Philosophy | Introduction to Philosophy
P100 | 3179 | Kesler


This introductory course is structured around three central questions:
(1) What can I know?  (2) Who am I? and (3) What should I do?

Within these three main sections, we will also consider other related
questions such as:  (a) What gives life meaning?  (b) Can I know whether
God exists?  (c) How much and what sorts of evidence does knowledge
require?  (d) Do my senses deceive me about the existence and/or the
nature of the external world?  (e) Can machines think like human beings?
(f) Am I the same person who I was several years ago?  (g) How much do
race and gender contribute to making me who I am?  (h) Am I a free and
responsible human agent or are all my actions wholly determined by causes
external to myself?  (i) Why shouldn't I be selfish?  (j) Are there
objective moral principles which make an action right or wrong?  (k) How
can I relate to other people?  and (l) Do I, and should I, view myself and
the world from a universal, objective standpoint or from my own
particular, concrete, situated perspective?

These questions will be approached through a wide variety of texts taken
from different areas and historical periods in philosophy and employing
different philosophical methods.

This course requires careful preparation and active participation.
Students will be given many opportunities to develop, articulate, and
reflect upon philosophical questions and ideas in small group discussions,
in class debates, and in writing.  Assignments will be frequent, but
manageable in scope and in length.