COURSE TITLE: Metaphysics
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Henry Schuurman
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: A study of some central themes and problems in metaphysics which arise out of contemporary work in these areas. The course attempts to show the relevance of these issues to other areas of life and study. Often opinions and attitudes are shaped by unspoken metaphysical prejudices. The course takes a critical look at such presuppositions.

Prerequisites: PHIL 230 and 301
  • Augustine, Confessions
  • Nietzsche, Basic Writings of Nietzsche
  • Dostoevsky, Notes From Underground
Three tests60%
Socratic Questions20%
Personal Journal/Reflection Paper20%
COURSE SCHEDULE: This course will introduce you to many of the problems and issues of metaphysics. We will consider many of the following questions: What is metaphysics? Can metaphysical questions be answered? Is there a plurality of things or only one thing? Is there an external world? What is time? Is there such a thing as objective truth? Why are there rational beings? Are we physical or non-physical beings? Have we free will?: What is a
person or the self? What makes each person to be the unique individual he or she is? Do viable conceptions of the self and oneself require assumptions about God, freedom, and immortality? Do we become persons through a process of narrative self-interpretation? Can we give a philosophical account of that process? Does self-identity require ethical commitment or a certain taking of responsibility for oneself and/or for the other? An
important objective of the course will be to deepen our understanding of the human self as well as our own selves.

Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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