syllabus - 100 10 v06

syllabus - 100 10 v06 - Introduction to Philosophy COURSE...

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Introduction to Philosophy COURSE AND CONTACT INFORMATION Course: Phil 100 – Intro to Philosophy Semester: Fall 2010 Time: Th 7–9:50pm Place: HH 1101 Prerequisites: None Antirequisites: None Instructor: John Turri Office: 333 Hagey Hall Office hours: W 11am–1pm Email: jturri@uwaterloo.ca Teaching Assistant: Mr. Paul Simard-Smith Email: psimards@uwaterloo.ca Teaching Assistant: Mr. Peter Blouw Email: pblouw@uwaterloo.ca COURSE DESCRIPTION This course introduces you to profound philosophical problems, puzzles, theories and ar- guments. Topics may include: arguments for and against the existence of God, knowledge, skepticism, perception, personal identity, the mind/body problem, the nature of art, the nature of science, explanation, the nature of morality, time, space, determinism and free will. Your questions and participation in classroom discussion will be most welcome throughout. COURSE GOALS There are five main goals of this course. The first three goals pertain to the specific con- tent of the course; achieving them means that you have gained some valuable knowledge about an important area of human inquiry. The last two pertain to your development as a thinker more generally; achieving them means that you have exercised and strengthened valuable intellectual skills. By the end of this course you should: 1. be familiar with a number of influential topics in core areas of philosophy, 2. understand how philosophers have argued for and against views on these topics, 3. cultivate a critical perspective on those arguments and views, 4. cultivate the basic critical skills of recognizing and assessing arguments, in particular the skill of distinguishing and assessing logical strength and factual strength, and 5. improve at formulating and communicating sophisticated ideas and arguments. The required reading for the course primarily promotes goals 1 and 2, but it can also pro- mote goals 3 and 4, if you try hard. The lectures promote goals 1–4 by providing you with relevant information, perspective and opportunity for discussion; they also indirectly pro- mote goal 5, by providing a model of clarity and precision to strive for. The work assigned Page 1 of 7
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Philosophy 100, Fall 2010 John Turri for evaluation (explained below) is designed to promote all of these course goals. Prepar- ing for the tests can promote goals 1–4, though it will promote goal 3 only if you put in the effort to intelligently evaluate the material. The paper isn’t intended to promote goals 1 and 2 (though it does do that to some extent); rather, it promotes goals 3–5, and espe- cially 5, by offering you an opportunity to dwell at length on a specific question or issue. EVALUATION 1. Tests : One short-answer test and three multiple-choice tests on material from read- ing, lecture, and supplementary material I provide, to be taken in class on October 7, October 14, November 11 and December 2. Test 1 is the short-answer test, and will focus on the mechanics of argument presentation and evaluation. Test 2 will cover
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syllabus - 100 10 v06 - Introduction to Philosophy COURSE...

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