PHIL 1000 Introduction to Philosophy
Dr. Andrew D. Chapman
ABOUT THE COURSE:
Introduces fundamental topics of philosophy. This course covers the following topics: the nature of truth, epistemology, philosophy of mind and perception, ethics, politics, and death. Approved for GT-AH3. Approved for arts and sciences core curriculum: ideals and values.
In this course, we will examine and interrogate issues foundational to both the history of philosophy and to contemporary academic philosophy. The course consists of six topics: The Nature of Truth, Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind and Perception, Ethics, Politics, and Death. Each topic consists of a number of seminal philosophical readings. Students will complete each reading before listening to/watching a lecture that provides an overview of the concepts covered in the reading. The lecture will also discuss related topics and explain their relevance to the discussion at hand. In order to cement their understanding of the topics, each week, students will interact with one another in an online discussion forum. This interaction will be guided by a question posted to the forum at the beginning of the week. Finally, students will text their own learning and display that learning to the instructor three times during the semester by completing five-question short essay exams on the material.
The objectives of this course for students are as follows:
- Define key philosophical terms and concepts.
- Describe the importance of seminal philosophical figures and texts to the historical and contemporary discipline of philosophy.
- Identify significant philosophical debates and the problems to which those debates are related.
- Recognize the importance of foundational philosophical problems to the lives of individuals and to the human community in general.
- Defend positions against philosophical competitor positions.
- Discuss the relevance of ancient philosophical texts to contemporary philosophical debates.
- Explain the thesis and key arguments of philosophical texts.
- Translate ancient philosophical concerns into contemporary concepts and problems.
- Apply the lessons of philosophical debates to apparently non-philosophical components of everyday life.
- Employ argumentation and philosophical evidence to analyze and support philosophical positions.
- Discover new—sometimes strange—philosophical positions and learn why philosophers have defended these positions.
- Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of famous philosophical arguments and positions.
- Categorize theories from different philosophers as either similar or different and be able to explain these categorizations.
- Differentiate between subtly different philosophical positions and arguments.
- Question received wisdom about truth, knowledge, ethics, politics, and death.
- Combine different philosophical positions in order to defend particular theses.
- Formulate new philosophical arguments based on arguments and positions studied in class.
- Develop ancient philosophical theories and arguments is ways that would have been inconceivable to their authors.
- Appraise the strengths and weaknesses of arguments—your own and those of others.
- Argue for the position that is most supported by evidence, not merely the position you’d like to be true.
- Describe why you think particular arguments are stronger than others.
- Relate perennial philosophical discussions to topics outside of the sphere of philosophy-proper.
There are no required books for this course. All readings are in PDF format on D2L and can either be read directly from D2L or downloaded to your computer.
- Participation in Online Discussions: 25%
- Exam 1: 25%
- Exam 2: 25%
- Exam 3: 25%