PHIL 3180 Critical Thinking: Contemporary Topics
Dr. Andrew D. Chapman
About the Course:
We’re all people. Of course, one of the things involved in being people is being able rationally to examine evidence and arguments. But we’re much more than merely rational things—we’re alive: effervescing, passionate, flourishing, remarkable things that care deeply about our existence. We care, and we’re worth caring about, in large part because of the meaning we find in, and bring to bear upon, significant projects in our lives. In this course, we’ll examine at what have been consider three of the most important components of our lives as people: sex, race, and death.
Our initial goal with each of our topics is to understand the range of ways it is taken to be important—in other words: why care? We’ll then examine and critique important philosophical literature—both classical and contemporary—concerning each of our topics. This philosophical literature is argumentative in nature: it aims to persuade us that some way of thinking about sex, about race, about death, and some conclusion about those issues, is the way that we should think about those topics, and the conclusions we should come to. Our project will be to see whether we’re convinced, and to bring an argumentative, analytic methodology to bear on our conclusions.
If sex, race, and death are worth thinking about, they’re worth thinking about carefully. Such careful thinking about these fundamentally important issues is our project in this course.