University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

First-Year Experience 2014-2015


PHIL 010D, E ~ Skepticism - Moral, Theological, and Global
CRN: D - 91812 E- 91813

Instructor: Don Loeb Associate Professor of Philosophy More . . .

In this class we will consider debates in three areas in which philosophical doubts have been raised:

  1.  Is there reason to believe that there are objective standards of morality and that these standards are knowable by us?
  2. Is there reason to believe in God, and in particular in a God who is the author of morality? And most radically,
  3. is there reason to believe in a world external to one's own mind, in other people, in one's own body, in what one remembers about the past, and in the pronouncements of science?

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course
Meets: (Section D) TR 2:30pm-3:45pm  (Section E) Meets: TR 1:00pm-2:15pm

PHIL 010F, G ~ God, Morality and Free Will: An Introduction to Philosophy
CRN: F - 91814 G - 91815

Instructor: Mark Moyer Associate Professor of Philosophy More . . .

We will wrestle with three central topics of philosophy. First, philosophy of religion. Does God exist? We will examine arguments pro and con as well as an argument that both sides are wrong. Second, ethics. Is a person who doesn't help starving people doing something seriously wrong? If you think so, why aren't you sending money to charities right now? If you think not, how is such an act different from refusing to save a nearby child drowning in a shallow pond? More generally, what makes an act right or wrong in the first place? Third, free will. It seems that someone acts wrongly only if they at least could have acted otherwise, but how could we possibly have acted differently given that each of us is just a collection of atoms that are all determined to move according to the laws of nature? An examination of these arguments and issues provides students with a broad introduction to philosophy.

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course
Meets: (Section F) Meets: MWF 9:35am-10:25am (Section G) Meets: MWF 10:40am-11:30am

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