, as well as lesser known contemporary figures. As we survey these texts we will practice philosophy ourselves, struggling first to understand the arguments and then to critically assess them.
Four homework assignments Midterm Exam Final Exam Misc. small 'surprise quizzes' and 'mini-assignments'
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