PL101 Syllabus - PH 101 Introduction to Philosophy...

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PH 101 – Introduction to Philosophy Fall 2012 Professor: Joo-Hwan Lee E-mail: [email protected] ; [email protected] Office Hours: By appointment A. COURSE DESCRIPTION and COURSE OBJECTIVES: This course will acquaint students with the thinking of a selection of philosophers, past and present, Western and non-Western, with the historical and intellectual context out of which they worked, and with the impact of their thinking on human existence and development. Important questions are raised regarding the nature of reality, the self, knowledge, the good, spirituality, and the ultimate, and students are asked to consider the significance of these questions to their own lives. These questions include—but are not limited to—the following: How does one distinguish between good and bad reasoning? What is the nature of the world/reality? Does God/god/gods exist? If so, what sort of God/god/gods? What does it mean to be a person? Is there free will? What is the nature of truth and what is knowledge? Is it possible? How do we get it? What makes actions/ persons good or bad? What is the character of a good society or state? What is the purpose/meaning of life/ human existence? In investigating these open questions, students will gain an introduction to the various branches of philosophy: logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy of religion, and possibly aesthetics. Students will develop appreciative, analytic, critical and synthetic skills in relation to the ideas presented, to their responses to them, and to their own lives and experience. To that end, each student will be expected to submit a thoughtful, well-organized, properly documented, critical essay which explores not only the what” questions but also the “ why” and “ so what” questions as a part of the grading criteria. The other main purpose of this course is to help students to think independently and, of course, philosophically. Ultimately, in each course each student is the philosopher whose thinking, values, assumptions, and life, it is most important for him or her to explore. Thus classes approach the philosophers studied not so much in the
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