Intro. to Philosophy
Introduction to Philosophy is a first-year course for undergraduates designed to provide students with the methods and skills to think critically and philosophically through the most difficult questions life presents us with. The class always includes a significant discussion of logic. In addition, depending on the semester, topics covered may include whether we can know anything, perception, reality, consciousness, time travel, personal identity, God, evil, morality, free-will, and political philosophy. Requirements vary by semester, but typically include quizzes, exams, participating in online discussions, and a number of writing assignments. All students are welcome to take this class and no prior background in or understanding of philosophy is assumed. That said, the class will appeal most to those who are sincerely and genuinely interested in thinking through different possible answers to some very complex and difficult questions, listening to the arguments of those on opposing sides while developing and formulating their own views, and appreciating that difficult questions rarely have simple or straightforward answers.
"It really required me to think about things instead of regurgitating someone else's thoughts. It was challenging, but also very enlightening and meaningful." (Summer 2016 Student)
"Careful consideration of all viewpoints. I may leave doubting more about the world than I want to but the skill of analyzing things critically is nurtured by this class well." (Fall 2015 Student)
"I like some of the things we talked about like God, who we are as a person, and the meaning of life overall. These are things I've always wondered about so it was cool to hear discussions about it." (Fall 2015 Student)
"The topics we discussed were engaging and insightful. I loved the amount of thought that was required for the class; it made you think. You had to participate mentally." (Fall 2016 Student)