Introduction to Philosophy
Philosophy is the critical, rational examination of basic assumptions about the way the world works and the place of human beings in the world. Discussion introduces the fundamental questions of philosophy and the methods of reasoning employed by philosophers to resolve these questions. It examines issues in metaphysics ('Is there a rational basis for religious belief?'), theory of knowledge ('Is knowledge about the world possible?'), philosophy of the mind ('What is the relation between the mind and the body?') and aesthetics ('What is the basis for the value of art?'). Throughout, emphasis is placed on critical thinking skills and the role of rational argumentation in validating beliefs. 3 Credits (3 Lecture)
Basic study of theoretical and applied philosophical ethics, covering the major philosophical approaches to ethics, including relativism, religious ethics, egoism, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics. These theories are then applied to the critical analysis of real world controversies involving topics such as euthanasia, capital punishment, individual liberty, discrimination, and the human relation to animals. Throughout, emphasis is placed on the role of rational argumentation in justifying ethical opinions. 3 Credits (3 Lecture)
Introduction to the art and science of good reasoning. Topics cover the concepts of truth, validity, consequence, and proof in the context of informal reasoning and in the formal languages of propositional and predicate logic. Primary focus on constructing and evaluating arguments and proofs using formal and informal methods. Weekly laboratory sessions provides hands-on experience with constructing and evaluating formal arguments, building truth tables and counter models using logic learning software. Applications of logic in both everyday and scientific reasoning are addressed. Emphasis on developing problem solving skills and good reasoning techniques. 3 Credits (2.50 Lecture - 1.50 Lab) Prerequisite(s): CSC124 and ENL111.
Ethics and Biotechnology
Study of the ethical dilemmas that arise from advances in biotechnology and its impact on biological research and society at large. Analysis includes technological impacts in the areas of reproductive and therapeutic cloning, stem cell research, genetically modified organisms, genetic screening and manipulation, human and animal experimentation, and biological weapons. Ethical arguments are evaluated in group discussions and weekly writing responses, culminating in a refined 12-page portfolio on ethical issues in biotechnology. 3 Credits (3 Lecture) Prerequisite(s): CSC124 and ENL111. (Science, Technology and Society, Writing Enriched)