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Introduction to Philosophy

This course offers students the opportunity to explore four topics in philosophy - knowledge, reality, free will and morality.
University of Oxford University Offices Wellington Square Oxford ,OX1 2JD United Kingdom
(4418) 65270000

Course at a Glance

Mode of learning : Online - Instructor Lead(LVC)

Domain / Subject : General/Others

Function : General

Trainer name : Dr Shlomit Harrosh

Starts on : 10th Sep 2014

Duration : 10 Weeks

Difficulty : Advanced

About the course

Even as our knowledge continually expands, philosophical questions asked since the time of the Ancient Greek philosophers continue to perplex us. This course offers students the opportunity to explore four topics in philosophy - knowledge, reality, free will and morality. Through a series of guided readings, and participation in discussions and other online events, you will not only learn how philosophers have tackled these topics, but learn how to tackle them for yourselves.

Course aims

The aim of the course is to introduce students to central topics in philosophy. The objectives are to promote interest in philosophy, to develop an understanding of the nature of philosophical questions, and of ways in which these can be answered.

Topics covered by the course are:

  • Why do Philosophy?
  • Knowledge.
  • Free will.
  • The World.
  • Morality.

Assessment methods

Assessment for this course is based on two written assignments - one short assignment due half way through the course and one longer assignment due at the end of the course. Students will have about two weeks to complete each assignment.

Teaching methods

  • Guided reading of texts
  • Group discussions of particular issues
  • Questions to be answered in personal folders
  • Debating from positions given rather than from personal belief (to hone skills of debate)?

Teaching outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • understand the nature of philosophical problems.
  • understand the different ways of responding to these problems, be able to differentiate between them, and to evaluate them.
  • Grasp philosophical concepts and terms.
  • reason philosophically.
  • interpret and analyse a philosophical text.
  • participate in philosophical debates

Course eligibility

Course Requirements

This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.

Recommended reading

To participate in the course you will need to have regular access to the Internet and you will need to buy the following books: Blackburn, S., Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy(OUP, 2001) Guttenplan, S., Hornsby, J. & Janaway, C., Reading Philosophy: Selected Texts with a method for Beginners (Blackwell, 2002)

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Course Content

The areas you will cover in this course are:

  • Introduction to learning online
  • Why do Philosophy?
  • Knowledge
  • Free Will
  • The World
  • Morality

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