This course is a survey of the field of philosophy: its vocabulary, aims, purposes; the great systems of speculative thought and the leading thinkers. Students will be introduced to historic and contemporary philosophers, and examine their influence on science, the arts and Western thought and ideals. In this online learning format, students are exposed to an enriching online environment, with an opportunity to learn through a variety of mediums: video lectures, interactive quizzes, literature and forums where classmates interact and discuss topics related to the course. By the end of the course the student will have developed a deeper understanding of contemporary issues in Western culture from a Biblical perspective. This class is 8 weeks long.
To introduce major philosophers and their times, the issues they sought to resolve, and their effect on Western thought.
To survey the major issues of several branches of philosophy.
To develop a Christian perspective of philosophy.
To develop a deeper understanding of Western thought and of contemporary issues. This will enable the student to critically evaluate ideas so as not to naively accept error; as well, it will allow him to relate to the views of others in a more meaningful way. It is hoped that the student will develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for his or her Christian beliefs.
To understand basic issues in logic and critical thinking.
To examine some important issues in philosophy of religion so as to better understand challenges to orthodox Christianity and contemporary responses to them. Special attention will be given to proofs for the existence of God, the consistency and adequacy of Christianity, religious experience, miracles, and the problem of evil.
To develop greater discernment in ethics by examination of major issues in the field and contemporary ethical problems.
To develop a proper attitude toward ideas that differ from our own.
To develop a respect for the academic adequacy of orthodox Christianity.
To cultivate a desire to intelligently interact with those who hold different beliefs.
Ability to better understand ideas and beliefs of all types in order to evaluate them and interact intelligently with them.
Ability to recognize sound and logical and fallacious arguments.
There will be several quizzes throughout the course based upon the readings from both required textbooks (see Required Textbooks below).
One final exam.
Weekly forum discussions between other current students covering material learned in the class.