PHIL 13185: Philosophy University Seminar
Instructor: Robert Audi
This seminar will explore major texts in philosophy and, through discussing them in depth, will introduce some of the major problems of philosophy and some of its methods for understanding them. Participants will be asked to write short essays on some of the readings or philosophical problems related to them. The instructor will comment on these essays in detail, and in some cases they will be rewritten and commented on again. A special aim of the seminar is to help participants both to write well and to acquire skill in discussing issues effectively in a setting conducive to wide-ranging inquiry and to development of distinctive views of one’s own.
Texts will likely include works by Plato and Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Mill. The texts in question have had an enormous influence and are still considered valuable resources for dealing with their main topics. Readings will be discussed in detail in seminars, often with close attention to important passages. Critical interpretive reading is expected, and the appraisal of major positions on knowledge and reality, good and evil, theism and atheism, freedom and compulsion, and the nature of human persons will be central concerns.