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.
INTRO. TO
PHILOSOPHY
SYLLABUS




PART ONE



INTRODUCTION AND ORGANIZATION (Jan. 18)


WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? (Jan. 21)

  • Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) , "The Value of Philosophy," pp. 9-12) in Perry and Bratman, INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY (hereafter "ITP") Full Text from which Russell's Essay is Excerpted Online: The Problems of Philosophy .
  • J.J.C. Smart (1920 - ), "The Province of Philosophy" in ITP, pp. 12-20
  • Thomas Nagel (1937 - ), "The Absurd" in ITP, pp. 20-27
  • Plato (428-348 B. C.) , Apology: Defense of Socrates in ITP, pp. 27-42
    Full Seachable Text with Notes, References, Maps, and Discussion Online of Plato's Apology .


    THE EXISTENCE OF GOD: THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (Jan. 25)

  • Anselm (1033-1109), "The Ontological Argument," in ITP pp. 45-47
    Full Text Online of Anselm's Proslogion .


    THE EXISTENCE OF GOD: AQUINAS' FIVE WAYS (Jan. 25)

  • Aquinas (1033-1109), "The Existence of God," in ITP pp. 47-49
    Full Text Online of Aquinas' Proof of the Existence of God from his Summa Theologica
  • Samuel Clarke (1675-1725), "A Modern Formulation of the Cosmological Argument" (Class Handout)


    THE DESIGN ARGUMENT (Jan. 28)

  • David Hume (1711-1776) , Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion in ITP pp. 57-91
    Full Text Online of Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.
  • William Paley (1734-1805), "The Argument from Design" (Class Handout)
  • Stephen Jay Gould , "The Panda's Thumb" (Class Handout)
  • Stephen Jay Gould , "Senseless History" (Class Handout)


    THE PROBLEM OF EVIL (Feb. 1)

  • Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716), "God, Evil, and the Best of All Possible Worlds," in ITP pp. 91-93
  • Nelson Pike (1930 - ), "Hume on Evil" in ITP pp. 93-102
    Full Text Online of Pike's Essay.
  • J. L. Mackie , "Evil and Omnipotence" in ITP pp. 103-110
    Full Text Online of Mackie's Essay.


    PASCAL'S WAGER (Feb. 8)

  • Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), "The Wager," in ITP pp. 49-52


    REASON AND BELIEF (Feb. 8)

  • Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), "Why I Am Not a Theist," in ITP pp. 53-56
    Full Text Online of Russell's Essay.

  • A. J. Ayer (1910-1990), "The Meaningless of Religious Discourse" (Class Handout)


    FAITH AND SUBJECTIVITY (Feb. 11)

  • William James (1842-1910), "The Will To Believe," (Class Handout)
    Full Text Online of James' Essay.


    Paper topics for the first paper will be handed out on Friday, February the 11th. Papers are due on Tuesday, February 22nd in class.

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    Page last edited: December 18, 1999