The study of philosophy helps students develop analytic skills and gain an appreciation of the general philosophical problems with which human beings have grappled throughout Western civilization. Basic philosophic problems such as free will and determinism, the criteria which justify ethical evaluations, the philosophical considerations which are relevant to belief or disbelief in God, and knowledge and illusion are examined during this course.
The course focuses on principles of sound thinking and valid argument in order to develop skills in analysis and evaluation of inductive and deductive reasoning. Students learn to discriminate between valid and invalid argument, using as tools the techniques of formal and symbolic logic.
In considering ethical positions ranging from animal rights to environmental philosophies of radical ecology, and studying the impact of new reproductive technologies and other biotechnologies on the (so-called) Third World, students learn about advances made by working scientists and feminist philosophers in contextualizing science and technology. A special attempt will be made to study cultural factors as class, gender, and race in order to understand the responsibilities of scientists and technologists for the uses of their knowledge; the ethics of scientific research; and truth and fraud in science and engineering.
This course is designed to develop the mind and help sharpen students' ability to think clearly, logically, thoroughly, critically and effectively. Through substantive readings, structured writings assignments and ongoing discussions, students will learn to use analytical skills in reading, writing, oral presentations, researching, and listening. Students will examine concrete examples from their own experience and readings and contemporary issues in the media to learn how to analyze issues, solve problems and make informed decisions in academic, professional, and personal lives.
This course will examine major historical and contemporary perspectives in moral philosophy. We will consider questions such as, 'Are there universal moral values??, Are ethical conduct and self-interest compatible?', 'What is the source of our ethical obligations (God? Society? Or Reason?) and how can we justify them?', and 'How does globalization impact ethical theory?' The course will look at what attributes and qualities make up a successful ethical theory and will compare competing approaches to ethical decision-making. Throughout the course, the emphasis will be on real-world ethical issues that arise in contemporary life and society.
This course provides an in-depth discussion of some of the great issues of philosophy. It applies analytical and logical tools for clarification of these issues with emphasis on recent/contemporary philosophical developments. Using a cross-cultural perspective, there is a focus on select topics such as ethical codes and moral conduct, plolitcal order, social justice, religious experiences and beliefs, science and knowledge and the nature of consciousness.
Prerequisite: PHI 100 or 110
Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice Department
199 Chambers Street, Room N-651
New York, NY 10007
Phone: (212) 220-1210