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An Introduction to Philosophy

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Course DatesWeeksMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRN
June 23, 2014 - July 11, 20143M-F 12:45-3:35POpenDavid Estlund10079

Course Description

We will grapple with the great questions of philosophy. Our provocations will come from classic and contemporary authors, but we will learn to do philosophy, not just study it. Our topics will include the nature of the mind, knowledge, the existence of God, free will, and morality.

In this course we cover many of the main branches of philosophy as understood in the western tradition. We will study the nature of knowledge, the mind/body problem, the problem of free will, the question of the existence of God, the idea of objective reality, and the nature of moral value. Class will include both lecture and lots of discussion, with student presentation. Outside audio and video material will be incorporated.

Students will learn about what philosophy is and how it is done. The course emphasizes critical and analytical thinking, the anticipation of objections, and the ability to make clarifying distinctions in evaluating arguments. These are all skills that have great value even outside the study of philosophy.