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PHI 101 INTRODUCTION TO PROBLEMS IN PHILOSOPHY

PHI 101: Introduction to Problems in Philosophy

Course Outline

Course Number & Name:  PHI 101 Introduction to Problems in Philosophy

Credit Hours:  3.0               Contact Hours:  3.0            Lecture:  3.0                   Lab:  N/A             Other:  N/A

Prerequisites: Grades of “C” or better in ENG 096 and RDG 096

Co-requisites:  None                                                          Concurrent Courses:  None

Course Description: Introduction to Problems in Philosophy is an introduction to the basic problems of philosophy such as metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy and aesthetics.  In class lectures will give some of the background necessary to understand the problems and the various positions taken by selected philosophers.  The readings assigned will demonstrate how various philosophers have responded to the problems.  The readings will also be discussed and criticized in class.

General Education Goals: PHI 101 is affirmed in the following General Education Foundation Category: Humanistic Perspective.  The corresponding General Education Goal is as follows:  Students will analyze works in the field of art, music, or theater; literature; and philosophy and/or religious studies; and will gain competence in the use of a foreign language.  PHI 101 also addresses the General Education Integrated Course Goal: Ethical Reasoning and Action, which is follows: Students will understand ethical issues and situations.

Course Goals: Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to do the following:

  1. demonstrate knowledge of some of the fundamental philosophical issues, such as “free will” and determinism, whether it is ever right to disobey the law or the moral justification of political power; (Note: There are too many fundamental philosophical issues to enumerate here, but the instructor should select one or two from the extensive literature keeping in mind that this is an introductory course in philosophy.)
  2. critique the positions set forth in assigned philosophical essays by comparing how various philosophers deal with the similar metaphysical questions such as what is the nature of reality;
  3. discuss various ethical problems from different philosophical viewpoints (e.g. Kant’s categorical imperative, Mill’s utilitarianism, and Aristotle’s “golden mean”); and
  4. describe various methods of acquiring knowledge (epistemology) and explain through argument and by historical example how there are many different methods of inquiry encompassed under the term “scientific.”