Introduction to Philosophy

 

INSTRUCTOR: Bradley Rettler

CONTACT: rettlerb@gmail.com

OFFICE HOURS: Monday 4-5, Tuesday 3-4, and by appointment

OFFICE: Malloy 205

 

Resources

  • Course Syllabus

  • On How to Write Good Philosophy Papers

  • On How To Read Philosophy

  • On How to Understand Philosophy

  • What is a Good Argument?

 

Schedule and Readings

Jan 15: Course Overview

  • Glossary of Philosophy Terms

 

THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

Jan 17: NO CLASS

Jan 22: Proofs of the Existence of God

  • Rea and Murray, p. 123-156

Jan 24: Ontological Argument

  • Anselm, The Ontological Argument

  • Rea and Murray, p. 124-135 (again)

 

INTERLUDE: LOGIC AND ARGUMENTS

Jan 29: Informal Logic

  • Good and Bad Arguments

Jan 31: Formal Logic

  • Validity and Soundness

 

BACK TO THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

Feb 5: Cosmological Arguments

  • Aquinas, Five Ways, particularly ways 1-3

Feb 7: Cosmological Arguments, continued

  • Aquinas, Five Ways

Feb 12: Fine-Tuning Argument

  • Rea and Murray, p. 146-155

Feb 14: Problem of Evil

  • Rea and Murray, p. 158-180

  • van Inwagen, The Problem of Evil (excerpt)

  • Mackie, Evil and Omnipotence (excerpt)

Feb 19: Problem of Hiddenness

  • Rea and Murray, p. 180-189

Feb 21: Miracles -- FIRST PAPER ASSIGNED

  • Hume, "Of Miracles"

  • van Inwagen, "Of 'Of Miracles'"

 

KNOWLEDGE

Feb 26: What Can We Know?

  • Descartes, Meditations 1 and 2

Feb 28: Skepticism

  • SEP, "Brains in Vats'"

  • SEP, "Moore's Proof"

March 5: Lotteries

  • Hawthorne, "Knowledge and Lotteries" (excerpt)

 

HUMAN PERSONS

March 7: Dualism and Physicalism -- FIRST PAPER DUE

  • van Inwagen, "The Nature of Rational Beings"

March 19: D & M, continued

March 21: Midterm Review

March 25: Midterm Exam

 

FREE WILL

March 27: NO CLASS

April 2: Fatalism

  • Taylor, "Fate"

  • SEP, "Fatalism", Section 5

April 4: Incompatibilism

  • van Inwagen, "The Consequence Argument"

April 9: Compatibilism

  • Frankfurt, "Alternative Possibilities and Moral Responsibility"

April 11: Free will and Indeterminism -- SECOND PAPER ASSIGNED

  • van Inwagen, "Free will remains a mystery", Just Section 2

 

MORALITY

April 16: Moral Relativism

  • S-L, Introduction, Chapters 15 & 19

April 18: Consequentialism

  • S-L, Chapters 9 & 10

April 23: Deontology

  • S-L, Chapters 11 & 12

April 25: Virtue Ethics -- SECOND PAPER DUE if you want time for revisions

  • S-L, Chapter 17

April 29: Divine Command Theory

  • S-L, Chapter 5

May 8: Final Examination -- DeBartolo 421, 1:45-3:45pm. SECOND PAPER DUE FOR REAL.


 

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