This course name and description ONLY applies to academic year 2017-2018

PHIL 13185-1: What is the Human Being?

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Instructor: Katharina Kraus

What is the human being? This question will lead us a way into philosophy and raise philosophical problems concerning human knowledge and science, belief and religion, moral agency, human communication and life in society. Starting from the classic definition of the human being as a rational animal, we will explore accounts of the human nature throughout the history of philosophy, as well as more from a more recent scientific perspective. Emphasis will be placed on attentive reading and discussion of seminal texts from the history of philosophy, including texts from Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, and Kant.

The course will include (i) lecture elements introducing key figures, major philosophical conceptions, arguments, and theories concerning the human being; and (ii) classroom discussions of case studies and selected texts drawn from the history of philosophy, as well as from contemporary philosophy and science.