How are we to understand ourselves, our world, and our place within the world? We usually depend on "common-sense" presuppositions about these matters. But sometimes we feel the need to reflect on and question those presuppositions. In this class, we will question those presuppositions independently of the practical need to assume some particular answer, and we will attempt to find ways of responding to these questions. To do so, we will read closely the works of several philosophers — Plato, Descartes, and Nietzsche — and explore the questions they ask, the way they attempt to answer them, and what conception of philosophy they seem to have. In doing so we will be concerned with the question of how this kind of inquiry can help us to live well. In the main course, we will engage in Zoom seminars interspersed with reflective writing breaks. Students enrolled for the 6-credit option will engage in intensive philosophical writing and dialogue online using Slack, so as to craft their own thinking into a coherent line of thought in response to a philosophical question.
Our work will be conducted remotely, using Canvas, Zoom and Slack. The faculty will offer alternative assignments if conditions or illness prevent students from accessing our synchronous meetings, which will allow students to earn comparable credit.
Course Reference Numbers
philosophy, law, writing