Course description: Introduction to Philosophy (PHI2010), Fall 2016

PHI2010 is a general introduction to philosophy. It aims to introduce you to some fields and debates in philosophy; to show you something of philosophy’s history; and to develop skills in reading, discussing, and communicating that will be useful in later philosophy classes and elsewhere.

The class will be divided into three sections. The first will look at the philosophy of religion, focusing on arguments for and against the existence of God. The second section will consider topics related to the meaning of life. We will discuss how such things as pleasure, morality, love, and work relate to the value and meaning of life as a whole. The third section will look at some famous relevant works from the history of philosophy: some dialogues of Plato’s, and Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan.

This class meets the Humanities general education requirement. It also counts for 4000 words of the writing requirement. The main items of assessed work will be three papers, a final exam, and regular in-class clicker quizzes.

There is one required book: Alter and Howell, The God Dialogues (Oxford University Press, 2010), ISBN 9780195395594. All other readings will be made available on Canvas.

We will use physical i>clicker clickers in the class. Any of the i>clicker, i>clicker+, or i>clicker 2 remotes should be appropriate (see You may not use software clickers, such as the phone app, in this class.