phl464 | undergraduate

History Of Philosophical Thought

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This course analyzes the history of human consciousness in the Western world. Students will investigate the human effort to understand the world and will appraise the changing ways men and women seek to find meaning in their lives through the history of Western Thought.

This undergraduate-level course is 5 weeks To enroll, speak with an Enrollment Representative.

Course details:

Credits: 3
Continuing education units: XX
Professional development units: XX
Duration: 5 weeks

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    Twentieth Century and Contemporary Philosophy

    • Explain the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre.
    • Describe the rise of feminist thought and how this approach to philosophy differs from the philosophers of the modern period and the early twentieth century.
    • Analyze the influence of John Rawls on social and political philosophy.
    • Compare the philosophy of the pragmatists and the analytic philosophers of the twentieth century.

    The Rise of Western Philosophy

    • Compare the ideas of Presocratic thinkers on the nature of reality and describe how the earliest thinkers’ search for knowledge provided the foundation for Western philosophy.
    • Describe and evaluate the contribution of the Sophists.
    • Explain the trial and death of Socrates and the method of his reasoning as compared to the Presocratics.

    Ancient Greek Philosophy

    • Describe how Plato answered the perennial questions of human existence: the acquisition of knowledge (epistemology), the nature of reality (metaphysics), and the morality of a good life (ethics).
    • Explain how Aristotle answered the same perennial questions of human existence.
    • Compare and contrast how Plato and Aristotle answered the central questions of epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics.

    Medieval and Early Modern Philosophers and Theologians

    • Describe the theological views of St. Augustine, St. Anselm, and St. Thomas of Aquinas, including their arguments for God’s existence and how that informs their views on reality and knowledge, and how this differs from the views of Plato and Aristotle.
    • Describe the scientific revolution, and explain the philosophical thought of Descartes and Hobbes.
    • Compare and contrast the theological views of St. Augustine, St. Anselm, and St. Thomas of Aquinas to the metaphysical and epistemological views of Descartes and Hobbes.

    Modern and Continental Philosophy

    • Describe the epistemological views of the British empiricists: Locke, Berkeley, and Hume.
    • Explain how Kant’s transcendental idealism is a response to Hume’s skepticism.
    • Describe Kant’s moral theory of the categorical imperative.
    • Explain the Utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill.
    • Summarize how Kierkegaard, Marx, or Nietzche responds to the moral theory of Kant or Mill.
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