This course will acquaint the student with some of the ancient Greek contributions to the Western philosophical and scientific tradition. We will examine a broad range of central philosophical themes concerning: nature, law, justice, knowledge, virtue, happiness, and death. There will be a strong emphasis on analyses of arguments found in the texts.
I recall taking a “History of Ethics” course in my undergraduate years, and I was curious as to why it was called “history” but I did not receive credit for it as a “History” course. I learned that the term “history” used in the context of Philosophy courses primarily means that a historical approach will be used to structure the course and guide examination, as opposed to, for example, a course structured around topical examinations. This book is primarily ordered in chronological or “historical” order first and is then topically organized within that historical context.
Of course, what constitutes “Ancient Philosophy” is sufficiently vague, and in this course, since we are in a Western country, the “History of Ancient Philosophy” refers almost exclusively to a rather brief time period in the areas very geographically close to, and including, modern Greece. It all begins in the 6th century BCE with the grandfather of all philosophy, Thales of Miletus, and ends some time before the 6th century CE with the last remnants of non-Christian Roman Philosophers. There are some religious Philosophers thrown in there, but these Roman “Philosophers” were primarily historians and commentators on the Greek thinkers that came centuries before them. This isn’t to dismiss their work, as their views on the Philosophers were insightful and helped to preserve their work when the actual texts for many of the Ancient Greeks had been lost to time.
This book provides an overview of the current debates about the nature and extent of our moral obligations to animals. Which, if any, uses of animals are morally wrong, which are morally permissible (i.e., not wrong) and why? What, if any, moral obligations do we, individually and as a society (and a global community), have towards animals and why? How should animals be treated? Why?
We will explore the most influential and most developed answers to these questions – given by philosophers, scientists, and animal advocates and their critics – to try to determine which positions are supported by the best moral reasons.
Every applied ethics course requires some brief introduction, survey, or primer on ethical theory and moral decision making. At the same time, spending too much time on argumentation and normative ethical theory can take precious course time away from the applied issues that are the focus of the course. The Applied Ethics Primer offers a concise introduction to both basic argumentation and normative ethical theory. Somewhat more inclusive than many similar resources, this primer offers students a taste of the truly global history of ethics, while still being squarely focussed on providing practical tools for ethical decision making and is appropriate for any introductory applied ethics course.
This article explores different types of moral relativism and their strengths and weaknesses.
There is a quote that has been passed down many years and is most recently accounted to P.T. Barnum, “There is a sucker born every minute.” Are you that sucker? If you were, would you like to be “reborn?” The goal of this book is to help you through that “birthing” process. Critical thinking and standing up for your ideas and making decisions are important in both your personal and professional life. How good are we at making the decision to marry? According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is one divorce in America every 36 seconds. That is nearly 2,400 every day. And professionally, the Wall Street Journal predicts the average person will have 7 careers in their lifetime. Critical thinking skills are crucial.
The Art of the Probable" addresses the history of scientific ideas, in particular the emergence and development of mathematical probability. But it is neither meant to be a history of the exact sciences per se nor an annex to, say, the Course 6 curriculum in probability and statistics. Rather, our objective is to focus on the formal, thematic, and rhetorical features that imaginative literature shares with texts in the history of probability. These shared issues include (but are not limited to): the attempt to quantify or otherwise explain the presence of chance, risk, and contingency in everyday life; the deduction of causes for phenomena that are knowable only in their effects; and, above all, the question of what it means to think and act rationally in an uncertain world. Our course therefore aims to broaden students’ appreciation for and understanding of how literature interacts with--both reflecting upon and contributing to--the scientific understanding of the world. We are just as centrally committed to encouraging students to regard imaginative literature as a unique contribution to knowledge in its own right, and to see literary works of art as objects that demand and richly repay close critical analysis. It is our hope that the course will serve students well if they elect to pursue further work in Literature or other discipline in SHASS, and also enrich or complement their understanding of probability and statistics in other scientific and engineering subjects they elect to take.
An introduction to philosophy with selections on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and logic. The emphasis is on exposing students to important philosophers and issues in philosophy. Chapters include multiple choice questions to test reading comprehension.
