Philosophy 101: Introduction to Philosophy

"The argument concerns no ordinary topic but the way we ought to live." --Plato Republic

"Any philosophy that can be put in a nutshell belongs in one." --Hilary Putnam

First Summer Semester 2018

Dr. Scott Kimbrough

Office Hours: MWR 10:30-12:00 or by appointment

Office: Council 121

Phone: 256-7118

e-mail address:

Last updated 6/11/18

Resources and Announcements

Course Description

Philosophy asks big and important questions. What should we value? Are values subjective or objective? What is the mind, and how is it related to the body? No one should be surprised that questions like these receive widely varying answers. As such, an introduction to philosophy cannot consist in a survey of agreed upon theories or results, but must rather explore differing accounts of the nature of philosophy and philosophical method. The course text provides a selection of works by both historical and contemporary authors that serve as models of rigorous thinking about difficult questions, providing both the context and the provocation for you to develop your own views. To help you develop the skills necessary to the task, the course emphasizes discussion, writing, textual interpretation, and analysis of arguments.

Course objectives

Required Text

Grading policy

Course Requirements

Academic Dishonesty

Americans with Disabilities

This Syllabus

Reading Assignments


o    6/4 Compatibilism and Libertarianism: Nielsen and Chisholm, (332-334, 340-349)

o    6/5 Frankfurt (334, 358-366)

o    6/6 Brain studies: Wegner and Mele (336-337, 378-383)

o    6/7 Second exam


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