PHIL 102: Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge & Reality
Instructor: Nathan Kowalsky

Philosophical questions have been puzzling theorists across academic disciplines for many centuries and continue to do so, so you should not expect to get any clear-cut answers from this course. Rather, you should gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of philosophical questions. Through the readings, you will be presented with different and sometimes opposing views. Since philosophy is not about opinions but about providing arguments to support one’s views, we will spend most of this course assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments provided in the readings. You will also be asked to provide some input into the discussion, but as any philosopher, you will need to back up your claims with arguments. A central aim of this course is to make you think more deeply about complex philosophical issues, provide arguments for your positions, critically assess other people’s arguments, and communicate your ideas clearly both verbally and in writing. My hope and expectation is that you will discover some unexpected insights and new ways of thinking about the world and your place in it.

Course Objectives:

  1. To define and explore central philosophical issues dealing with knowledge, reality, and the human person.
  2. To show the relevance of these central issues to contemporary concerns.
  3. To develop critical, philosophical thinking, speaking and writing skills.