Philosophy 2101: Introduction to Philosophy
About the course (from Prof. James Dunn's and Prof. Yoonhee Kang's syllabus):
Philosophy is part of a rational attempt to understand the world. In this class, you will be attacking some of the major questions throughout the past 2,500 years of Western philosophy in order to understand both the history of Western thought— important in its own right—as well as how to think honestly about things, how to be rational agents, and how to consider evidence and reject bad arguments. Those fundamental questions are, "What do we know?", "What is reality like?", and "What makes our actions good or bad?"
In addition, this course is designed to introduce some of issues relating to the philosophical areas of metaphysics (theories of reality), epistemology (theories of knowledge), and ethics (theories of value). We will read several historical and contemporary philosophical writings and will try to answer the following questions: Does God exist? What is the nature of human existence? Do we have free will? Is it possible for computers to think? What is the relation between the mind and the body? What are the criteria of knowledge? What is the basis of moral judgments?
Through critically analyzing various arguments regarding those topics, this course will help you improve your ability to read, write and think critically. You will be able to examine the given arguments’ strengths and weaknesses by identifying and evaluating the main argument, constructing objections, and finding possible responses to those objections; you will be highly encouraged and advised to develop your philosophical ideas.