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syllabus &reading

syllabus &reading - PHIL 101 Introduction to...

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PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy Dr. Pamela Hood Spring 2011 Syllabus, 1 Class meets: MWF 1:10-2pm HUM 133 Website: https://ilearn.sfsu.edu/login/index.php Office: HUM 359 Email: [email protected] Office Hours: F 8-10am, 2-3pm, and by appointment (signup sheet is outside my office) [TA will announce his own office hours and contact info] My Social Media for PHIL 101 My blog: socratesking.net Twitter: @socratesking Facebook: www.facebook.com/socratesking My academic website: profhood.com A quote from Socrates “I am that gadfly God has given the state and all day long and everywhere I am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you. And as you will not easily find another like me, I would advise you to spare me. I dare say that you may feel irritated at being suddenly awakened when you are caught napping; and you may think that if you were to strike me dead, as Anytus advises, which you easily might, then you would sleep on for the remainder of your lives, unless God in his care of you gives you another gadfly.” Plato, Apology A quote from Martin Luther King, Jr’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail ” Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.” Course Description In this course we will examine some of the perennial questions of life, especially those central to issues of morality, personal integrity, and social justice. Our main guides will be Socrates and Martin Luther King, Jr. We will examine the philosophical connection between Socrates and King, along with other central figures in political and philosophical thought, including Gandhi, Thoreau, and more contemporary figures. Here are some of the questions we will explore: What makes something moral or immoral? Is it possible to know with absolute certainty that what you are doing is morally correct? How does one tell if a law is just or unjust? For example, is the California law against same- sex marriage just or unjust? Many believe that it is discriminatory, but is simply being discriminatory a bad thing? As with segregation laws, is the ban against
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PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy Dr. Pamela Hood Spring 2011 Syllabus, 2 same-sex marriage an example of the government treating a class of persons as separate and unequal? When, if ever, is it right to defy the government? Under what circumstances, if any, is the use of violence appropriate? When someone hurts you or your friends, is retaliation ever justified? And speaking of friends, what does it mean to be a friend? What would you do on behalf of a friend? Would you bail a friend out of jail? Would you lie or steal for a friend? Is the
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