Oct 03, 2023  
2021-2022 Course Catalog 
2021-2022 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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PHI 101 - Introduction to Philosophy

Credits: 3
Lecture Hours: 3
Lab Hours: 0
Practicum Hours: 0
Work Experience: 0
Course Type: Core

Exploration of basic questions in epistemology, metaphysics and ethics. Emphasis on western philosophy tradition.

  1. Analyze what philosophy is
    1. Define what “philosophy” is in the western tradition
    2. Contrast various definitions of philosophy, such as self-understanding, love and pursuit of wisdom, meaning of foundational concepts, rational justification, etc.
    3. Distinguish philosophy from non-philosophy
  2. Describe the topical divisions of contemporary western philosophy
    1. Describe metaphysics
    2. Describe value fields
    3. Describe epistemology
    4. Describe philosophy of religion
  3. Evaluate claims about truth
    1. Define propositional truth
    2. Discuss various meanings of truth
    3. Define objective and subjective claims
    4. Distinguish between objective and subjective claims
    5. Evaluate whether and why a given claim is objective or subjective
  4. Evaluate claims according to contemporary processes and standards of justification
    1. Recall the distinction between warranted and unwarranted claims
    2. Distinguish between warranted and unwarranted claims
    3.  Evaluate why a given claim is warranted or not
    4. Justify philosophical positions using evidence and reasoning
    5. Discuss coherence, non-contradiction, and consistency as standards of justification
  5. Assess counter-arguments and rebuttals per contemporary standards of justification
    1. Articulate the standard of justification to which a criticism or rebuttal appeals
    2. Formulate counter-arguments and rebuttals to a given position
    3. Evaluate counter-arguments and rebuttals to a given position
  6. Evaluate central problems in metaphysics and philosophy of mind
    1. Define metaphysical dualism and monism
    2. Compare and contrast metaphysical dualism and monism
    3. Define mind-body dualism and physicalism
    4. Summarize the implications and contrasts of mind-body dualism, physicalism, etc.
    5. Outline what consciousness might be for physicalism, dualism, etc.
    6. Describe libertarian, determinist, and compatibilist notions of free will
    7. Discuss how each of libertarianism, determinism, and compatibilism inform differing conceptions of consciousness
  7. Outline central concepts in epistemology
    1. Define knowledge as “Justified True Belief” and as correspondence
    2. Describe knowledge of the external world and of the inner world, i.e., Cartesian skepticism vs. self-knowledge
    3. Generalize some differences between knowledge of the external and inner worlds
    4. Explain how reason, intuition, and sensation are sources of knowledge
    5. Describe structures of justification, including foundationalism, coherentism, and scientific logic (inference to the best explanation or abduction)
    6. Distinguish how differing structures of knowledge might yield differing and possibly contradictory knowledge claims
  8. Outline the basic vocabulary of ethics
    1. Define ethics/morality, person/moral agent, and moral value
    2. Contrast normative vs. descriptive ethics
    3. Identify and distinguish different moral frameworks, i.e., consequentialism, deontology, virtue
  9. Outline the basic concepts in philosophy of religion
    1. Define religion
    2. Distinguish philosophy from religion
    3. Describe arguments for the existence of God, such as the cosmological, ontological, and by design
    4. Describe atheist arguments
    5. Describe the problem of evil and problem of natural evil



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