Learning Goals Philosophy

Goal 1:          

To impart to majors knowledge of some of the philosophies and comparisons of western and non-western traditions involving:

  • The history and development of western and non-western philosophical traditions.
  • Metaphysics and epistemology.
  • Ethics.
  • Applied Ethics courses.

Goal 2:

To develop in the majors, the skills necessary for critical thinking:

  • The ability to reason clearly, consistently, coherently and rigorously.
  • (“Reason” is the logical sense of deriving a conclusion from premises.)
  • Justifying the reasons for a belief, conclusion to a logical argument or a theory. Such reasons must be sufficient and good. “Good” in this context means: true or factual, or reasonable to accept and relevant.
  • To be able to distinguish between historical, religious and cultural perspectives amongst different philosophical perspectives.

 Goal 3:

To develop in the majors the skills of Complex Reasoning:

  • Recognizing the complexity of an argument
  • Recognizing the “mind-set” of each of us which is based on such variables as when and where we were born, our genetic make-up, our parents, family and friends, our interests and opportunities.
  • Suspending, or holding in abeyance, one’s mind-set until she or he has heard the beliefs and values, and the reasons for them, from another human being. For how can one judge claims to knowledge unless she or he understands the claim?
  • Constructing philosophical arguments that, using the above reasoning skills, enable students to advance their understanding of the world.

Goal 4:

To Encourage and help to develop attitudes and world perspectives which are non-violent and concerned with all life on the planet.