Brandeis University, Philosophy Department
Fall 2003
Brandeis University Web Stite

Philosophy 1A

Introduction to Philosophy

Professor Andreas Teuber
Prof. Teuber

FALL 2003

Course Description

  1. The course will cover a number of central topics in philosophy through the writings of contemporary and major Western philosophers as well as through the close study of several fundamental issues which have arisen in the course of the developmnent of the Western philosophical tradtion.
  2. Readings will be drawn from the writings of major philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Leibniz, Kant, Mill, and Russell as well as prominent contemporary philosophers such as Peter Singer, Onora O'Neill, Daniel Dennett, John Searle, J. L. Mackie, Bernard Williams, Elizabeth Anscombe and Thomas Nagel.
  3. Topics will include arguments for the existence of God, the value of religious belief and faith, the problem of evil, the nature of human knowledge, causation and scientific explanation, perception and illusion, the nature of consciousness, minds, brains, and machines, personal identity and survival after death, freedom and determinism, morality and the good life, moral relativism, justice and the meaning of life, to name a few.
  4. The course is designed to be an introduction to Western philosophy and as such it is not intended to be comprehensive or exhaustive. The classic materials are selected to provide a good base for understanding central debates within the field.
  5. The course is divided into four sections and each section is devoted to a key area within Western philosophy, in the areas, for example, of epistemology, general metaphysics, ontology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and ethics:





  6. In its aim and format the course is more an invitation to philosophy than an introduction. Introductions seek to map out a territory or lay the groundwork for more detailed study. There will be some of that here, but insofar as invitations beckon and introductions point, the course beckons students to the study of philosophy rather than points the way.

The course meets on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:40 PM to Noon, in OLIN-SANG Room 101. A detailed account of the COURSE REQUIREMENTS is ONLINE. ONLINE.

In addition, you will have the option of meeting in a smaller discussion section each week. The section times will be posted. The FINAL EXAM QUESTION for LAST SUMMER'S FINAL when the course was taught at Harvard University is still online. You may wish to take a peek at it since it will give you some idea of the type of questions philoosphers ask in the area of practical or applied ethics. The FINAL PAPER for the Fall when Introduction to Philosophy is taught (again) this time at Brandeis will be different, yet similar. A STUDY GUIDE for the FINAL was also created for the students at Harvard and can also still be found ONLINE.

Syllabus Handouts and Lecture Notes
Section Times Class Discussion

Contact Info

The course is taught by ANDREAS TEUBER. You may wish to take a look at the SHORT BIOGRAPHY and the CV which are online to glean some idea of who the instructor is. During the summer you can reach me as follows:

Office: Rabb 306
Office hours: Tuesdays and Fridays 3:00-4:15 PM
and by appointment. Office Phone: 736-2787
Email: <>

Feel free to drop in for any reason any time during my office hours. (If I'm already speaking with someone, let me know that you're waiting.) I am happy to talk about paper ideas, continue class discussion, and so on. If these hours are inconvenient, we can arrange to meet by appointment. Or you can email me. I read my email several times each day and usually respond right away.

The teaching fellows for the course are
Dan Breen - Email: <>
Benjamin B. Bolger.- Email: < > and
Dianne White .- Email: < .


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Send comments to: Andreas Teuberr
Last Modified: 03/26/02
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