Phil 20101: Introduction to Philosophy

Freddoso
304 Malloy
Phone:  631-7327
E-mail: afreddos@gmail.com
Home page: http://www.nd.edu/~afreddos/
 
 
Purpose of Course
Texts
Requirements
Reading Assignments
Lecture Outlines
Class Handouts
First Paper Assignment
Second Paper Assignment
Study questions for midterm exam
Study questions for final exam Key to Paper Comments Comment Assignments


Purpose of Course:

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to philosophy and to the importance of philosophical inquiry for their own lives.  To this end we will examine a sampling of philosophical classics. Some recurrent themes: the nature of philosophy and of philosophical wisdom; the distinctiveness of the philosophical life; the relation between intellection and affection in the pursuit of wisdom; the existence and nature of God; the relation between intellectual virtue and truth; the relation between faith and reason; the nature of human flourishing; the role of individuality in the pursuit of human flourishing; the relation between moral virtue and happiness. The philosophers to be discussed include Plato, St. Thomas Aquinas (and through him Aristotle), St. Augustine, Descartes, Hume, Mill, and Nietzsche.

Texts (other editions and/or translations are acceptable):

  • Plato, Five Dialogues (Hackett)  (ISBN:  978-0872206335)
  • St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Book One: God (Notre Dame) (ISBN:  978-0268016784)
  • St. Thomas Aquinas, Treatise on Beatitude -- my translation, on line
  • Rene Descartes, Discourse on Method (Hackett) (ISBN:  978-0872204225)
  • David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (Hackett) (ISBN:  978-0872204027)
  • John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (Hackett) (ISBN:  978-0915144433)
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (Penguin) (ISBN:  978-0140449235)
  • St. Augustine, Confessions (Hackett) (ISBN:  978-0872208162)

Requirements:

  • Careful reading and re-reading of all assignments and scrupulous class attendance.
  • Submission of a comment or question on the reading every third day -- see assignments -- comments due by midnight the day before (10% of grade).
  • Two 5-page papers on assigned topics, due on  9/15 and 11/17, each worth 20% of grade).
  • Two exams, the first on 10/13 and the second on 12/13 (each worth 25% of grade).

Tentative outline with reading assignments:

I. Plato (428 BC-348 BC)

  • 8/25: Apology, in Five Dialogues, pp. 23-44 (17A-42A)
  • 8/30: Phaedo, in Five Dialogues, pp. 93-106 (57A-69E)
  • 9/1:   Phaedo, in Five Dialogues, pp. 106-135 (69E-95E)
  • 9/6:   Phaedo, in Five Dialogues, pp. 135-155 (95E-end)

II. St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

  • 9/8:    Summa Contra Gentiles, Book One: God, pp. 59-68 (chaps. 1-4)
  • 9:13:  Summa Contra Gentiles, Book One: God, pp. 69-78 (chaps. 5-9)
  • 9/15   Summa Contra Gentiles, Book One: God, pp. 85-99 (chaps. 13-15)  (paper due)
  • 9/20   Summa Contra Gentiles, Book One: God, pp. 135-149 (chaps. 28-35)
  • 9/22:  Treatise on Beatitude, ques. 1-3, pp. 1-30 in my translation
  • 9/27:  Treatise on Beatitude, ques. 4-5, pp. 31-50 in my translation

III. Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

  • 9/29:  Discourse on Method, pp. 1-6 (Pt. 1)
  • 10/4:  Discourse on Method, pp. 6-12 (Pt. 2)
  • 10/6:  Discourse on Method, pp. 12-17 (Pt. 3)
  • 10/11: Discourse on Method, pp. 17-21 (Pt. 4)
10/13  Exam at regularly scheduled time -- followed by Fall Break

IV. David Hume (1711-1776)

  • 10/25: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, pp. 3-12 (Part I)
  • 10/27: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, pp. 13-38 (Parts II-V)
  • 11/1:  Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, pp. 54-76 (Parts IX-XI)
  • 11/3:  Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, pp. 77-89 (Parts XII)

V. John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

  • 11/8:   On Liberty, pp. 1-33 (chaps. 1 and first part of chap. 2)
  • 11/10: On Liberty, pp. 33-52 (last part of chap. 2)
  • 11/15: On Liberty, pp. 53-71 (chap. 3)
VI. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
  • 11/15: Beyond Good and Evil, pp. 13-14 and pp. 37-55 (Preface & Part Two) (paper due)
  • 11/17: Beyond Good and Evil, pp. 56-71 (Part Three)
  • 11/22:  Beyond Good and Evil, pp. 90-109 (Part Five)

VI. St. Augustine (354-430)

  • 11/29: Confessions, pp. 3-47 (Bks. 1-3)
  • 12/1: Confessions, pp. 51-83 (Bks. 4-5)
  • 12/6: Confessions, pp. 87-125 (Bks. 6-7)
  • 12/8 Confessions, pp. 129-170 (Bks. 8-9)


12/13 FINAL EXAM  4:15-6:15