This course name and description ONLY applies to academic year 2018-2019

PHIL 13185-1: Introduction to Philosophy: The Human Being

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Instructor: Katharina Kraus

In this course we will pursue answers to one of the most central questions: What is it to be a human? Or just: What makes you a human being? By engaging in a dialogue with major figures of the history of philosophy as well as with contemporary philosophers, we will discuss questions such as: What can I know? What do I believe? What may I hope? — Am I a mind or a brain? Am I identical with my past and with my future self? Do I have an immortal soul? — What should I do? Am I really free? Why Is Human Suffering Possible? — What matters for human development? And finally: What makes me the person I am?

Emphasis will be placed on attentive reading and discussion of seminal texts from, among others, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant, as well as on developing and exercising a discussion culture in the classroom and a writing culture outside the classroom.