Contemporary Debates from the History of Philosophy – CANCELED

Instructor: Joshua Brown, MLA I
Max Enrollment: 15
Date/Time: Jan 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, and 16/1 – 3 p.m.
Location: Gund 318
Description: Ever wondered why anyone would be interested in formalism, process diagrams, cost-benefit analysis, or phenomenology? All these ideas originate in philosophy. The goal of this course is to build an initial but well-grounded understanding of philosophy that will assist participants in their deeper comprehension of philosophical, critical, and theoretical texts and in formulating their own criticisms of the timeless issues and broader cultural implications raised by five epochal debates.
The class is divided into five one-hour lectures and five one-hour discussions. The first lecture (Monday, January 5) presents our first topic, ‘Form vs. Process: The Ancients and the Foundations of Reality,’ which sets the stage for our first discussion on Wednesday, Jan. 7. Following our discussion, the Jan. 7 lecture presents ‘Reason vs. Experience: The Early Moderns and the Sources of Knowledge.’ The Jan. 9 lecture is on ‘Duty vs. Happiness: (Post-)Enlightenment Thinkers and the Bases of Right and Wrong.’ The Jan. 12 lecture is ‘Truth vs. Theory: Analytic Philosophers and Evaluations of Science.’ The final lecture on Wednesday, Jan. 14 is ‘Mind vs. Matter: Contemporary Thought and Constructions of the World.’ The final one-hour (optionally, two-hour) discussion will be on Friday, Jan. 16. Participants will be given 20-30 pages to read before each discussion.