Introduction to philosophy based on classical and modern texts from Plato through the 21st century. Sample topics include free will, the mind-body problem, the existence of an external world.
Optional for all students
240 Susan Campbell Hall Phone:
0800 - 0950 MW
and by appointment during Fall 2017
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Expanded Course Description
Our attempts to make sense of our lives and to find meaning in our existence lead us to ask certain classic philosophical questions. The course begins with the question of the proper role of reason in a life intelligently lived. Is philosophical thinking a necessary and important part of life? Second, we ask what role religion should play for a philosophically reflective person. This leads into questions about whether existence is absurd, without purpose or reason, or whether there is some overarching rationality and direction to our lives. Finally, we examine some of the many conditions that together define our identities as persons, conditions like our biological makeup, social narratives, cultural values, gender, and race. In other words, the key question is 'Who are you?' and 'What makes you who you are?' Our discussions of these issues are centered on classical and contemporary texts in philosophy, literature, and film.