Intro to Philosophy

This course will introduce you to some of the main areas of research in contemporary philosophy as well as an introduction to philosophical thinking. It will by no means be an expansive survey of philosophical disciplines, their methods, doctrines and leading ideas. Instead of trying to give a comprehensive account of all possible forms philosophy has assumed throughout its long history we shall zero in on several of the ‘big name’ topics and examples illustrating how classical and modern thinkers formulate their questions and how they contend with their issues in contrast to ordinary, religious and scientific consciousness. Consequently, we shall split our time between a focus on questions (for instance: Are human actions free or determined? Is knowledge possible? Does it come from reason or from experience? What is the ultimate substance of the world? Is it material or ideal?  Does God exist? Why is there evil? Are moral norms relative or absolute?) as well as on some specific concepts philosophers use to articulate their experience and the world we live in (being, substance, justice, a priori, a posteriori, contingent, necessary, empirical, etc.). Additionally, throughout the course and these philosophical questions, attention will be made to the history of philosophy and its great thinkers.