Introduction to Philosophy: The Big Questions

PHIL 10100 is our traditional general introduction to philosophy. This course is typically structured around a number of philosophical questions of enduring interest, like:

  • Does God exist?
  • What am I?
  • What can we know?
  • Do we have free will?
  • What, if anything, does morality require of us?

The course typically involves two lecture meetings per week, followed by a smaller discussion group meeting on Friday.

Fall 2017 Courses

Introduction to Philosophy
10100 01 (12099)

Speaks
12:30-1:20 TR (F)
First Year Students Only 
co-requirement 12100, Sections 1- 16

 Philosophy is the attempt to answer, by argument, the deepest and most basic questions about the universe. Our focus in this class will be on five such questions:

o Does God exist?

o What am I?

o Am I free?

o What is real?

o What must I do?

Your central aim in this class will not be to learn what other people have thought about these questions -- though you will do that too. Your central aim in this class will be to develop your own views about the correct answers to these questions. You will be evaluated based upon your ability to defend those views. To do that, you will have to learn how to argue. Hence, one aim of the course will be to teach you the basic logic required to do that.


Introduction to Philosophy
10100 02 20132)

Audi
12:30-1:45 TR
 (F)
First Year Students Only
co-requisite 12100,  Sections 17-27


Introduction to Philosophy
10100 03 (20133)

Roeber
3:30-4:45 TR 
First Year Students Only


Introduction to Philosophy
10101 01 (10350)
Watson
5:05-6:20
 MW
First Year Students Only

On the Origins of the Self

This seminar will focus on an historical introduction to problems concerning the origins of the self and human subjectivity. Texts will include selections from Sophocles, Aristotle, Saint Augustine, Hobbes, Montainge, Kierkegaard, Sartre, Beauvoir and Gadamer. Like all university seminars, this one will be writing intensive with approximately twenty-pages of required writing (and in some cases revising) over the course of the semester. In addition, each student will be expected to make a seminar presentation. We will examine major writings on the historical development and cultural relevance of the concept of the self. Our objective will be to attempt come to grips with these authors’ positions, to come to decision and judgment regarding the validity, veracity and relevance of their accounts and arguments -- and thus to acquire an initial introduction to the discipline of Philosophy.


Introduction to Philosophy
10101 02 (10364)
Stubenberg
2:00-3:15
 TR
First Year Students Only

We will start this course by studying Rene Descartes’s Meditations on First Philosophy (1641)—one of the most important texts of Western philosophy. Descartes has much to say about our nature: essentially, we are nonphysical thinking things. We then move on to read Colin McGinn’s book The Mysterious Flame—an extended discussion of the nature of consciousness and its place in the world (and a critical engagement of Descartes’s views). We then address the topic of the freedom of the will. Our guide—Mark Balaguer—argues that we may well have free will (the question is still open), and that this is so, no matter whether we are material or nonmaterial beings. The course closes with a discussion of how to live and how to think clearly about how to answer this question.
 
Requirements: 
·      Four short papers, 1800 words each (roughly 24 double-spaced pages). 

·      Participation in classroom discussion. 

 
Books:
·      Mark Balaguer: Free Will [this is available electronically in our library]

·      Rene Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy [will be made available on Sakai]

·      Harry Frankfurt: Taking Ourselves Seriously and Getting It Right

·      Colin McGinn: The Mysterious Flame. Conscious Minds in a Material World


Introduction to Philosophy
10101 03 (10814)

TBA
9:30-10:45 TR

First Year Students Only


Introduction to Philosophy
10101 04 (12037)
TBA
12:30-1:45 TR
First
 Year Students Only


Introduction to Philosophy
10101 05 (12036)
TBA
9:25-10:15 MWF

First Year Students Only


Introduction to Philosophy
10101 06 (10365)
TBA
10:30-11:20
  MWF
First Year StudentsOnly

Introduction to Philosophy
20101 01 (20614)
TBA
12:30-1:45 MW


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 02 (11256)
TBA
11:00-12:15 MW


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 03 (11255)
TBA
8:00-9:15 MW


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 04 (16725)
Wells
8:00-9:15 MW


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 05 (11258)

Wells
9:30-10:45 MW


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 07 (12538)

TBA
9:30-10:45 TR


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 08 (17887)
Wells
11:00-12:15 TR


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 09 (10925)

Rossi
12:30-1:45 TR

This course will introduce students to philosophy and its methods through a close study of contemporary debates in philosophy with a particular emphasis on free will and moral responsibility, moral theory, and applied problems in moral philosophy. We will also examine some of the key issues in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mind.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 10 (16726)
Rossi
3:30-4:45 TR

This course will introduce students to philosophy and its methods through a close study of contemporary debates in philosophy with a particular emphasis on free will and moral responsibility, moral theory, and applied problems in moral philosophy. We will also examine some of the key issues in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mind.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 11 (20613)

Rossi
11:00-12:15 TR

This course will introduce students to philosophy and its methods through a close study of contemporary debates in philosophy with a particular emphasis on free will and moral responsibility, moral theory, and applied problems in moral philosophy. We will also examine some of the key issues in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mind.