C. Malcolm Keating
Assistant Instructor — M.A. Philosophy, University of Missouri, St. Louis
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PHL 302 • World Philosophy
MW 100pm-200pm PHR 2.108
Philosophy is a discipline which identifies fundamental questions about human existence and poses solutions to them. "World Philosophy" is a shorthand way of recognizing that not only are philosophical questions global, but so are the resources for solving them. This course focuses on two major questions:
Ethics: how should we live, and why?
Epistemology: what is knowledge, and how can humans attain it?
Along the way, we will also touch on related questions in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, aesthetics, philosophy of language, and more. Our primary geographical focus is on the continents of Africa and Asia, although we will also engage with philosophers elsewhere. Our aim is to explore different ways of presenting and resolving central philosophical problems, not just for the sake of comparison, but to constructively draw from global philosophical resources.
PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy
TTH 800am-930am PAR 201
Please complete the following information:
Course Number and Title
PHL 301 Introduction to Philosophy
Semester and Year
Instructor’s Name and Academic Rank
Malcolm Keating, graduate student (ABD)
Cross Listing Information
Previous Title and/or Course # (If applicable)
Description (one to three paragraph description of course content):
My primary goal in this course is for you to gain the tools to engage philosophically with the world. As a discipline, philosophy's goal is to gain knowledge (of the world and ourselves). At the same time, it aims to understand the conditions which make knowledge possible. Philosophical tools include the application of reason and the clarification of concepts whose boundaries we take for granted.
One way to to equip you with tools to do philosophy is to read the works of people who have taken up this task before you. Therefore, we'll read only a selection of philosophers in an attempt to train ourselves to think along with them. Note that the philosophers we will read are part of the ``Western canon'' of philosophy, although philosophy is decidedly not solely a Western endeavor.
To that end, we'll take up six major questions:
1. What is philosophy and why is it valuable? Aims, methods.
2. What is reality? Metaphysics and the existence of God.
3. How do I know? Epistemology and justified true belief.
4. What am I? Personal identity and consciousness.
5. How should we live? Ethics and justice.
List of Proposed Texts /Readings (N/A, TBD, and Course Packet are not acceptable responses):
John Perry, Michael Bratman, John Martin Fischer. Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oxford University Press.
Proposed Grading Policy:
Section participation: 10%
Class quizzes: 10%
Short papers: 15%
Midterm exam: 25%
Final paper: 30%