PHIL& 101: Introduction to Philosophy

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Weekly Contact Hours
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Meets Degree Requirements For

Introduction to the various branches of philosophy, including metaphysics, the theory of knowledge and ethics through a survey of the history of Western philosophy.

Grading Basis

Course Learning Outcomes

Core Topics


  1. Branches of philosophy – Metaphysics, Epistemology, Ethics, and Logic.
  2. Origins of Western philosophy
  3. Plato – Cave Allegory, Forms, The Soul
  4. Aristotle – Form and Matter, Critique of the Forms, Virtue, Golden Mean
  5. Hellenism – Epicurus and Stoicism
  6. Plotinus and Neo-Platonism (Optional)
  7. Medieval Philosophy – Arguments for the Existence of God
  8. Leibniz—Monads and Pre-established Harmony
  9. Descartes – Rationalism, Methodic Doubt, Skeptical Arguments, The Cogito
  10. Hobbes – State of Nature, Law of Nature
  11. Spinoza – Aspect Theory, Freedom
  12. John Locke – Empiricism, Primary/Secondary Qualities, Natural Rights
  13. George Berkeley – Arguments Against Matter/Primary Qualities
  14. David Hume – Mitigated Skepticism, Custom, Problem of Induction/Causality, Critique of Arguments for the Existence of God.
  15. Kant – Transcendental Categories of the Understanding, Synthetic a priori, the Categorical Imperative
  16. Marx and Existentialism
  17. Wm. James – Pragmatism, Determinism v Free Will
  18. Contemporary Analytic Philosophy (Optional)