J. David Stewart, retired Professor of Philosophy and Provost at Ohio University. Author/co-author of Exploring Phenomenology, Political and Social Essays of Paul Ricoeur, Exploring the Philosophy of Religion.
H. Gene Blocker, retired Professor of Philosophy at Ohio University, specializing in philosophy of art, ethics, and non-Western thought. Author/co-author of Philosophy of Art, Japanese Philosophy, Ethics, and others.
James M. Petrik, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Ohio University. Author of Descartes’ Theory of the Will and Evil Beyond Belief.
I. WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?
1. The Activity of Philosophy.
2. Philosophy and Popular Culture
READING: Stewart, Philosophical Themes in Popular Culture.
3. Philosophy's History.
4. Philosophy and the Examined Life.
READING: Socrates, In Defense of Philosophy.
Recent Developments in Philosophy.
II. THINKING ABOUT THINKING (LOGIC).
5. The Life of Reason.
6. Argument Forms.
7. Induction and the Philosophy of Science.
8. Strategies for Philosophical Argument.
READING: Thomas A. Shipka, Are You a Critical Thinker?
Recent Developments in Logic.
III. WHAT IS REAL? (METAPHYSICS).
9. Introduction to Metaphysics.
10. Appearance and Reality
READING: Plato, The Republic
READING: Epicurus, First Principle of Materialism.
READING: George Berkeley, Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous.
13. The Mind-Body Problem and Personal Identity
READING: Alfred C. Lent, Surviving in a Different Body
14. Freedom and Determinism: The Metaphysics of Human Agency
READING: Peter van Inwagen, The Moral Argument for Freedom
Recent Developments in Metaphysics.
IV. HOW DO WE KNOW? (EPISTEMOLOGY).
15. Introduction to Epistemology.
16. The Quest for Certainty.
READING: René Descartes, Meditations
17. Trust Your Senses.
READING: David Hume, Skeptical Doubts Concerning the Operations of the Understanding.
18. A Compromise.
READING: Immanuel Kant, Two Sources of Knowledge.
19. Knowledge and Human Practices: The Pragmatist Tradition
READINGS: William James: What Pragmatism Means
Nathaniel Goldberg: Where Does Knowledge Come From? Quine, Davidson, and Traditional Epistemology
Recent Developments in Epistemology
V. WHAT OUGHT WE TO DO? (ETHICS).
20. Introduction to Ethical Reasoning.
21. The Morality of Self-Realization.
READING: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics.
22. Morality Depends on the Consequences.
READING: John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism.
23. Morality Depends on Motives.
READING: Immanuel Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals.
Recent Developments in Ethics.
VI. PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION.
24. Introduction to Philosophy and Religion.
25. Religion and Life's Meaning.
READING: Leo Tolstoy, A Confession.
26. Arguments for God's Existence: A Priori Arguments for God’s Existence.
READING: St. Anselm, Proslogion.
27. Arguments for God's Existence: A Posteriori Arguments for God’s Existence.
READINGS: St. Thomas Aquinas, The Five Ways.
William Paley, Natural Theology.
28. The Problem of Evil.
READING: James Petrik, Inscrutable Evil and an Infinite God.
Recent Developments in Philosophy of Religion.
VII. PHILOSOPHY OF ART (ESTHETICS).
29. Introduction to Philosophy of Art.
30. The Value of Art.
READING: H. Gene Blocker, The Esthetic Attitude.
31. Art as Ideal.
READING: Kenneth Clark, The Naked and the Nude.
32. Esthetics and Ideology.
READING: Jennifer Jeffers, The Politics of Representation: The Role of the Gaze in Pornography.
Recent Developments in Esthetics.
VIII. SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
33. Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy.
34. The Liberal, Secular State.
READING: John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration.
35. The Individual and the State.
READING: John Stuart Mill, On Liberty.
36. Human Rights
READING: H. Gene Blocker, Human Rights
37. Individual Happiness and Social Responsibility.
READING: M. Andrew Holowchak, Happiness and Justice in “Liberal” Society: Autonomy as Political Integration.
Recent Developments in Social and Political Philosophy.
IX. EASTERN THOUGHT.
38. Philosophy East and West.
39. Confucian Theories of Human Nature.
READINGS: Mencius, The Book of Mencius;
Xun Zi, The Nature of Man is Evil;
Dong Zhongshu, Man's Nature is Neither
Good Nor Evil.
40. Hindu Theories of Monism and Pluralism.
READING: Shankara, Ramanuja, and Madhva commentary on The Vedanta Sutras.
41. Buddhist Theory of Emptiness.
READING: Nagarjuna, Seventy Verses on Emptiness
Recent Developments in Eastern Thought.
Glossary of Terms.