Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

PHIL 3410H Epistemology: Syllabus

Robert Lurz

Course Information

INTRODUCTION TO PROBLEMS OF PHILOSOPHY

 

PHIL 2101 1NET

Summer 1 2020

June 1st - July 6th

Instructor: Professor Lurz

Email: rlurz@brooklyn.cuny.edu

Virtual Office Hours: Mon-Thurs 9:00 AM - 10 AM

Downloadable Syllabus

Course Objectives

By the end of the semester, students are expected to be able to clearly express (in writing and speech) a few perennial philosophical issues (e.g., freedom of the will, the question of personal identity, the possibility and scope of knowledge, the objective status of moral values) and philosophical theories (e.g., determinism, compatibilism, skepticism, idealism, realism, relativism, and dualism). Students are expected to be familiar with a number of important philosophical figures (e.g., Descartes, Kant, and Mill), and be able to interpret and analyze key selections from the writings of these figures. Finally, students are expected to be able to identify, explain, and evaluate philosophical arguments.

Course Materials

Course Schedule

Dates

Assignments & Readings

June 1

Unit 1: Read except from Nagel’s What Does It All Mean?; Watch videos on What is Philosophy? and on Deductive Arguments ; Listen to online lecture for Unit 1; Review Power-Point slides on What is Philosophy?

2

Unit 2: Read Meditation 1 (pp. 144-149); Watch video on John Cottingham on Descartes; Listen to online lecture for Unit 2; Review Power-Point slides on Knowledge & Certainty.

3

Unit 2: Written response # 1 due

4

Unit 3: Read Meditation II (pp. 149-157); Watch video on René Descartes “I think therefore I am”; Start listening to online lecture for Unit 3; Review Power-Point slides on Foundations of Knowledge.

5

Unit 3: Written response #2 due

8

Unit 3: Read Meditation III (pp. 157-171); Continue listening to online lecture for Unit 3; Review Power-Point slides on Foundations of Knowledge; Written response # 3 due

9

Unit 3: Read excerpt from Meditation VI (p. 191). Finish listening to online lecture for Unit 3; Review Power-Point slides on Foundations of Knowledge.

10

Unit 3: Written response #4 due

11

Unit 4: Read Rachels’ “Challenge of Cultural Relativism”; Watch Boghossian’s lecture on moral relativism; Listen to online lecture for Unit 4; Review Power-Point slides on Moral Relativism; Look over review questions for midterm exam on Announcements. Written response # 5 due

12

Online Zoom Midterm Review 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

15

Midterm Exam: Emailed to you at 12:00 PM and due by 1:00 PM

16

Unit 5: Read chapter 2 of Mill’s Utilitarianism; Listen to online lecture for Unit 5; Watch the videos on Peter Singer on Utilitarianism and on The Trolley Problem; Review Power-Point slides on Ethical Theories.

17

Unit 5: Written response #6 due

18

Unit 5: Read excerpts from Kant’s Groundwork (pp. 88-91; 95-98); Continue listening to online lecture for Unit 5; Watch video on Right and Wrong: Kant’s Axe; Review Power-Point slides on Ethical Theories

19

Unit 5: Written response #7 due

22

Unit 6: Read Taylor’s “Freedom and Determinism”; Listen to online lecture for Unit 6; Watch the video on Sam Harris on Free Will; Review Power-Point slides on Two Concepts of Free Will. 

23

Unit 6: Continue listening to online lecture for Unit 6; Watch video on Haggard, Free Will and Libet Experiment; Review Power-Point slides on Two Concepts of Free Will.

24

Unit 6: Continue listening to online lecture for Unit 6; Watch video on Mele, Does Free Will Exist? Libet Experiment; Review Power-Point slides on Free Will and Libet Experiment.

25

Unit 6: Written response # 8 due

26

Unit 7: Read First Night in Perry’s A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality (pp. 1-18); Listen to online lecture for Unit 7; Watch video on Survival with Half a Brain; Review Power-Point slides on The Nature of the Self.

29

Unit 7: Read Second Night in Perry’s Dialogue (pp. 19-36): Continue to listen to online lecture for Unit 7; Watch video on Dicephalus Conjoined Twins; Review Power-Point slides on The Nature of the Self; Written response # 9 due.

30

Unit 7: Watch videos on Sam Harris – The Self is an Illusion and on Alvin Plantinga – Substance Dualism.

July 1

Unit 7: Continue listening to online lecture for Unit 7; Review Power-Point slides on The Nature of the Self; Look over review question for final exam on Announcements; Written response # 10 due.

2

Online Zoom Final Exam Review 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM 

6

Final Exam: Emailed to you at 12:00 PM and due by 1:00 PM