Note to current students: links to courses I am now teaching can be found below.
Philosophy 102: Introduction to LogicThe overall goal is to help students develop and refine their natural ability to reason. More specifically, by the end of the course, students should (1) understand the basic concepts of argument assessment, be able to identify several famous forms of argument, and construct counterexamples to invalid forms of argument; (2) be able to identify arguments in simple English and reconstruct them for assessment; (3) master the technique of using truth-tables to evaluate validity and invalidity; and (4) learn and implement the inference and equivalence rules in a system of natural deduction. The text is Howard-Snyder, Howard-Snyder, and Wasserman, The Power of Logic (McGraw-Hill, 2013, fifth edition), chapters 1, 2, 7, and 8.Philosophy 113: Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy of ReligionWe aim to assess various answers to several questions of perennial concern in the western tradition of philosophy of religion. While these questions are only a sampling of the questions addressed in this tradition, they are central. In the process, we aim to develop our ability to assess arguments, and to understand and apply various philosophical concepts. Our questions are these: Can human concepts apply to God (if there is one)? What attributes must God have (if any)? Can it be shown by philosophical argument that God does not exist? Can it be shown by philosophical argument that God does exist?Philosophy 114: Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge & RealityMost of us have a certain picture of ourselves. Among other things, that picture includes the following central theses:
In this course, we aim to do two things. First, we aim to come to understand, in an introductory fashion, several philosophical implications, challenges, positions, and arguments related to these central theses. Second, we aim to develop our skills with respect to assessing arguments in the way professional philosophers do. Themes include: mind-body dualism, physicalism, the (in)compatibility of determinism, on the one hand, and freedom and moral responsibility, on the other, and knowledge and skepticism.
- We can think and feel
- We can know various mundane things about our immediate environment
- We act freely sometimes
- We are sometimes morally responsible for our actions
UPPER LEVEL COURSES
Philosophy 202: Intermediate Logic
This course features a study of predicate logic with relations and identity, with a bit on informal fallacies as well. The text is Howard-Snyder, Howard-Snyder, and Wasserman, The Power of Logic (McGraw-Hill, 2013, fifth edition), chapters 4 and 9.
Philosophy 410: Theory of Knowledge IIThis course features a study of books in contemporary epistemology. Recent books include Linda Zagzebski, Virtues of the Mind, Ernest Sosa, A Virtue Epistemology, John Greco, Achieving Knowledge, Dennis Whitcomb and Alvin Goldman, eds, Social Epistemology, Matthias Steup and Ernest Sosa, Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, Jason Baehr, The Inquiring Mind, and Linda Zagzebski, Epistemic Authority. The course is reading, writing, speaking intensive.
Philosophy 335: Philosophy of ReligionThis course features indepth study of a variety of themes and books. Recent books include Daniel Howard-Snyder, ed., The Evidential Argument from Evil, Daniel Howard-Snyder and Paul Moser, Divine Hiddenness: New Essays, Alvin Plantinga, Warranted Christian Belief and Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism, and Michael Rea, editor, Oxford Readings in Philosophical Theology: Volume 1. Recent themes include religious epistemology, God and science, the problem of evil, divine hiddenness, agnosticism, the nature of faith, the problem of faith and reason, the practice of petitionary prayer and prayers of praise and thanksgiving, the Christian doctrines of the trinity, incarnation, and atonement, and various theories about the relations between God and morality.
Philosophy 425: Philosophy of Mind
The naturalistic project dominates philosophy of mind as it is practiced in the western world today. That is, it presupposes a naturalistic worldview: there are no ghosts or goblins or ghouls, and most certainly there are no souls, no immaterial thinking-feeling things—at any rate, you and I are no such things, not even in part. Our goal is to study, understand, and, if we’re fortunate enough, assess correctly, a wide variety of worries that arise in our attempt to understand how it could be that our universe includes no immaterial things but nevertheless includes us—things with minds, things that exhibit our diverse range of mentality. Themes include: substance dualism and materialism, behaviourism, mind-brain identity theory, functionalism, multiple realizability, property dualism, qualia.
Philosophy 417: Seminar: Fall 2016 Faith
We will explore the nature and value of faith thought of as a psychological attitude/state with either a secular or religious content/object.