PHIL 101.002 – Introduction to Philosophy: Main Problems

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Instructor: Chris Dorst. This course meets MTWRF 9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. in DA 101.

This course is a general introduction to philosophical questions, methods, discussion, reading, and writing.  It presumes no background in philosophy.  We will be surveying various philosophical topics in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science.  Some examples of questions we will be addressing are: What is the nature of consciousness? Is the mind distinct from the brain? Do we have free will (and if not, what are the consequences for ethics)? Is determinism true (and what is it, exactly)? How do we confirm scientific theories and gain knowledge of the external world?  There will be a heavy emphasis on learning to discuss and write about philosophical issues, so class discussion will be an important component of the course.  The required book is John Perry and Michael Bratman’s “Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings.”  Supplementary readings will be provided.