Introduction to Philosophy Schedule

Texts:     Chris Horner & Emrys Westacott, Thinking through Philosophy (TTP)
                Plato, Five Dialogues

 Week      Topic  Core Reading  Supplements Assignment
 1 Free Will  TTP  1-16
Free Will & Determinism
Doris Day, Que sera sera

Thomas Hardy, The Convergence of the Twain (poem)

Ray Bradbury, "A Sound of Thunder" (short story)

Dan Ariely, "Are we in control of our decisions?" (TED talk)

"Can brains have free will?" Interview with John Searle

 2 Free Will   Melnechuk - Punch and Judy to their audience (poem)

"Free Will: Now you have it, now you don't (NYT article, 1-2-07)

"What is free will?" Interview with Daniel Dennett (part 1)
"What is free will?" Interview with Daniel Dennet (part 2)

Nahmias, "Is neuroscience the death of free will?" (NYT)

1st reading quiz: Friday, Jan 31
 3 Knowledge &
 TTP  28 - 45 Descates, Meditation One
Descartes, Meditation Two

A.C. Grayling - 12 minute podcast on Descartes

Check out some optical illusions

Synesthesia - how sight affects hearing

O. Burkeman, The problem of consciousness"

 4 Knowledge &         Skepticism  TTP  45 - 61 J. Campbell-15 min podcast on Berkeley 

What is Consciousness? (Debate on Closer to Truth)

Westacott, "Relativism: An Allegorical Elucidation"
Paper due Friday, Feb 14
 5 Science & Reason  TTP  92 -118  Michael Specter, "The danger of science denial"
(TED talk in praise of science)

Explanations and truth (click on first slide and scroll)

 6 Science & Reason  TTP 16 - 27  More about Thomas Kuhn (Scientific American article)
Gestalt images

More about Karl Popper

2nd reading quiz: Friday, Feb 28
 7  Philosophy in the news  TBA
Mid-term exam on Mon. March 3


  SPRING BREAK  March 10 -14 
 9              Plato: ethicsPlato, Meno  Interview with MM. McCabe about Socrates

Peter Adamson, "We don't need no education" (20 min. podcast on Plato's Meno)

 10 Plato: ethics Plato, Meno
Interview with M.M. McCabe about Meno's paradox

 3rd reading quiz: Friday, March 28
 11 Plato: the good life Plato, Euthyphro
Euthyphro's definitions of piety (handout) 

Westacott, On Socrates' question to Euthyphro

 12 (4/7) Plato: the good life Plato, Crito,
(95b - 118) 
Method Man - 17 minutes podcast on Socrates

Westacott, "Will the great corrupters please rise"
Philosophical Dialogue due Fri. April 11 

Sample of a philosophical dialog

4th reading quiz: Friday, April 11

Politics  TTP  158 - 185  "Moral questions for the free market" (NYT, 10-21-13)

Michael Sandel on Markets and Civic Life (14 min. TED talk)

Wealth distribution in the US (6 min video)

 "Is Rush Limbaugh Country Gone?" (NYT article)

J. Haift, "Moral roots of liberals and conservatives" (15 min. TED talk)

5th reading quiz: Friday, April 25


Religion  TTP  215 -247 The Ontological Argument (handout)

Michael Shermer on strange beliefs (TED talk)

Does God make sense? (Closer to Truth video)

"An imperfect God" (NYT article 11-26-12)

 Mon. May 5 The Meaning
 of Life
   J. Cottingham on the Meaning of Life (Phil Bites)

                                                                                                        Final Exam:  Thursday, May 8, 1:15 - 3:15.
                                                                                                        Final Exam Guidance