Philosophy - Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy - Non-Writing Version PHIL 1500   Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy - Non-Writing Version
In this class we ask what it is to think logically and critically, whether the existence of God can be proven, whether his existence is relevant to our ethical duties or whether they have some other basis than in divine command (e.g., in contracts for mutual advantage), whether claims about which duties we have can be objectively correct, and whether it is rational to fulfill those duties. We consider sample moral questions, such as whether abortion is permissible, and what duties we have to those less well off, or to animals. Turning to social and political philosophy, we ask what the best political system is, and how goods should be justly distributed. We may ask what racism is, how feminism requires a re-thinking of issues of social justice, whether life has meaning, whether death is to be feared, and whether the value of art works is merely subjective. We learn that the answers to philosophy’s profound questions aren’t just matters of opinion but must pass rigorous standards of justification; and that philosophy engages with our lives. Students will learn how to evaluate the assumptions of their own cultures about these things, to engage in constructive dialogue, and to write and speak clearly and logically. Historical and contemporary readings are studied.
NOTES: This course cannot contribute to satisfying the Faculty Writing Requirement. It is recommended that students seeking a full introduction to philosophy also take: Phil 1501, Introduction to Philosophy: Epistemology, Metaphysics , Non-Writing Class Version, however, students may get credit for Phil 1500 without having to take Phil 1501. If students do wish to take both classes, they may be taken in any order.
FORMAT: Discussion
EXCLUSIONS: PHIL 1000X/Y.06, PHIL 1010X/Y.06, PHIL 1810.03