God and the Good Life: An Introduction to Philosophy

In God and the Good Life, students have the opportunity to consider, discuss, and debate the big questions surrounding what makes a life moral and what makes a life meaningful. The course tackles such issues as what justifies our beliefs, whether we should practice a religion, and what sacrifices we should make for others. Using classic philosophical texts, real-world case studies, and interactive digital tools, students search for answers and explore their beliefs in both large-group discussions and small intensive Sustained Dialogue groups led by former GGL students. Over the semester students compose a philosophical apology -- an essay describing how they've developed their answers to the big questions and defending their beliefs using rigorous arguments.

Spring 2019 Courses

Introduction to Philosophy: God and The Good Life
10111 01 (26218)
Blaschko and Christy
9:25-10:15 MW
First Year Students Only

In this course, you'll wrestle with four major philosophical questions: What are your moral obligations? Should you practice a religion? What will it mean for your life to have been lived well? And how should you go about deciding what to believe when it comes to these questions? We'll consider the best arguments in favor of different answers to the questions. We'll spend a lot of our time in intensive group discussion, trying to make up our minds about which reasons are convincing and which are not. We'll also look at ways that these philosophical issues bear on many real-world case studies. For instance, how should you think about your choice of a career? Does religious conscience deserve any special protection under the law? What exactly is consent and why is it so important? We'll look at arguments from thinkers like Descartes, Kant, Aristotle and Aquinas. But the focus will be on discovering and working out our own sophisticated answers to the four major questions.
 

Introduction to Philosophy: God and The Good Life
10111 02 (27623)
Cutter
10:30-11:20 MW
First Year Students Only

Should you practice a religion? 
What do you owe other people? 
What would it take for your life to be meaningful?
And how should you decide what to believe when it comes to big questions like these?

In God and the Good Life, we’re searching for answers. We’ll read the best philosophical arguments addressing these questions.  We’ll share our reactions to the proposals in blogs and social media editorials.  We’ll come together as a large group to debate real world case studies that bear on these questions, hearing periodically from guest speakers making headlines in current debates about religion, morality and meaning.  And we’ll meet in small Sustained Dialogue groups to discuss our religious and moral identities and develop virtuous friendships (to borrow Aristotle’s terminology).  If you are excited about developing philosophical skills in an intense, creative community format---this is the course for you.  This course fulfills the first philosophy requirement.  Learn more about GGL at our course website: godandgoodlife.org.