Introduction to Philosophy: Thought & Intelligence


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CUL320 - Introduction to Philosophy: Thought & Intelligence

This is a wide-ranging introduction to Western philosophy that will be of interest to many. We will focus on a number of traditional problems, such as the nature of knowledge, the primacy of matter versus mind, the existence of God, the nature of ethics, the freedom of the will, the mind-body problem and the related problem of life after death. The student is encouraged to explore various perspectives on each issue, to participate in classroom discussions, and to develop a tentatively critical frame of mind with regard to the issues. The goal of the course is to develop critical thinking and philosophical reasoning, not to arrive at any final conclusions(let alone any preconceived ones) on any of the ultimate questions. Much of what we will be doing deals with common religious and supernatural beliefs. The following quotation from the modern philosopher W.V.O. Quine will serve as a sort of motto for the course: "The student who.....(takes) philosophy primarily for spiritual comfort is misguided and is probably not a very good student anyway, since intellectual curiosity is not what moves him(/her)."

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