A study of philosophy with the aims to become wiser and to live better. Through a host of immersive assignments, such as 'live like a philosopher', students will experience first-hand the philosophies that just might rescue them from the traps of distraction, indecision, and disconnect. A large part of this course will be devoted to helping students articulate and defend their own visions for what makes a meaningful life. The course will impart wise and practical guidance from some of the greatest representatives of the philosophical tradition.
An introductory course in logic; study of the role of logical methods of the rational approach to knowledge; consideration of such concepts as definition, implication, inference, syllogism, deduction.
Survey of existentialist literature from a variety of authors, periods and genres: Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Jaspers, Sartre, Camus, de Beavoir, Rilke, and others. Texts include philosophical prose, biblical exegesis fiction, drama and poetry, containing many of the definitive expressions of such current literary, philosophical and artistic themes as the varieties and sources of alienation, the creation and definition of the self, the nature and rationality of religious faith, moral responses to insoluble dilemmas, and potential individual responses to an absurd and inhuman world.
Certain actions seem to be demanded by morality and certain actions seem to be prohibited by morality. In addition, there are many actions in which we have difficulty extending praise or blame. The study of Ethical Theory constitutes the study of philosophers' evaluations of behavior, character, and even the term of such evaluation (e.g., 'goodness,' 'value,' 'right,' and 'obligation'). this course will examine the ethical theories of philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Bentham, and Mill as well as contemporary applications of ethical theories. Topics such as terrorism, ethics in the professions, the environment, and religiously motivated behavior are timely and appropriate topics for evaluating the connections between moral reasoning and our modes of living.
Survey of contemporary issues in medical and research ethics. Topics could include abortion, euthanasia, genetic testing, reproductive technologies, doctor-patient relationships, conflicting imperatives on confidentiality and disclosure, social consequences or drug development and widespread use, concepts of health and disease, gender and medical practice, the distribution of medical resources, and the medicalization of various forms of social deviance.
This course examines the rational foundations for believing in and worshiping a Diety. In particular we will focus our inquiry on the God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam who is thought to possess the qualities of omniscience, omnipotence, and beneficence. (We will, however, exposit the deities Hinduism and Buddhism to put our study in context.) Can we prove that God exists? What might we owe God? How can we explain the existence of evil even though God is thought to be wholly good? What place does religion have in a pluralistic society? The history of Western Philosophy is in large part unified by the common pursuit of such questions. Not only are the questions themselves fascinating and perplexing, but also, they have been answered in inventive ways by many extraordinary thinkers. The Philosophy of Religion is, therefore, a continuing search that has as much to do with human ingenuity as it does about God.
A study of the origins and the development of Greek and Roman philosophy from the pre-Socratics to the early Christians. Counts as humanities credit for general education requirement.
Students will become familiar with the arguments and ideas that have sought to describe and, in many cases, to shape the consciousness of the modern and postmodern epochs. From Descartes to Kant, modern philosophy experimented with new ways to understand existence, identity, causality, and God. From Russell to Williams, contemporary philosophers grappled with new ways to understand logic, ethics, gender, and subjective experience. Students will learn to make connections between their own ways of experiencing the world and the sometimes subtle ways that philosophers since Descartes have influenced their understanding of their experiences.
A study of philosophically engaging topic, chosen by instructor and student. Essays and tutorial session required. This course may be repeated for up to six credits, or three times, whichever occurs first. (1-4) 1-4