Chris Jackson: 503-491-7284 | Room AC2672 | Chris.Jackson@mhcc.edu
Philosophers are interested in trying to provide plausible answers to life’s most profound questions:
- What, ultimately, is going on? Is there a God who created us for some purpose? Must we grasp this purpose and take specific actions or be on the losing side of some great spiritual battle? Is God perhaps merely interested in watching the show? Is nature all there is and God a mere figment of our imaginations?
- What kind of thing is a human being? Are we creatures of God possessing an immortal soul, or are we merely animals? Were we created by intelligent design, or are we the product solely of naturalistic evolutionary processes? Do we have sufficient freedom of the will to be truly deserving of praise and blame for what we do, or are we only complicated physical systems like computers and storms that are not responsible morally for what they do?
- How should a human being live? Should I seek mainly my own happiness? How concerned with the welfare of others should I be? How should I treat others and expect others to treat me? It is true that philosophers rarely reach a consensus about which answer is indisputably the right one for any given philosophical question. But it is still the case that, as with other noble pursuits, the connoisseur of ideas can at least identify the few best answers, and from these few he or she can sometimes reach personal closure - an intelligent and informed personal closure. So why let others answer these questions for you? Why settle for being a secondhand person? Isn’t it time to own your mind?
At the completion of this curriculum, students should be able to:
- Identify questions addressed in the three main areas in philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology (including logic) and ethics
- Recall some of the contributions of the major philosophers (e.g., Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Kant, Nietzsche, Mill and Rawls)
- Examine some of the main problems and proposed solutions/criticisms in philosophy, along with the concepts instrumental to participating in the philosophical dialogue regarding these problems
- Define the basic vocabulary of logic
- Translate an argument from its original context into a more concise and orderly summary (i.e., an argument standardization or diagram)
- Distinguish the main valid forms from invalid impostors
- Assess the strength of the concise restatement of the argument, with particular attention given to the strength of the inference
Students interested in pursuing the Philosophy major can complete the following courses toward the Arts & Letters requirement and/or electives on the ASLA (recommended), AAOT, ASOT-B, AGS or AS degrees. Students are highly encouraged to work with a university transfer adviser to ensure transferability of courses. Admitted students may also log on to Navigate to start the process of building an academic plan based on this major and can notify an adviser for review.
|PHL201||Introduction to Philosophy (Course offered online) (Cultural Literacy course)||4|
|PHL202||Fundamental Ethics (Course offered online) (Cultural Literacy course)||4|
|PHL191||Language and the Layout of Argument||4|
Recommended courses to fulfill the Social Science requirement for Philosophy majors:
|ANTH103||Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Cultural Literacy course)||4|
|HST110||Ancient World History (Course offered online) (Cultural Literacy course)||4|
|PS200||Introduction to Political Science (Course offered online)||4|
|PSY201||General Psychology (Course offered online)||4|
|PSY202||General Psychology (Course offered online)||4|
PHL191 Language and the Layout of Argument
This course focuses on the analysis of arguments, including the assessment criteria: recognizing arguments when they occur, discerning simple logical patterns of argument as well as imposters, extracting arguments from the contexts in which they occur, restating them in clear and concise terms while clearing away needless language and assessing the strength of the restated argument, with particular attention given to the strength of the inference.
PHL201 Introduction to Philosophy (Course offered online) (Cultural Literacy course)
This course is a general introduction to philosophy, its practice and major areas of study. The course content is approached through works of some of the major Western philosophers as well as instructor-selected topics in philosophy: the existence and nature of God, free will, the mind-body problem, the existence of the external world and so on.
PHL202 Fundamental Ethics (Course offered online) (Cultural Literacy course)
A lecture and discussion approach to basic ethical systems. The student explores the question "Why be moral?" and attempts to analyze the foundations of moral actions.
Course offered online
Cultural Literacy course