Intellectual Heritage A (Spring 2008)
The goal of this course is to introduce students to profoundly influential works of poetry, drama, philosophy, religion, and literature that serve as the foundation of modern civilization. Our focus will be more philosophical than historical. Students will gain familiarly with key texts that challenge them to evaluate some of their most fundamental beliefs. Along the way, we will explore numerous philosophical questions, including the following: Can we rationally justify our love for another person? Do we have free will? Can morality be grounded in religion? Is evil compatible with the existence of God? Do we have reason to act morally? What makes something worthy of worship? Is democracy a stable form of government? Is it rational to fear death? Is any conceivable form of immortality desirable? Is it just for God to punish non-believers with eternal hell fire? Can we make sense of the very idea of re-incarnation? What's the difference between power and authority?