Introduction to Philosophy: Main Problems (PHIL 101 Section 001)

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Instructor: Chris Smith. This course meets Monday – Friday from 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

This is an introductory course in philosophy. The course will begin with a short unit on logic.  After that, it will be divided into five units, each focused on an important philosophical topic:

1.  Knowledge:  What is knowledge, and how much do we actually have?

2.  The Mind:  What is the nature of the mind?  Is the mind merely a part of the body, or something over and above the body?

3.  Time:  Is time merely a fourth dimension alongside the three spatial dimensions, or is it completely different from space?  Is time travel possible?

4.  Morality:  Why should we be moral when it’s not in our self-interest to do so?  What makes right actions right and wrong actions wrong?

5.  God:  Is it possible to prove God’s existence?  Is God’s existence compatible with the existence of evil in the world?

In general, I will use the second half of each class day to lecture on new material. You will be expected to read that material before the next class, which will begin with discussion of the material.  Work will include a logic quiz, four short papers, and an in-class final exam.

Chris Smith’s webpage