This course will introduce
students to some of the topics that philosophers discuss and to the
ways they go about discussing them. It will mostly consider
contemporary texts, but draw on historical sources where relevant.
Some questions we will explore include: What do we mean when we make
moral claims? Why be moral? Is eating meat morally acceptable? Do we
have a duty to donate to charity? What are the main sources of our
knowledge? Can skeptical arguments successfully show that we do not
have any knowledge? What are the best arguments for and against the
existence of God?
In the course of examining these topics, we will focus on developing
various philosophical skills, including: reading a text to find the
main arguments and conclusions and analyzing the strengths and weakness