Professor Jeff Speaks // firstname.lastname@example.org // office hours in 100 Malloy Hall
- Does God exist?
- What am I?
- Am I free?
- What should I believe?
- How should I live?
I have office hours in 100 Malloy on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and sometimes other days as well. You can book a time here. If none of those times work for you, just let me know. You can also always get in touch with me by email.
There are also six teaching assistants for the course, who will be leading discussion sections and grading written assignments. Their contact information and office hours are below:
| Corey Dethier
office hours: Wednesday & Thursday 1:30-2:30 in 118 Malloy
office hours: Tuesdays 3:00-4:00 & Wednesday 12:00-1:00 in 118 Malloy
office hours: Thursday 2:00-3:00 & Friday 1:30-2:30 in 118 Malloy
Assignments & Grading
- The three short analytical papers are each worth 15% of your final grade.
- The midterm and final exams are each worth 20% of your final grade.
- Participation & attendance in lecture and discussion sections is worth 15% of your grade.
Every unexcused absence in a discussion section will affect your participation grade. Every unexcused absence beyond the first two will reduce your particpation grade by a full letter grade (10 points). The only excused absences are those excused due to university activities which the university takes to be sufficient reason to miss class or documented illness.
Each of the written assignments is required, in the sense that failure to complete one or more assignments is sufficient to fail the course. Late papers will be penalized three points per day, including weekends.
Notre Dame has no official way of indexing numerical grades to letter grades. This is the system that will be used in this course:
|Tuesday, January 17||What is philosophy?|
|Thursday, January 19||God is the first cause||Aquinas, the second way|
|Tuesday, January 24||Why is there something rather than nothing?||Leibniz, "On the ultimate origination of things"|
|Thursday, January 26 & Tuesday, January 31||God, evolution, and design||Aquinas' 5th way
Paley, Natural Theology (excerpt)
Darwin, “Organs of extreme complication and perfection"
Rees, Just Six Numbers (excerpt)
|Thursday, February 2||The argument against belief in miracles||Hume, "Of miracles"|
|Tuesday, February 7||There is no God: the argument from evil||Mackie, "Evil and omnipotence"|
|Thursday, February 9 & Tuesday, February 14||The free will defense: a response to the argument from evil||van Inwagen, "The problem of evil"|
|Tuesday, February 28||I am an immaterial thing||Descartes, Meditations (excerpt)
Correspondence between Elisabeth and Descartes
|Thursday, March 2||[class canceled]|
|Tuesday, March 7||I am a material thing||van Inwagen, "Dualism and personal identity" (excerpt)
Jackson, "What Mary didn't know"
|Thursday, March 9||Midterm exam|
|Friday, March 10|| [discussion sections]
[final draft of 1st paper due]
|Tuesday, March 21|| I am a psychological thing
||Locke, "Of identity and diversity" (excerpt)
Reid, "Of Mr. Locke's account of our personal identity"
Williams, "The self and the future" (excerpt)
|Thursday, March 23||Could I survive death? Should I want to?||Lucretius, De Rerum Natura (excerpt)
van Inwagen, "I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come"
Williams, "The Makropoulos case" (excerpt)
|Tuesday, March 28 & Thursday, March 30||I should believe only what I can be certain of||Descartes, Meditation I
Moore, "Proof of an external world"
|Tuesday, April 4||I should believe only what I have evidence for||Plantinga, "Is belief in God properly basic?"|
|April 6||I should believe what would make me happy||Pascal, "The wager"
|Tuesday, April 11 & Thursday, April 13|| Is morality real, and is it relative?
[2nd paper due]
|Ayer, Language, Truth, and Logic (excerpt)
Benedict, "Anthropology and the abnormal" (excerpt)
|Tuesday, April 18||Everyone always acts in their own self-interest||Plato, Republic II (excerpt)|
|Thursday, April 20 & Tuesday, April 25||I should do whatever brings about the most pleasure (or, at least, the most good)||Mill, Utilitarianism II (excerpt)
Singer, "Famine, affluence, and morality"
Nozick, "The experience machine"
Rawls, A Theory of Justice (excerpt)
Thomson, "Killing, letting die, and the trolley problem"
|Thursday, April 27 & Tuesday, May 2||I should conform to the moral law||Kant, Groundwork (excerpt)|
|Friday, May 5||[3rd paper due]|
|Thursday, May 11, 10:30-12:30||Final exam|