Introduction to Philosophy
GENERAL EDUCATION: This course fulfills a General Education - Letters requirement.

CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Introduction to philosophical thought through reasoning on such topics as ethics, reality, and knowledge. Practice articulating, assessing, and rationally defending positions on philosophical issues. Includes examination of major philosophical texts.
DESCRIPTION: PHIL 110 is primarily a seminar-type course in which students are introduced to philosophical thinking through reading and brief lectures, but most importantly through focused and disciplined class discussion and writing. The course typically surveys the major topics or branches in philosophy so that students gain a broad overview of the philosophical endeavor, although instructors may choose other structures for introducing the issues, methods, and concepts that constitute philosophical thinking.
TOPICS: Topics may include logic, ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of knowledge (epistemology), philosophy of reality (metaphysics), philosophy of religion, aesthetics. Among philosophical issues are questions like, "What makes a thing real? Are real things anything like how they appear to me? How do I know something? and How do I know that I know? What is truth? What and how can we know about God? What is a religious experience? If God is good, why is there evil? What is my self? How can I know that there are other selves? Other minds? Am I really free to choose? Or are my acts determined? What makes an act morally right or wrong? What is the good life and how should I live it? What is the justification for governments and laws? And Why should I obey the law?"
OBJECTIVES: In this course students will: 1. Learn what philosophy is and the types of questions philosophy deals with. 2. Understand the major branches of philosophy and the questions each branch deals with. 3. Understand the key concepts philosophers use to answer those questions. 4. Survey and understand the different philosophical positions philosophers take on questions. 5. Learn to evaluate arguments for various philosophical positions. 6. Learn to evaluate, articulate, and defend thier own answers to philosophical questions.
REQUIREMENTS: Students will be required to read both original, or primary, philosophical works by philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant, and secondary material that explains the issues, concepts, and methods of philosophy. They will also need to do some writing in the course, participate in class discussions, and complete quizzes and exams.
EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1991