Philosophy | Introduction to Philosophy
P100 | 0488 | J. Alexander


Following the path to bright ideas and sizzling truths while keeping
an eye out along the way for watchmakers, brains-in-vats,
doppelgangers, and more…

This course will introduce students to some of the main issues and
topics in Western Philosophy. Students will learn skills associated
with analytical thinking, speaking, and writing, as well as explore
central philosophical problems. Readings will represent major
philosophical figures from various periods.  Some problems to be
addressed include the existence and nature of God, knowledge of the
external world, personal identity, determinism and free will, and the
nature of morality.

Socrates maintained that an unexamined life is not worth living.  Part
of examining life is examining ones' own beliefs and determining
whether or not they hold up to close scrutiny and analysis.  I
encourage you to question both the arguments that I present and the
arguments presented in the texts we shall be reading.  Further, I
encourage you to question and analyze your own beliefs on these
matters.  By the end of the course, you should have:

1. A broad understanding of some of the central problems in Philosophy
and an understanding of the various approaches relating to them.

2. Knowledge of the main specialist terms that philosophers use.
3. Knowledge of the methods of analytic inquiry.

4.An ability to think critically for yourself and to write a
structured paper that deals critically and creatively with a problem
rather than reproducing existing material.