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Instructor: Benjamin Bagley. This course meets Monday – Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

We generally come to feel called upon to “make sense of ourselves” by doing philosophy once we run into certain very nagging, perplexing puzzles that beliefs and practices central to who we are seem to raise. The goal of this course is to introduce students to philosophy, and communicate why someone might find it worth doing, by jumping right into a number of these puzzles. Here are some of the ones we’ll consider.

  • If God exists, why is there evil in the world?
  • How much does morality demand of us? Why be moral in the first place?
  • Are you just a brain in a vat? Is it possible to find out? Should you care?
  • Do we have “free will”–or do our successes or failures just come down to luck?
  • What happens to us after we die, and why do we worry about it so much?

Ben Bagley’s webpage