Philosophy asks a lot of questions about a lot of different topics, including what it means to be moral, how to live a good life, if God exists, if there is such a thing as objective reality, how language works, and what sort of progress science makes (or does not make). Many people have already thought about questions philosophers like to ask, but we’ll look at topics related to knowledge, nature, ethics, and the place of humans in the world in a systematic and critical way. We may also have opportunity to apply philosophical concepts and analysis to popular debates about free speech, artificial intelligence, environmental issues, and so on. In addition to learning about some of the major topics and themes in past and recent philosophy, our class also aims to introduce you to some of the (highly marketable!) skills and methods of philosophy. These include close readings and analyses of texts, synthesizing complicated arguments and distilling them down to their essentials, and writing clearly and concisely.
TEXT: No Textbook Required – course materials will be available on Canvas.