Philosophy | Introduction to Philosophy
P100 | 20266 | Palmer


This course is designed to introduce you to philosophy. Philosophers
ask many questions about the fundamental nature of reality and our
place in it.  Among those many questions are: Do we have any
knowledge about the world? What is knowledge? When do we have the
right to hold certain beliefs? Does God exist?  What reasons do we
have for believing that he exists or for believing that he does
not?  How convincing are such reasons?  What is free will?  Do we
have it?  In this class, we will try to get clearer about these
questions by considering some of the major issues that arise when we
try to answer them.  We will do so by critically evaluating some key
philosophical texts and arguments in the areas of epistemology
(theory of knowledge), philosophy of religion, and metaphysics (the
study of ultimate reality). Philosophers seek answers to their
questions through rational argument.  Thus we shall start by
focusing on the nature of arguments and some basic logic, which will
form the foundation upon which we evaluate the arguments we will
encounter later in the class.  By the end of this course, you will
have gained insight into some central philosophical problems and
will have improved your ability to critically assess your own
beliefs and those of others regardless of subject matter.