This article introduces readers to divine command theory and natural law theory.
This course was designed to provide supplemental material to accompany "Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics," edited by George Matthews (2019). This textbook is available for free online and has also been uploaded to the OERTX Repository. Links to the relevant chapters have been provided at the start of each module. Please feel free to use as much of this supplemental material as you would like and to edit it as you see fit.
Within the Instructor Resources, we have included PowerPoints and study guides over each chapter.
In each module, we have created Pages covering the main topics from the chapter, along with a summary of the chapter. Each Page consists of a few slides from the relevant PowerPoint. These slides are embedded as JPEGS, and alt-text is provided for the visually impaired. The slides were embedded in this way to make the content from the PowerPoints more manageable for students and so that the slides would be more accessible on mobile devices.
Along with these Pages, we have also provided podcasts and videos in each module and in the Additional Resources that emphasize connections to the empirical sciences, such as moral psychology, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology.
Each module contains a quiz. These quizzes draw randomly from pools of questions covering the chapter and the additional podcasts and videos. These quizzes were intended to be completed before class discussion, and they have been set to allow unlimited attempts until the due date.
Finally, each module also contains a dilemma for class discussion and a suggested active learning activity.
For additional assessment, we have provided a set of scaffolded writing assignments with accompanying rubrics, designed to help students learn how to write a philosophy paper. We have also included a model for a service-learning project.
If you have any questions about this material, please feel free to reach out to us. The PowerPoints, Pages, and Quizzes for each chapter were written by Dr. Jeremy Byrd (firstname.lastname@example.org), with the exception of those in the module over Chapter 7, which were written by Dr. Jeffrey Herr (email@example.com). Dr. Herr also wrote the dilemmas and the active learning activities for each module. The scaffolded writing assignments and rubrics were designed by Dr. Byrd, while Dr. Herr put together the service-learning project.
Concentrates on specific periods of Classical Greek and Roman Literature in translation with attention to cultural, political, and social influences. Topics vary from year to year chosen from among fifth-century Athens, the Golden Age of Latin Literature, the Silver Age, and Late Antiquity. Roman Literature of the Golden Age of Augustus Caesar, produced during the transition from Republican to Imperial forms of government, was to have a profound and defining influence on Western European and American societies. These writings ultimately established lasting models of aesthetic refinement, philosophical aspiration, and political ambition that continue to shape modern cultures. This class will be exploring the Golden Age of Latin Literature from an historical perspective in order to provide an intensive examination of the cultural contexts in which these monumental works of classical art were first produced. Readings will emphasize the transition from a Republican form of government to an Empire under the rule of Augustus Caesar and the diversity of responses among individual authors to the profound structural changes that Roman society was undergoing at this time. Particular attention will be devoted to the reorganization of society and the self through textuality, the changing dimensions of the public and the private, the roles of class and gender, and the relationship between art and pleasure. Writings covering a wide variety of literary genres will include the works of Caesar, Cicero, Catullus, Livy, Virgil, Horace, and Ovid, with additional readings from Cassius Dio for background.
A Concise Introduction to Logic is an introduction to formal logic suitable for undergraduates taking a general education course in logic or critical thinking, and is accessible and useful to any interested in gaining a basic understanding of logic. This text takes the unique approach of teaching logic through intellectual history; the author uses examples from important and celebrated arguments in philosophy to illustrate logical principles. The text also includes a basic introduction to findings of advanced logic. As indicators of where the student could go next with logic, the book closes with an overview of advanced topics, such as the axiomatic method, set theory, Peano arithmetic, and modal logic. Throughout, the text uses brief, concise chapters that readers will find easy to read and to review.
A Concise Introduction to Logic is an introduction to formal logic suitable for undergraduates taking a general education course in logic or critical thinking, and is accessible and useful to any interested in gaining a basic understanding of logic. This text takes the unique approach of teaching logic through intellectual history.
This reading includes selections from Confucius' Analects and a description of some of his key values.
