Philosophy | Introduction to Philosophy
P100 | 9683 | Ceballes


The best way to learn about philosophy is through the activity of
doing philosophy. As the German philosopher Immanuel Kant once
said, “Philosophy can be learned only though practice and the use of
one’s own reason.” The purpose of this course is to introduce
students to some of the traditional philosophical methods, tools, and
issues of Western philosophy, so that students can continue to refine
and cultivate their own thinking about issues important to them. An
integral part of the course is the give and take of classroom
discussions; participation is vital.

Some of the areas of philosophy we will survey include philosophy of
religion, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and ethics. Our brief
study of the philosophy of religion will encompass the relation of
faith and reason, the problem of evil, and traditional attempts to
prove that God exists. With respect to epistemology we’ll inquire
into the foundations of knowledge through selected texts of Plato and
Descartes.  Popular movies such as "The Truman Show" or “The Matrix”
will be quite relevant in this context.  In connection with the
philosophy of mind we’ll inquire into the various theories regarding
the relationship of the mind/soul to the body.  Finally, we’ll
discuss topics such as selfishness, moral objectivity, moral
relativism, and the nature of morality. Our readings will likely be
selected from a standard anthology of philosophical essays,
supplemented with a work of fiction or a film.

Requirements: Class participation, two tests, short summaries, two 3-
5 page papers, and a final exam