|R1B||Reading & Composition through Philosophy||Khatchirian||TuTh 9:30-11||224 Wheeler|
The goal of this course is to teach students how to read and understand complex philosophical texts, how to articulate that understanding in writing, and how to analyze and critically assess philosophical arguments. Students will be expected to devote significant time and effort to writing.
We will cover a range of topics. First, we will ask: what is a mind, and what is it to have a mind? Next, we will examine the connection between knowledge of one’s own mental states and knowledge of the mental states of others. We will then turn to some questions in moral philosophy: What general principles, if any, tell us what is the morally right or wrong thing to do? When does an agent deserve praise for doing the right thing? Finally, we will turn to Hume’s famous problem of induction, or, the problem of justifying our inferences from observed matters of facts to unobserved matters of fact, and we will examine contemporary responses to this problem.
This course fulfills the university’s second-semester reading and composition (R&C) requirement.