Philosophy - Introduction to Philosophy: Epistemology, Metaphysics - Non-Writing Class Version PHIL 1501   Introduction to Philosophy: Epistemology, Metaphysics - Non-Writing Class Version
In this class we review what it is to think logically and critically, then move on to epistemology, which asks what knowledge is and whether it is possible to have knowledge about ourselves, the minds of others, the past, and the future. Might we just be dreaming the physical world, or can we know it exists? What roles do sense perception and scientific method play in knowledge acquisition? How is this complicated by biases caused by, e.g., racism and sexism? We then study such metaphysical issues as whether the existence of the universe proves that God exists, whether a person’s mind is just her brain, whether one can survive bodily death, what it is to be the same person at different times given that everything about a person can be different at a later time, and whether we are really free and morally accountable for the choices we make if, as science says, everything we do is caused by the laws of physics. 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. This course cannot contribute to satisfying the Faculty Writing Requirement. It is recommended that students seeking a full introduction to Philosophy also take PHIL 1500, Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy - Non-Writing Class Version; however, students may get credit for PHIL 1501 without having to take PHIL 1500. If students do wish to take both parts, they may be taken in any order
FORMAT COMMENTS: Lecture & Discussion
EXCLUSIONS: PHIL 1000 X/Y.06, PHIL 1010 X/Y.06, PHIL 1820.03