Types of Thinking: Including A Survey of Greek Philosophy

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Students view and consider selected films through the lens opened by relevant philosophical readings. Readings from representative moral and social philosophers. This course addresses questions about human persons and their relationship to the universe at large. What can we know?

Greek Philosophy

Indeed, can we know anything at all? What is the relationship between the mental aspects of our lives and our physical, bodily aspect? Could I still be me if I lost all my memories and all my character traits? What is free will?

Undergraduate Courses | The Department of Philosophy

Does anyone ever have free will? This class will not teach you the "right" answers to these questions. But it will teach you the different answers that can be given, and how best to go about arguing for them. This course introduces students to central questions of moral philosophy through the works of Plato, Hobbes, Kant, and some of the other most important thinkers in the Western tradition. These questions include: What is the basis of our moral judgments and attitudes? What makes right actions right and wrong actions wrong?

What sort of person is it best to be? What is valuable in life? What reason, if any, do we have to do the right thing? Attention will be given to clarification of conceptions, rigorous argument, and the evaluation of reasons - all with the aim of helping student think philosophically about difficult moral questions.

This course introduces students to the philosophical conceptions of mind, matter, and God that have shaped the Western intellectual tradition.

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Starting with the ancient Greek philosophers and concluding with philosophers from the 17th century, students will explore perennial issues such as: the existence of God, the nature of reality, the problem of evil, and the basis of knowledge. Readings are culled from the history of philosophy, but lectures and discussions will be informed by contemporary considerations.


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In this course we will focus on the critical thinking, analytical reasoning and logical skills that are crucial for success in the legal world. What is the import of some new piece of DNA evidence? How might various kinds of reasoning errors and biases influence a judge or jury's understanding of your case? What sort of argumentative skills must you master to succeed in law school? And what about those logic and critical thinking skills that you must master just to get into law school?

This course will touch on all these issues and will provide you will the skills you need to think critically not only about the law, but about any subject matter. This Tier II General Education course within the area of Individuals and Societies recognizes that sport, especially rule-governed sport, appears in and is perhaps characteristic of human society.

Consideration of sport as such induces a host of intriguing and important philosophical questions and topics to which this course serves as an introduction. Sample questions to be explored include: What is competition? What makes for a good game? Is it ever permissible to cheat? Is it wrong to enjoy sports that harm animals?


  • 1. Introduction.
  • A CRITICAL HISTORY OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.
  • Human-Livestock Interactions: The Stockperson and the Productivity of Intensively Farmed Animals.
  • Should doping be banned? Is trash-talking unsportsmanlike? What makes for a good fan? And how should referees enforce rules?

    Course readings draw from classical philosophical texts, contemporary philosophical discussions of sport, as well as popular sports journalism. Course lectures are interactive, with an emphasis on multimedia presentations of course topics designed to elicit informed critical discussion among students. This course uses philosophical methods to study religion and religious beliefs in the western tradition. The course provides an introductory survey to questions that have been central to the western philosophical tradition: What is religion?

    Can reasoning or experience give good grounds for religious belief? Does faith require philosophically sound reasoning? Is it philosophically justified to believe in miracles? What tools does philosophy provide for examining the concept of "God"?

    2. Varieties of Empiricism

    How can a good God exist if there's so much suffering in the world? How should humans react to suffering? Is there a conflict between religion and science? How can the diversity of religions be explained? Is religion a good thing for humanity? This course covers some of the central aspects of the philosophical foundations of cognitive science. After introducing the traditional philosophical problem of the relationship between the mind and the body, and examining the way different approaches to the problem have developed in tandem with different paradigms of scientific psychology, it focuses on three outstanding challenges for the conduct of a science of the mind: emotions, intentionality, and consciousness.

    With each of these topics, the handful of leading theories developed over the past generation or two of research will be surveyed. Exploration of central problems of the human condition, such as meaning of life; death; self-deception; authenticity, integrity and responsibility; guilt and shame; love and sexuality. This course has three central objectives. The first and foremost is to introduce students to the history, concepts, and issues that define the intertwined intellectual movements of phenomenology and existentialism. The second objective is to encourage students to think critically about the relevant issues from a contemporary perspective.

    Such a perspective will be sensitive not only to recent developments in neuroscience, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence but also to changing attitudes toward technology, the environment, politics, sexuality, feminism, etc. Students will be asked to critique arguments offered on behalf of various positions, as well as to construct arguments for alternative positions.

    Importantly, such critiquing and constructing will be done from an appropriately informed perspective. Thus, before addressing specific issues in phenomenology and existentialism, students will be introduced to defining historical movements as well as key concepts e. A third and final objective is to encourage students to articulate, in clear and concise prose, their considered views concerning various issues in phenomenology and existentialism. This course focuses on the idea of the social contract as it has evolved from the seventeenth century to contemporary philosophy.

    Can government be justified in terms of a pact that all rational individuals would accept in a 'state of nature' or an 'original position'? What would be the terms of the agreement?

    Plato and Aristotle: Crash Course History of Science #3

    Survey of Greek philosophy, from the pre-Socratic philosophers through Plato and Aristotle to post-Aristotelian philosophers. The course focuses on three important thinkers in the Christian medieval tradition-Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas. Topics covered: knowledge and skepticism, free will and the problem of evil, the nature and existence of God, and problem of universals. Survey of influential 19th century philosophers, including Hegel, Marx, J. Mill, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche.

    Their views on the individual and society, and human nature. This course is an introduction to philosophy of science. It examines fundamental philosophical concerns about the metaphysics and epistemology of scientific inquiry, and investigates questions such as: What is a species?