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Summer, 2013 | Philosophy
Introduction to the elementary tools of logic required for constructing and critically evaluating arguments and the claims they support. Topics include: the nature of an argument; argument structure; how arguments can fail both in structure and in content; formal and informal fallacies; propositional logic and predicate calculus; and critical analysis of rhetorical strategies for presenting arguments. Students will be encouraged to develop critical reasoning skills that can be widely applied.
This course offers a survey of some central figures and texts in the history of philosophy. This includes ethics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and natural philosophy. We will address such questions as: What constitutes a good life for a human being? What reasons do we have to be moral? What is the nature of the world around us, and how do we come to know it? Our goal is not just to appreciate the genius of the authors we read, but also to grapple with the enduring philosophical puzzles they have bequeathed to us.
An investigation of a range of contemporary moral issues and controversies that draws on philosophical ethics and culture-wide moral considerations. Topics may include: racism, environmental ethics, world hunger, the distribution of income and wealth, gender discrimination, pornography, lesbian and gay rights, abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment. The aim of the course is to present diverse points of view regarding these topics and to provide conceptual and theoretical tools that enable the student to make headway in thinking carefully and critically about the issues.
A critical examination, in light of contemporary moral disagreements and traditional ethical theories, of some of the moral issues arising out of medical practice and experimentation in our society. May include euthanasia, genetic engineering, abortion, medical malpractice, the allocation of medical resources, and the rights of the patient.
A general survey of current issues in environmental ethics, focusing on problems such as the obligation to future generations, protection of endangered species, animal rights, problems of energy and pollution, wilderness, global justice, and business obligations. Students also learn ethical and political theory.