College of Arts and Sciences

First-Year Experience 2013-2014


PHIL 010B ~ Introduction to Philosophy: East/West
CRN: 92027

Instructor: Sin Yee Chan Associate Professor of Philosophy More . . .

The aim of the course is to introduce you to two traditions of philosophy, namely the Anglo-American tradition and the Chinese tradition of philosophy. Through the examination of some of the fundamental issues arising from these two traditions, I hope to help you develop the philosophical skills of critical thinking, logical reasoning, rational discussion as well as attain a comparative perspective on certain important philosophical questions. The approach will be topical and comparative, i.e. focusing on particular issues rather than on individual philosophers or history of ideas, and examining various views from the two traditions on each specific issue. The topics covered will be knowledge, Ethics and Religion.

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course
Meets: MWF 10:40am-11:30am

PHIL 010 G,H ~ God, Morality and Free Will: An Introduction to Philosophy
CRN: 92032, 92033

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

We all wrestle with three central topics of philosophy. First, philosophy of religion. Does God exist? We'll 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 off 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: Sec. G: TR 8:30am-9:45am Sec. H: TR 10:00am-11:15am

PHIL 010 L, M ~ Philosophical Approaches to Death and Dying
CRN: 94882, 94886

Instructor: Michael Ashooh Lecturer in Philosophy More . . .

We, and everyone we know, will die. But should we fear our inevitable demise? Is death a bad thing, something to be avoided? Many philosophers have argued that we have no good reason to fear death, taking their cue from Socrates who argued that no one can know that death is bad, and that philosophy teaches one how to die. In this course, we will examine the line of thinking which began in Socrates and developed through the Stoics and Epicureans and into contemporary discussions regarding what our attitudes toward death should be. We will also examine some related questions concerning the notion of the soul, the afterlife, personal identity and whether an afterlife might be undesirable. We conclude the course discussing end-of-life decision making, and consider philosophical issues related to physician assisted dying, euthanasia and end-of-life care.

Requirements Satisfied: one Humanities course
Meets: Section L: MWF 9:35am-10:25am - Section M: MWF 10:40am-11:30am

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