PHL102 - Introduction to Philosophy

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Last revision date Nov 2, 2020 11:07:36 AM
Last review date Dec 7, 2020 12:15:01 AM

Subject Title
Introduction to Philosophy

Subject Description
"It doesn?t matter what you think;it matters how you think." - Christopher HitchensThis subject will highlight some of the major themes in philosophical discourse. It will expose students to the ideas of some of the world?s most important philosophers past and present. It will include a consideration of some of the most significant philosophical debates. And, it will attempt to explain the relevance of philosophy to our individual lives and to our communities.An enduring theme will be the relationship between ontology (the study of what is ?real?) and epistemology (the study of how we ?know? what is real). We will explore a number of areas of substantial controversy (?religious faith? and ?scientific explanation?; ?experimental knowledge and abstract reason?; ?the role of technology in our lives,? ?free will and determinism,? the nature of ?the good life?; and the nature of ?the good society?, and so on). Of special concern in these controversies will be the nature of the arguments or the proofs for various beliefs and the question of why (if at all) some beliefs should be privileged over others.Students will be expected to read, discuss and write brief commentaries on a number of the issues and ideas that are presented in the text and in other assigned readings. As well, each student will select a topic upon which to write a research essay. These activities will have the goal of increasing the student?s store of knowledge about some of the main themes in western society and of enhancing the student?s ability to articulate, explain and defend personal opinions on matters of philosophical interest.

Credit Status
One in English and Liberal Studies Category 1.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

[a] identify some of the main areas of philosophy including ontology, epistemology, theology, ethics, natural history and social theory;
[b] recognize with some of the classic thinkers in the western tradition such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Marx and Mill;
[c] employ philosophical concepts to clarify their own values;
[d] discuss some of the major controversies in philosophy such as the existence of god, mind and body, idealism and materialism;
[e] analyze with the implications of philosophy for practical matters including diverse political, economic and social issues and policies;
[f] describe of the scope and methods of philosophical argument;
[g] relate philosophical views to social environments;
[h] construct philosophical analyses to help resolve practical problems;
[i] assess elementary philosophical arguments;
[j] demonstrate the development of critical thinking and research skills;
[k] display the development of oral and written communication skills.

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