Introduction to Philosophy: The Big Questions

Fall 2019 Courses

Introduction to Philosophy
10100 01 (19963)
Cross
12:30-1:20 TR
First Year Students Only

The course deals with some of the central issues of modern philosophy - what exists, the nature of good and evil, what it is to act well, what we can know, and what it is to have a reasonable belief. The course is structured thematically, though attention is given too to some of the key texts from the history of philosophy and the Catholic tradition.


Introduction to Philosophy
10101 01 (10335)

Audi
11:00-12:15 TR
First Year Students Only

This course will explore major works of philosophy and, through discussing them in depth, will introduce some of the major problems of philosophy and some of its methods for understanding them.  Students will be asked to write short essays on some of the readings or on philosophical problems related to them. These problems include the nature of knowledge, the varieties of goodness, the scope of our obligations to others, the types of evidence for the existence of God, and the objectivity of ethics.  A special aim of the course is to help participants both to write well and to acquire skill in discussing issues effectively in a setting conducive to wide-ranging inquiry and to development of distinctive views of one’s own.

Texts will likely include works by Plato and Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Mill. The works in question have had an enormous influence and are still considered valuable resources for dealing with their main topics.  Readings will be discussed in detail, often with close attention to important passages. Critical interpretive reading is encouraged, and the appraisal of major positions on knowledge and reality, good and evil, theism and atheism, freedom and compulsion, and the nature of human persons will be central concerns.


Introduction to Philosophy
10101 02 (20403)
Duarte
9:30-10:45 MW
First Year Students Only

This course is an introduction to philosophy through the works of major thinkers from the Western philosophical tradition, including (among others) Plato (c. 429-347 BCE), Aristotle (384-322 BCE) and René Descartes (1596-1650). Questions to be addressed include: What is virtue and how is it acquired? What makes for a good human life? Does God exist? What can we hope to know for certain? Emphasis will be placed on carefully and critically reading philosophical texts, evaluating philosophical arguments, and learning how to write clearly and precisely.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 01 (16008)
Snapper
9:30-10:45 TR

This course introduces students to some philosophical questions and helps them become more skilled at formulating and understanding arguments. Each class will be a mixture of lecture and discussion. We will discuss arguments, morality, God, religion and science, race, climate change, abortion, personhood, knowledge, and freedom.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 02 (11162)
Snapper
11:00-12:15 TR

This course introduces students to some philosophical questions and helps them become more skilled at formulating and understanding arguments. Each class will be a mixture of lecture and discussion. We will discuss arguments, morality, God, religion and science, race, climate change, abortion, personhood, knowledge, and freedom.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 03 (15295)
Phillips
12:30-1:45 TR

In this course we’ll discuss some central questions and arguments in philosophy, as well as some contemporary ethical issues. Course content is roughly divided into units: ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of religion and death. Among other things, we’ll be puzzling over whether there are moral facts, whether we could survive tele-transportation, what it means to have free will, what we can know, and whether God exists.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 04 (14801)
Phillips
2:00-3:15 TR

In this course we’ll discuss some central questions and arguments in philosophy, as well as some contemporary ethical issues. Course content is roughly divided into units: ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of religion and death. Among other things, we’ll be puzzling over whether there are moral facts, whether we could survive tele-transportation, what it means to have free will, what we can know, and whether God exists.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 05 (11163)
Phillips
3:00-4:45 TR

In this course we’ll discuss some central questions and arguments in philosophy, as well as some contemporary ethical issues. Course content is roughly divided into units: ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of religion and death. Among other things, we’ll be puzzling over whether there are moral facts, whether we could survive tele-transportation, what it means to have free will, what we can know, and whether God exists.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 06 (17337)
Rodriguez
10:30-11:20 MWF

This class will provide an overview of issues that are both important problems of philosophy and issues relevant to the lives of each of us: the existence of God and the problem of evil, the nature of human beings (whether we are more than just bodies, and whether we are free), and what moral standards we should follow (if any).  We will also deal with the particular moral issue of war and peace, examining in some detail the positions of pacifism and just war theory.

