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Special Topics course: “How to be a philosopher”

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Old Main, USU


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• Is the world eternal? YES
• Do humans have contra-causal free will (i.e., can humans do otherwise)? NO
• Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? YES
• Do humans have souls? YES
• Are there natural rights? YES
• Is it morally permissible to eat meat? NO
• Is the unexamined life worth living? NO
• Is truth subjectivity? YES
• Is virtue necessary for happiness? YES
• Can a computer have a mind? YES
• Can humans know reality as it is in itself? YES
• Is hell other people? YES
• Can art be created accidentally? NO
• Can we change the past? NO
• Are numbers real? NO
• Is it always better to know the truth? YES

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Some students may have heard I (Huenemann) have been developing a new course, “Philosophy and Pop Culture”, that I was hoping to offer in the spring, on the topic of video games. Alas, it looks like the course will not go through the approval process before enrollment for Spring 2018 begins. So now I’m hoping to offer it sometime next year.

Meanwhile, I will be offering a Special Topics course (PHIL 4900-002) on “How to be a philosopher”. We will be reading different ways of “doing philosophy” – from some hardcore analytic approaches, to more historical approaches, to more artistic/cultural/creative approaches. Each student will be experimenting with their own approach to philosophy – on whatever topic interests them, in the style and approach they find most interesting. Students will be sharing and explaining their approaches to others, and to some extent I’ll tailor the readings to match the interests of the students. It should be fun, so watch for it!

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