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2018 will be the first year during which Washburn has offered a Philosophy course - it is an exciting opportunity to develop and learn as we all explore the topic.
Course Description/Purpose
This is a semester-long introduction to philosophical reflection and examination of some central questions of human existence. Students will consider:
  1. epistemological questions concerning the possibility and nature of knowledge and truth
  2. metaphysical questions concerning the nature of ultimate reality, the mind-body problem, consciousness, freedom and determinism, personal identity, and the existence of God/use of faith
  3. ethical questions concerning morality and the good life
Recommended Background for Success
Philosophy/Ethics is for students interested in learning about knowledge, but not necessarily in the rigors and expectations of the IB Theory of Knowledge course offered via the IB Program. However, students who do find an interest in Philosophy can have the opportunity to explore the topics more deeply in the IB TOK course as a junior or senior. Students should be willing to participate in discussions and expect to complete 1-2 hours of homework per week. Most importantly, students should come into the course with an open mind, the ability to formulate questions, and the interest in working with others to find possible answers to questions and issues brought up in class. please note that TOK students are NOT allowed to enroll in Philosophy.
Course Outline
1. Metaphysics I - What is a Person? 
-What is Human Nature? 
-What is Personal Identity? 
-If It Thinks, Is It a Person? 
2. Metaphysics II – What is a Meaningful Life? 
-Does God Exist? 
-What is a Good Life? 
-What is a Purposeful Life? 
3. Aesthetics - How do you know what is beautiful in art? 
-What Are Beauty and the Arts? 
-What Are Value, Purpose, Meaning, and Truth in the Arts? 
-Is There Good and Bad Art? 
4. Ethics – What Are Good and Evil? 
-Where Do Good and Evil Come From? 
-Why Be Good? 
-What Is Good? 
5. Social & Political Philosophy – What is a Just Society? 
-What is Justice? 
-What Are Rights? 
-What is a Good Political Society? 
6. Epistemology & Logic – What is Human Knowledge? 
-What Are Knowledge Skills? 
-How Do Philosophers Think Critically about Knowledge? 
-What Are the Origins of Knowledge?