Spring 2014 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Amato, Lawrence
Discipline and Number
PHIL 1301 Section 001
MWF Time 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM
Course Title
Introduction to Philosophy

Description of Course:

Being an introduction, this course will chiefly consider what philosophy is at its foundation—what is philosophy and what does it mean to philosophize? We will find that these questions resist easy answers, yet, hopefully, we will discover that they are questions worth asking. Toward these ends, we will read and discuss some of philosophy’s most influential texts, works that have helped both influence and challenge Western thinking. This investigation will additionally teach us different methods or styles of doing philosophy, as well as the different disciplines that arise out of it. Moreover, by reading and interpreting these works together, we will develop critical reading and thinking skills, as well as enhance our writing. Such things help us not only in other academic endeavors, but also in our personal and professional lives too.

Required Texts:

Plato, "The Republic" (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1996) ISBN: 978-0393314670

Emerson, "The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson" (New York: Modern Library, 2000) ISBN: 978-0679783220

Keith Ansell Pearson and Duncan Large, eds., "The Nietzsche Reader" (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2006) ISBN: 978-0631226543

Heidegger, "Basic Writings," Revised and Expanded Edition (New York: HarperCollins, 1993) ISBN: 978-0060637637

Emmanuel Levinas, "Ethics and Infinity" (Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press, 1985) ISBN: 978-0820701783

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Three factors will be used to determine the student’s final grade: 1) attendance will be kept and participation noted, 2) four quizzes, and 3) there will be an essay exam at the end of the semester (you will need a blue book for the final exam).

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