Introductory philosophy courses are taught in many different ways. Knowing a little about how what a particular version of "intro to philosophy" entails can help you to decide if it's the sort of thing you're looking for. This page provides information about how I usually run my PHIL01 course, as well as announcements and materials relevant to students currently taking it.

While philosophy as a broad discipline deals with several subjects, this course restricts its focus to topics surrounding knowledge and reality. In a nutshell, the course considers questions about what we can know, what it means to know, what the world is fundamentally like, and what kinds of things persons are.

The course employs some texts that are a little less traditional than you might expect to find in a typical introductory course. This isn't to say that "the classics" aren't represented here; some of our readings come from traditionally recognized works by authors such as Descartes, Chuang Tzu, and Hume. In addition to these, however, we look at traditional philosophical puzzles via discussions of popular music (such as the Beatles' catalog), films (such as Star Wars, Pulp Fiction and Memento), and other prevalent media. It turns out that rigorous philosophical discussions can be generated by considering the character of the Incredible Hulk just as easily as they can by restricting focus to canonized texts. Or so I try to show.

Please feel free to have a look at the course syllabus, which is available via the navigation bar on the left of this page. It gives a more detailed description of the course requirements, as well as of the reading schedule we follow. I'd be happy to answer any further questions you might have about the course--just drop me an email.

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