Introduction to Philosophy
his course will introduce students to the discipline of philosophy, understood essentially as the loving pursuit of wisdom.
We will undertake this pursuit of wisdom together: reading texts by the greatest thinkers in the Western tradition (Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Descartes, and Kierkegaard), discovering what big questions they found important, and contemplating their answers. Philosophers are concerned with universal and timeless questions such as: What is really true? How do we know what we know? What does it mean to be a good and virtuous human being? How do we become good? Why should we be good at all? What is happiness, and how do we find it? Where did we come from, and where are we going?
We will focus on asking what it means to love wisdom and to live a life in pursuit of it. I also hope that students will learn what it means to “do philosophy,” why it is important, and how to approach these big questions with a humble, honest, and careful mind and heart.
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