Mosaic I (Spring 2009)
The goal of this course is to introduce students to profoundly influential works of poetry, drama, philosophy, religion, and literature. Our focus will be more philosophical than historical. Students will gain familiarly with exemplary 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 genuinely believe that we are going to die? Is it rational to fear death? Is death bad for the one who dies? Is any conceivable form of immortality desirable? Can morality be grounded in religion? Is evil compatible with the existence of God? Do we have reason to act morally? Do we have access to all of our beliefs and desires? Does civilization make us neurotic? Do we have any reason to obey the law? What makes something worthy of worship? Can we make sense of the very idea of re-incarnation?