Intro to Philosophy syllabus

Intro to Philosophy syllabus - INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY...

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INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY Philosophy 101 P TTH 11:00-12:15 Professor A. L. Thomasson Office: Ashe 701 Mailbox: Philosophy Department main office (Ashe 7 th floor) Office Hours: Mondays and Tuesdays 1:30-3:00, or email for appt. Fax: 284-5594 Email: [email protected] Texts: The following books are required and available at the bookstore: George Berkeley, Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan David Hume, Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding Immanuel Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism If you have trouble getting a copy of any of these, please note that editions of all of the above— except for Descartes—are available as electronic resources from the Richter Library (though they may be different editions/translations). There are additional required articles/book chapters on regular and electronic reserve. The course reserves password is: r1085086 ( Please note that it is case sensitive and must be entered without spaces). The course reserves are accessible directly through the library’s reserves listing, or through the Blackboard site for our class. Course description: In this course we will focus on three classic philosophical questions: 1. What makes actions right and wrong? Is it the consequences of an act that determine whether they are right or wrong, or is the principle followed more important? 2. Do we have free will, or is the future already determined? If we don’t have free will, can we be held morally responsible for our actions? 3. What (if anything) can we know with certainty? In particular, can we have any certain knowledge of a “real world” beyond and independent of our experience? In part, we will be trying together to find out what answers to these questions seem most plausible, and so what we have most reason to believe about these fundamental questions. But part of the importance of learning to think philosophically lies not in answering any particular questions, but in learning to weigh up fairly all sides of a position by considering reasons for and against believing in either side. This is the most useful skill philosophy can provide for the rest of life, since it is
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