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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Nicole Calian
B CUSP 193
Bothell Campus

Introduction to Philosophy

Major philosophical questions relating to such matters as the existence of God, the foundations of knowledge, the nature of reality, and the nature of morality. Approach may be either historical or topical. Offered: A.

Class description

This class is an introduction to the practice of thinking critically and creatively about persistent philosophical problems. We will focus on the following central questions: What is philosophy? What does it mean to act morally? Can we say we are truly free or are our actions pre-determined? Is there a God? What is the relation between our bodies and our minds? We will evaluate these and other questions using philosophical reasoning practices. Students will be encouraged to both develop their analytical and philosophical abilities as well as master the philosophical material.

Student learning goals

- Identify, comprehend and use key philosophical terminology

- Analyze given philosophical problems in a methodological manner

- Establish connections between age-old philosophical questions and their day-to-day application

- Sharpen cognitive and analytical skills

- Ask poignant questions about philosophical problems

- Evaluate assumptions in your own thinking and critically challenge the assumptions of others

General method of instruction

Lecture, small group work, in class exercises and games.

Recommended preparation

There is no prerequisite for this class. It is, however, helpful to have a deep sense of curiosity and wonder.

Class assignments and grading

There will be weekly journal entries, 4 short quizzes, one mid-term and a final exam.

Grades are based on individual work (journal, short quizzes, mid-term, final exam), and class participation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Nicole Calian
Date: 04/23/2012