Archive for the ‘General Philosophy I’ Category

General Philosophy I Syllabus

17 March 2006

Overview: General Philosophy I is an introduction to many fundamental concepts and theories of philosophy. It is aimed at the novice, who has had little or no knowledge in philosophy prior to this course. Students taking this course are encouraged to think critically and to assume positions from different perspectives. It is hoped that the students are tolerant enough to assess and evaluate new ideas fairly and to learn from them. Topics covered in this course will include: (1) a little bit of logic, (2) some history of philosophy from the pre-Socratics to Derrida, (3) concepts of God and the cosmological argument, (4) some ethics (the problem of evil, moral relativism, etc.), and (5) personal identity.

Professor: Prof. D
Aristotelian Professor of Theoretical Philosophy
University of No Where (aka University of Metaphysics)
The professor’s blog:

Course Requirements:

  • Reading: Students are required to read a wide range of selected materials available online from different sources and lectures to enhance their understanding of the topics covered in the course.
  • Class Discussion: Philosophy should not be passively learnt. It is highly advised that the students, after reading the materials thoroughly, either discuss the reading with the professor or ask questions relevant to it.
  • Three Essays: Students are not required to write these three essays though it is advised that they do so in order to apply what they have learnt throughout the course. The topics for the three essays will be determined much later during the course by the professor.
  • Individual Oral Presentation: The students should, but are not required to, choose a topic covered in the course and study it in detail with help from the professor. Then they will take a stance on an issue or problem within that topic and defend it. The viva voce will be assessed by the professor.
  • Midterm Exam and Final Exam: Again, it is not required that the students take the midterm and final exams, though if they are motivated and passionate about philosophy, they will take them. The midterm exam will cover roughly 50% of the entire syllabus and the final exam 100%.

Core Contents:

I. A Little Bit of Logic

  • Deduction
  • Induction
  • Fallacies

II. Some History of Philosophy

  • The Pre-Socratics
  • Socrates and Plato
  • Aristotle
  • Medieval Philosophy
  • Descartes
  • Spinoza
  • Kant
  • Hume
  • Nietzsche
  • Wittgenstein
  • Sartre
  • Derrida
  • History of Empiricism & Rationalism
  • History of Doubt (Philosophical Scepticism)
  • History of Philosophical Literature
  • History of Applied Philosophy

III. God

  • Arguments for God’s Existence
  • Religion & Science
  • Religion & Experience
  • Theism & Atheism
  • The Problem of Evil
  • Religious Language
  • New Ideas of God
  • Swinburne, ‘Why God Allows Evil’
  • Dostoevskian Concept of God
  • Postmodern View of Faith

IV. Ethics

  • Ethical scepticism
  • Moral Relativism
  • Normative Ethics
  • Religion and Ethics
  • Applied Ethics
  • Meta-ethics

V. Personal Identity

  • Know Thyself
  • Consciousness
  • Existence
  • Free Will & Determinism

Other Notes: Course materials are e-mailed regularly to the students. Notes on the reading can be found on the professor’s blog. To sign up for the course, simply fill in your name and e-mail address and post a comment. The course will start soon in the summer 2006.

Edit to add: I’ve been very busy with academic works. My apologies. I hope to start the course sometime in the near future.