This course presents critical thinking as a set of conceptual tools and analytical skills used for better understanding and evaluating the world around us. Classroom time is divided between (1) the development of basic concepts and evaluative frameworks used in critical thinking and (2) practice in applying these concepts and frameworks. Topics covered include distinction between belief and knowledge, the nature of argument, inductive and deductive reasoning, the function of language and rhetoric in writing and speaking, and informal fallacies.
This course is an introduction to Western philosophy through exploration of major topic areas within philosophy: metaphysics, theory of knowledge, ethics, political philosophy and philosophy of religion. Within each topic area, an assortment of continuing philosophical problems will be presented and discussed, such as the problems of mind/body; personal identity, free will/determinism, the possibility and nature of knowledge, the foundation for moral and ethical judgment, the nature of justice, the existence of God, and the problem of evil. For each topic area and problem selected, philosophical perspectives will be presented from several different periods from the history of significant philosophy: Ancient, Medieval, Modern, Enlightenment, 19th Century, and Contemporary. Attention may also be given to non-Western philosophy. The relevance of philosophy will be shown to current condition and contemporary problems by encouraging students to think and write critically, be creative and develop their own philosophical perspective and world view.
This course introduces students to traditional ethical theories from a multicultural perspective and to the nature of ethical thinking. It also considers some major unresolved ethical issues of our time. Possible contemporary ethical issues covered include socially sanctioned taking of human life; sexual behavior and its broader social implications;equality; discrimination and reverse discrimination; violence; social, environmental and political effects of globalization; economic justice and welfare; pornography and censorship; the values of a business society; alienation in the modern world; bioethics of cloning, genetic engineering, and stem cell research; and/or contemporary issues of concern drawn from today's headline news.
Logic is the study of reasoning. This course promotes skill in evaluating claims and arguments. It will focus on the ways that reasoning can be formalized and evaluated using logical methods. This course will focus particularly on the methods of categorical, propositional, and predicate logic, with an emphasis on both proofs and translation from natural language to symbolic form.
The traditional Philosophies of East Asia connect people through thought, moral values, ethics, religious affiliations, politics, and overall views of the world. The study of Eastern Philosophy allows students to learn more about other cultures and ways of life. This course will focus on philosophies found across Eastern Asia and consider how these ideas affect and mold history and culture.