Course Objectives


The principal aim of this course is to afford the student introductory exposure to classic and contemporary philosophical approaches to some of the most interesting and intractable problems of human life. Together as colleagues we will explore perennial questions such as the nature of persons, whether we have free will, the nature of moral obligation, and the nature and place of philosophy itself in a well-lived human life. While these problems and others like them do provide excellent material for training one's critical thinking faculties, they are not just academic exercises. Thinking one's way through many of life's most important problems requires taking some position on them. A student who successfully completes the course requirements will thus achieve broad familiarity with the principal concepts and approaches employed in some of the most important philosophical problem areas encountered by thinking people in a diverse culture.

Institutional Learning Outcomes

The successful student in this course:

1. Will use effective written, oral, visual, and artistic expression to communicate and collaborate with others. (Communicate Effectively).

This outcome is measured as a component of daily Participation, performance on Assignments, and by performance in class Debates

2. Will use both intellectually disciplined and innovative strategies to collect and assess information and form judgments as a guide to belief and action. (Think Critically and Creatively)

This outcome is also measured as a component of daily Participation, performance on Assignments, performance on Group Work and by performance in class Debates

Disclaimer: The professor will, of course, endeavor to help students achieve these outcomes, but real learning requires substantial effort on the part of the student. Students should therefore not expect to achieve these outcomes without engaging in the sustained, conscientious study and actual work necessary to complete all the class requirements at an adequate or better level and to observe all course policies.

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