Critical review of works, theories, and polemics in architecture in the aftermath of WWII. Aim is a historical understanding of the period and the development of a meaningful framework to assess contemporary issues in architecture. Special attention paid to historiographic questions of how architects construe the terms of their "present." Required of M.Arch. students.
Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or what to believe. It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking. Someone with critical thinking skills is able to do the following:
Understand the logical connections between ideas.
Identify, construct, and evaluate arguments.
Detect inconsistencies and common mistakes in reasoning.
Solve problems systematically.
Identify the relevance and importance of ideas.
Reflect on the justification of one’s own beliefs and values.
Critical thinking is not simply a matter of accumulating information. A person with a good memory and who knows a lot of facts is not necessarily good at critical thinking. Critical thinkers are able to deduce consequences from what they know, make use of information to solve problems, and to seek relevant sources of information to inform themselves.
Critical thinking should not be confused with being argumentative or being critical of other people. Although critical thinking skills can be used in exposing fallacies and bad reasoning, critical thinking can also play an important role in cooperative reasoning and constructive tasks. Critical thinking can help us acquire knowledge, improve our theories, and strengthen arguments. We can also use critical thinking to enhance work processes and improve social institutions.
Some people believe that critical thinking hinders creativity because critical thinking requires following the rules of logic and rationality, whereas creativity might require breaking those rules. This is a misconception. Critical thinking is quite compatible with thinking “out-of-the-box,” challenging consensus views, and pursuing less popular approaches. If anything, critical thinking is an essential part of creativity because we need critical thinking to evaluate and improve our creative ideas.
Humans are social animals; social demands, both cooperative and competitive, structure our development, our brain and our mind. This course covers social development, social behaviour, social cognition and social neuroscience, in both human and non-human social animals. Topics include altruism, empathy, communication, theory of mind, aggression, power, groups, mating, and morality. Methods include evolutionary biology, neuroscience, cognitive science, social psychology and anthropology.
An open pedagogy project of student-authored essays to help readers develop a better understanding of the ways that narrative media like movies and television represent issues of difference, power, and discrimination in American culture, both today and in the past.
Une malle s’ouvre. De précieux vestiges s’en échappent : photos impeccablement conservées par la douce vigilance d’une épouse, ouvrages jadis passionnément annotés, polycopiés aux signatures illustres, agendas nimbés de la patine du temps. Voilà le matériau à partir duquel l’autrice construit l’épistémologie particulière de cette si longue lettre par laquelle, portée par la fratrie, une fille parle à son père. Et voici lancée non pas une saga familiale, mais une anthropographie du quotidien de leurs vies. Réflexivité et catharsis.
A brief history of conflicting ideas about mankind's relation to the natural environment as exemplified in works of poetry, fiction, and discursive argument from ancient times to the present. What is the overall character of the natural world? Is mankind's relation to it one of stewardship and care, or of hostility and exploitation? Readings include Aristotle, The Book of Genesis, Shakespeare, Descartes, Robinson Crusoe, Swift, Rousseau, Wordsworth, Darwin, Thoreau, Faulkner, and Lovelock's Gaia. This subject offers a broad survey of texts (both literary and philosophical) drawn from the Western tradition and selected to trace the growth of ideas about nature and the natural environment of mankind. The term nature in this context has to do with the varying ways in which the physical world has been conceived as the habitation of mankind, a source of imperatives for the collective organization and conduct of human life. In this sense, nature is less the object of complex scientific investigation than the object of individual experience and direct observation. Using the term "nature" in this sense, we can say that modern reference to "the environment" owes much to three ideas about the relation of mankind to nature. In the first of these, which harks back to ancient medical theories and notions about weather, geographical nature was seen as a neutral agency affecting or transforming agent of mankind's character and institutions. In the second, which derives from religious and classical sources in the Western tradition, the earth was designed as a fit environment for mankind or, at the least, as adequately suited for its abode, and civic or political life was taken to be consonant with the natural world. In the third, which also makes its appearance in the ancient world but becomes important only much later, nature and mankind are regarded as antagonists, and one must conquer the other or be subjugated by it.