Competencies: Intro to Philosophy

Unit 1. Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry
General Outcome: The students should be able to identify branches & problems in philosophy.
Specific Competencies – Upon successful completion of this unit, the students should be able to:
1.  Distinguish between Philosophical, Scientific & Religious inquiry.
2. Identify the major branches of philosophy.
3.  Identify various problems in philosophy.
2.  Recite some of the major issues in applied ethics like human rights

Unit 2. Basic Concepts of Logic
General Outcome: The students should be able to identify the basic components of logic.
Specific Competencies – Upon successful completion of this unit, the students should be able to:
1.  Define logic.
2.  Recognize arguments.
3.  Identify premises and conclusions.
4.  Distinguish between deduction & induction.
5.  Distinguish between valid/invalid deductive arguments & strong/weak inductive arguments
6. Identify various Fallacies.

Unit 3. Epistemology
General Outcome: The students should be able to identify and discuss major theories of knowledge.
Specific Competencies – Upon successful completion of this unit, the students should be able to:
1.  Discuss clearly and coherently about the differences between rationalism and empiricism.
2.  Define and discuss:
a.  Cogito, ergo sum.
b.  Tabula rasa.
3.  Discuss the nature of skepticism.

Unit 4. Metaphysics
General Outcome: The students should be able to identify and discuss some of the major theories of metaphysics.
Specific Competencies – Upon successful completion of this unit, the students should be able to:
1.  Identify and discuss some pre-Socratic metaphysical solutions.
2.  Define and discuss Plato’s theory of forms and explain the Allegory of the Cave.
3.  Describe why the Mind-Body problem is a problem and some solutions.
4.  Describe why identity of self is a problem.
5.  Define determinism, indeterminism and soft determinism (compatibilism).
6.  Outline some of the difficulties concerning the issues of determinism and freedom.

Unit 5. Philosophy of Religion
General Outcome: The students should be able to identify and discuss the major problems in the philosophy of religion.
Specific Competencies – Upon successful completion of this unit, the students should be able to:
1.  Discuss the epistemology of religious belief.
2.  Critically comprehend and explain:
a.  Teleological argument.
b. Cosmological argument.
3.  Think creatively, logically, critically, and reflectively on the:
a.  Ontological argument.
b.  Problem of evil.

Unit 6. Ethics
General Outcome: The students should be able to identify and discuss the main theories of ethics.
Specific Competencies – Upon successful completion of this unit, the students should be able to:
1. Reflectively and creatively discuss, differentiate, and define various ethical concepts and ethical theories in the history of philosophy including, but not limited to, the following:
a.  Ethical relativism
b.  Egoism
c.  Utilitarianism perhaps including problem-solving techniques to real-world experiences using utilitarianism or demonstrating that utilitarianism requires the collaboration of others to achieve common goals such as the welfare of the community
d.  Teleological ethics
e.  Deontological ethics
f.   Divine Command Theory
g.  Virtue ethics
h.  Metaethics

3.  Examine the importance of ethical behavior for the self and society
4.  Understand the application of ethical theories to real-world experiences

Unit 7. Social & Political Philosophy
General Outcome: The students should be able to identify and discuss some of major concerns in political philosophy.
Specific Competencies – Upon successful completion of this unit, the students should be able to:
1.  Identify key concepts and philosophers of social and political philosophy
2.  Critically comprehend and explain contract theory.

Unit 8. Aesthetics
General Outcome: The students should be able to identify and discuss some of the major concerns in Aesthetics.
Specific Competencies – Upon successful completion of this unit, the students should be able to:

  1. Critically reflect upon the concepts of value & beauty within Axiology
  2. Identify the development of the history of philosophy of art and key philosophers of art
  3. Identify & discuss various theories of beauty, including but not limited to:
  1. Mimetic theory
  2. Formalism
  3. Ideal Observer Theory
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