Fall 2014 - Undergraduate Course Description
Instructor
Hiltz, Stephen
Discipline and Number
PHIL 1301 Section 002
Day
TR Time 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Course Title
Introduction to Philosophy

Description of Course:

The course will investigate a variety of influential philosophical perspectives, from Plato to the present day, on topics of perennial interest in epistemology, metaphysics and philosophy of mind. We will ponder the following questions, among others: What sort of inquiry is philosophy? What weight should be given to the roles of sense perception and abstract conceptual activity in our attempts to acquire knowledge of the world? Is certainty possible? Can we attain genuine knowledge of anything beyond Nature? Are there any valid proofs of the existence of God? What is the most reasonable attitude to take towards matters of faith? What, exactly, does it mean to have a mind? What sort of relation obtains between mental states or events and the physical dimension of our being?

Required Texts:

Cahn and Eckert, eds., Philosophical Horizons: Introductory Readings, 2nd edition
Supplementary readings (mainly teacher-written notes/handouts) will be posted on eLearning.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Your course grade will be based a Midterm Exam, worth 40%, and Final Exam, worth 60%. These tests will include a mix of True-False, Multiple-Choice, Definition, and Short-Analysis questions. There will be no extra-credit assignments, and no tests will be given early to accommodate individual students’ extracurricular lives. (If you miss a test for legitimate reasons, you will be able to take a make-up at a later date.)

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