In addition to the unique problems and questions that constitute its subject matter, philosophy makes use of a variety of intellectual tools and argumentative strategies that are widely applicable to both academic and informal inquiry. This course helps students develop these resources through a careful analysis of exemplary pieces of philosophical argument and literature. To this end, we explore philosophical thinking about modes of reasoning as well as core philosophical discussions of religious concepts, the nature and limits of knowledge, the nature and content of ethics, and the mind’s relation to the world. While the course emphasizes the cultivation of the tools and strategies of reading and argument, the materials encourage reflection on some of the foundational characteristics and assumptions in the disciplines of ethics, religion, and philosophy itself. Readings include Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Leibniz, Voltaire, Locke, Mill, Hume, Kant, Camus, Descartes, Kafka, Nietzsche, and many others.
Critical Reading and Argumentation
Democracy, Freedom, and the Rule of Law (ODFRL) or placement assessment