This course is an introduction to philosophy for students seeking (or being forced) to fulfil the first of their university philosophy requirements. The course is intended to introduce you to philosophical questions, to make you aware of how some of history's greatest philosophers have approached those questions and what they have had to say about them, to help you articulate philosophical concerns of your own and, most importantly, to learn how to address them. Among the areas of philosophy will explore this semester are ethics, political philosophy, metaphysics and theory of knowledge.
Plato, The Republic*, translated by Robin Waterfield. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. ISBN: 0192829092
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics*, Edited by J. L. Ackrill and J. O. Urmson. Translated by David Ross. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980. ISBN: 0192815180
Thomas Aquinas, Treatise on Happiness*, translated by John Oesterle. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983. ISBN: 0268018499
Rene Descartes, Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy*, 4th Edition, translated by Donald Cress. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1999. ISBN: 0872204200
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan*: With Selected Variants from the Latin Edition of 1668, Edited by Edwin Curley. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1999. ISBN: 0872201775
Holy Bible, King James Version.
Fyodor Dostoyevski, The Grand Inquisitor*. Frederick Ungar, 1981. ISBN: 0804461252
*Links for these texts connect you to public domain versions of these texts, not to the ones listed here.
Writing: You will be required to write nine two-page papers during the course. Earlier papers will be tightly focused, and ask you to lay out part of the argument in the text for the week. Later, you will have the opportunity to be more creative.
Exams: There will be a mid-term, essay exam and a final, non-cumulative essay exam.