03:00 PM to 04:15 PM TR
Innovation Hall 133
Section Information for Fall 2021
The aim of this course, as its title suggests, is to provide a general introduction to philosophy. There are many ways of doing this. One way is to embark on a whistle-stop tour of the history of philosophy, from the Ancient Greeks to the present day, to give a sense of how the discipline has changed over its remarkably long history. Another is to pick out a few classic philosophical problems and explore different ways of addressing them. This course will do neither. Instead of approaching the subject chronologically or thematically, it will do so by examining the nature of philosophical inquiry itself. The three questions that will guide us shall be: What is philosophy? How should we do it? And why should we bother to?
By focusing on the practice of philosophy rather than its subject matter, this course will introduce students to very different styles of philosophical reasoning—scientistic vs. humanistic, Analytic vs. Continental, ‘pure’ vs. applied—that will illustrate the wide range of ways of doing philosophy. It will also show how philosophy can be viewed as a distinct perspective, or set of tools, that can be fruitfully brought to bear on many other disciplines. No prior experience of philosophy is required, so no such experience will be presupposed. Nevertheless, this course will provide a solid foundation for those interested in pursuing further studies in the subject.
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