This course serves as an introduction to Western analytic philosophy. We will consider a range of issues concerning (i) knowledge and the possibilities for obtaining it, (ii) human consciousness and conceptions of free will, (iii) frameworks for ethical decision-making, and (iv) the complexities involved with applying ethical principles in our everyday lives. By reading seminal pieces of philosophy in combination with short exercises and frequent discussion, students will develop skills for formal reasoning and tools for analysis of concepts and arguments. We will focus on the reasons behind our opinions concerning the issues we confront and will work to express our thinking through clear, compelling writing. Grades will be based on a combination of quizzes, short exercises, essays, and exams. The course carries “W” writing credit, and students must submit all essays to pass the course and receive course credit. This class will use clicker technology.
TEXT: The Elements of Philosophy: Readings from Past to Present, Tamar Szabo Gendler, Susanna Siegel, and Steven Cahn. Also required: Turning Technologies Clickers.