PHIL& 101 Introduction to Philosophy • 5 Cr.
Introduces some of the traditional problems in philosophy (e.g., reality, knowledge, existence of God, morality, aesthetic experience). Students examine works by the great philosophers and develop basic philosophizing skills such as critical reasoning, conceptual analysis, writing skills, and argument strategy and tactics.
After completing this class, students should be able to:
- recognize and use basic philosophic vocabulary (e.g., “a priori,” “epistemology,” “contingent,” etc) in in-class and take-home essays, short answer tests, or matching quizzes.
- recognize, assess, and be able to use appropriate deductive or inductive argument strategies and tactics. For instance, students should be able to recognize an arguments logical sgtrengths or weaknesses, adn be able to explain how the truth or falsity of the premises impacts teh argument.
- distinguish good evidence or reasoning for a position from bad evidence or reasoning. For example, students should be able to explain in a one page essay why a philosopher has failed to support his or her position on a specific issue.
- explain in an essay the arguments (i.e., evidence) for and against a specified position. For example, students should be able to write a four-page, take-home essay explaining the reasons an informed and intelligent person might accept the Foundationalist school of epistemology, and why such a person would reject this school of thought.
- analyze philosophic concepts in writing. For instance, students should be able give an analysis of concepts such as Justice, Personhood, or the Good. Successful analyses would include an adequate definition and considerations of potential counterexamples.
- accurately and informatively explain the topics discussed by the philosophers studied in class. For instance, students studying Descartes should be able to write a one-page essay explaining what he means be mental and bodily substances.
- identify, distinguish, and explain the different fields in Philosophy (e.g., epistemology, metaphysics, logic). This may be assessed via short answer tests.
- write argumentative essays containing clear thesis claims, strong arguments for the theses, reasonable consideration of opposing views, and conforming to the presentation/writing standards set forth in the “BCC Philosophy Writing Guidelines" (found at www.bellevuecollege.edu/philosophy).