Fall 2016 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
Being an introduction, this course will chiefly consider what philosophy is at its foundationâ€”What is philosophy? and What does it mean to philosophize? We will find that these seemingly simple questions resist easy answers, as there have been many ways and reasons for practicing philosophy over the past two and a half millennia. Yet, hopefully, we will discover that these questionsâ€”as well as the many questions philosophy asks about all areas of human lifeâ€”are today more pressing than ever before. Toward these ends, we will read and discuss some of philosophyâ€™s most influential texts, works that have helped influence and challenge Western thought. These readings, along with our in-class discussions and lectures, will additionally teach us different methods or â€œstylesâ€ of doing philosophy (Rationalism, Idealism, Existentialism, Phenomenology, etc.), as well as some of the different disciplines, realms, or â€œbranchesâ€ of philosophy (Metaphysics, Epistemology, Ethics, Aesthetics, Philosophy of Technology etc.). Moreover, by reading and interpreting these works on our own timeâ€”and then discussing them together in classâ€”we will develop critical reading and thinking skills, as well as enhance our writing ability. Such things help us not only in other academic endeavors, but also in our personal and professional lives too.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Message board participation
Two in-class essays