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