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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2006

T C PHL610 • Problems of Knowledge and Valuation

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
43910 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
WAG 302

Course Description

This semester of Plan II philosophy will be devoted to a very broad-based study of world philosophy, including India, China and the early Greeks to Plato. The course will begin with a survey of ideas and movements in the ancient world, "the Axial period," and a discussion of the relationship between philosophy and religion. Then, with conscientious political correctness, we will consider various questions in the philosophy of religion, e.g. what is religion? What is spirituality? Must one believe in God to be religious? Is there a God? How do we know? If there is a God, then why is there so much suffering and injustice in the world? Why do we die and how should we think about death? And so on. The second half of the course will be devoted to the notions of the soul, self, and existentialism.

About the Professor Robert Solomon is Quincy Lee Centennial Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and is interested in European philosophy, ethics (including questions about ethics in business), and questions in philosophical psychology and anthropology, especially the nature of emotions. He is the author of over forty books, including The Passions, From Hegel to Existentialism, In the Spirit of Hegel, About Love, A Passion for Justice, A Short History of Philosophy, and The Joy of Philosophy. He has been teaching Plan II for a hugely embarrassing number of years but can't break the habit. He has won several major teaching awards including the Chad Oliver Plan II Teaching Award and is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at UT. He also gives seminars and lectures for various schools, public groups and Fortune 500 corporations. He used to play jazz saxophone until he found out that he had no talent. His wife, Kathleen Higgins, also teaches at UT (Nietzsche, aesthetics, and Chinese philosophy).

Grading Policy

Two exams (or 5-8 page papers): 20% each Class participation, journals and short assignments: 25% Final exam or term paper: 35%


R. Solomon, Introducing Philosophy (8th edition) K. Higgins & R. Solomon, From Africa to Zen R. Solomon, Spirituality for the Skeptic R. Solomon, Existentialism


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