Introduction to Philosophy
Course Schedule & Supplements
For syllabus, click here!
Unit I: Knowledge and God
What is Philosophy?
Video: School of Life, What is Philosophy for?
Audio Supplement: Philosophy Bites, What is Philosophy?
Reading: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Entry on Fallacies
Note: Most relevant to the class are Sections 1 & 2, but sections 3 & 4 are very interesting.
Text Supplement: Useful List of Fallacies
Reading: A. J. Ayer, What is Knowledge?
Video: Jennifer Nagel, The Problem of Skepticism
Reading: Mark Mercer, Agrippa's Trilemma
Video Supplement: Steve Patterson, The Logic Behind the Infinite Regress
Video: 60Second Philosophy, Who is Francis Bacon?
Reading: René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy
Note: Read Meditation I & II
Video: Crash Course, Cartesian Skepticism
Video: Nick Bostrom, The Simulation Argument
Note: The interested student should also watch "Hang the DJ" (Episode 4, Season 4) of the Netflix series Black Mirror.
Empiricism v Rationalism
Reading: John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
Video Supplement: Crash Course, Locke, Berkeley, and Empiricism
Aquinas and the Razor
Reading: Theodore Gracyk, Aquinas and the Five Ways
Video Supplement: Crash Course, Aquinas and the Cosmological Argument
The Problem of Evil
Reading: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Entry on Ockham
Note: Read Sections 1, 2, and 6
Reading: Jeff Speaks, Speaks on Mackie
Supplementary Reading: Peter Van Inwagen, The Problem of Evil
Note: This is a series of lectures for the interested student. Most relevant to the course is Lecture I.
Note: In this lecture, we utilize decision theory to assess Pascal's argument. Here is an introduction to decision theory.
Video Supplement: TED, Dan Gilbert: Why We Make Bad Decisions
Possible Solutions to the Problem of Evil
Reading: John Mackie, Evil and Omnipotence
Unit II: Free Will and Ethics
The Problem of Free Will (Pt. I & II)
Reading: Michael Norwitz, Free Will and Determinism
Video: Big Think, Michio Kaku: Why Physics Ends the Free Will Debate
SupplementaryReading: Mark Balaguer, A Coherent, Naturalistic, and Plausible Formulation of Libertarian Free Will
Supplementary Video: Closer to Truth, Do Humans Have Free Will?
Supplementary Video: Scene from Waking Life
Informal Fallacy of the Day: Begging the Question
Reading: Shaun Nichols, The Rise of Compatibilism
Supplemental Reading: Susan Wolff, Asymmetrical Freedom
Reading: Christine Korsgaard, Kant's Formula of Universal Law
Video: Crash Course, Kant & Categorical Imperatives
John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism
Note: Read chapters I & II
Video: Julia Markovits, Ethics: Utilitarianism, Part 2
Non-objectivism: Cultural Relativism
Reading: Theodore Gracyk, Relativism Overview
Non-objectivism: Ethical Egoism
Video: The School of Life, Nietzsche
Reading: Richard Joyce, Is Moral Projectivism Empirically Tractable?
Supplementary Video: Crash Course, Metaethics
Unit III: The Mind and Society
Philosophy of Mathematics
Video: Closer to Truth, Is Mathematics Eternal?
The Vienna Circle
Reading: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Entry on Rudolf Carnap
The Mind/Body Problem
Video: Closer to Truth, Dan Dennett
Video: Closer to Truth, John Searle
Reading: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Entry on Functionalism
Note: Most relevant to class are the Introduction as well as Sections 1 & 2.
The Turing Test
Reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Entry on The Turing Test
Supplementary Video: TED-Ed, The Turing Test
Reading: David L. Anderson, Searle and the Chinese Room
Supplementary Video: 60-Second Adventures in Thought, The Chinese Room
Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, THE FUTURE OF EMPLOYMENT: HOW SUSCEPTIBLE ARE JOBS TO COMPUTERISATION?
Richard Berriman and John Hawksworth, Will robots steal our jobs? The potential impact of automation on the UK and other major economies
The interested student can also visit Will Robots Take My Job?
Reading: Sean McElwee, Marx Was Right
Supplemental Reading: The interested student can read modern-day Marxist Alan Woods' Why We Are Marxists here.
Video: Crash Course, Buddha and Ashoka
Note: The interested student should refer to this website for more information about buddhism. Click here.
Video: New College of the Humanities, Simon Blackburn on David Hume
Video: BBC, Philosophy Overdose, David Hume
Reading: Bertrand Russell, The Value of Philosophy
Reading: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Entry on Coherentism in Epistemology
Supplementary Video: The Ideas of Quine