The goal is for students (a) to become familiar with the issues involved for each topic and with responses that have been posed to these questions (to this end students will be required to read pieces both classical and modern), and (b) to develop the abilities to analyze the alternatives and to adopt more well-thought-out positions of their own (to this end students will be required to participate in class discussions and regularly write papers responding to readings).  Class requirements include participation, three papers, and two exams.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 07 (12194)
Spencer
3:30-4:45 TR

A general introduction to philosophy, with emphasis on perennial problems like what we (humans) are, how we can access true belief, what constitutes human freedom, and what obligations we have to other people.The course begins by sharpening the student’s critical thinking skills, and focuses on applying those skills to some of life’s most important problems.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 08 (19968)
Spencer
5:05-6:20 TR

A general introduction to philosophy, with emphasis on perennial problems like what we (humans) are, how we can access true belief, what constitutes human freedom, and what obligations we have to other people.The course begins by sharpening the student’s critical thinking skills, and focuses on applying those skills to some of life’s most important problems.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 09 (17336)
Seachris
9:30-10:45 MW

Why are you here? What is real? What can you know? What should you believe? How should you live? For what should you hope? What is your destiny? You did not choose to exist, but here you are. In virtue of being here, and in virtue of being a human being, questions like these define and depict the condition of which we all are a part. Philosophy was and continues to be a discipline that systematically attempts to frame and answer such questions with intellectual rigor—questions that we all ask at one time or another in one form or another.
 

This course offers a targeted glimpse into key problems and questions in philosophy, with central aspects of the human condition serving as our guide. Course readings will include a thoughtful mix of historic and contemporary philosophical sources, as well as publicly-engaged pieces aimed at connecting perennial philosophical questions to twenty-first century life.  


Most classes will consist of a combination of lecture and discussion (with occasional group activities). Our aims in this course include: (1) promoting a fuller understanding of the central issues in western philosophical history, (2) deepening our appreciation for how our current beliefs about ourselves and the world are set within the larger context of this history, (3) appreciating how timeless philosophical questions intersect with some of the most pressing issues of our day, and (4) developing our analytic capacity to think, speak, and write carefully, which are of immense value regardless of our fields of study and vocational aspirations.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 10 (17852)
Seachris
11:00-12:15 MW

Why are you here? What is real? What can you know? What should you believe? How should you live? For what should you hope? What is your destiny? You did not choose to exist, but here you are. In virtue of being here, and in virtue of being a human being, questions like these define and depict the condition of which we all are a part. Philosophy was and continues to be a discipline that systematically attempts to frame and answer such questions with intellectual rigor—questions that we all ask at one time or another in one form or another.
 

This course offers a targeted glimpse into key problems and questions in philosophy, with central aspects of the human condition serving as our guide. Course readings will include a thoughtful mix of historic and contemporary philosophical sources, as well as publicly-engaged pieces aimed at connecting perennial philosophical questions to twenty-first century life.  


Most classes will consist of a combination of lecture and discussion (with occasional group activities). Our aims in this course include: (1) promoting a fuller understanding of the central issues in western philosophical history, (2) deepening our appreciation for how our current beliefs about ourselves and the world are set within the larger context of this history, (3) appreciating how timeless philosophical questions intersect with some of the most pressing issues of our day, and (4) developing our analytic capacity to think, speak, and write carefully, which are of immense value regardless of our fields of study and vocational aspirations.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 11 (20544)
Rodriguez
9:25-10:15 MWF

This class will provide an overview of issues that are both important problems of philosophy and issues relevant to the lives of each of us: the existence of God and the problem of evil, the nature of human beings (whether we are more than just bodies, and whether we are free), and what moral standards we should follow (if any).  We will also deal with the particular moral issue of war and peace, examining in some detail the positions of pacifism and just war theory.

The goal is for students (a) to become familiar with the issues involved for each topic and with responses that have been posed to these questions (to this end students will be required to read pieces both classical and modern), and (b) to develop the abilities to analyze the alternatives and to adopt more well-thought-out positions of their own (to this end students will be required to participate in class discussions and regularly write papers responding to readings).  Class requirements include participation, three papers, and two exams.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 12 (19969)
Rodriguez
8:20-9:10 MWF

This class will provide an overview of issues that are both important problems of philosophy and issues relevant to the lives of each of us: the existence of God and the problem of evil, the nature of human beings (whether we are more than just bodies, and whether we are free), and what moral standards we should follow (if any).  We will also deal with the particular moral issue of war and peace, examining in some detail the positions of pacifism and just war theory.

The goal is for students (a) to become familiar with the issues involved for each topic and with responses that have been posed to these questions (to this end students will be required to read pieces both classical and modern), and (b) to develop the abilities to analyze the alternatives and to adopt more well-thought-out positions of their own (to this end students will be required to participate in class discussions and regularly write papers responding to readings).  Class requirements include participation, three papers, and two exams.