This is our catalog of courses. We will occasionally adjust the course listing to reflect the addition of new courses and the retirement of others.
Truth matters. When confronted with claims that morality is relative, individual, or changing, how will you respond?
In this introductory course, we will examine some of the most common and persistent philosophical errors in the Western tradition. We will discover that many of these errors (subjectivism, relativism, nihilism, hedonism) are neither new nor peculiar to the Modern era. We will see how they have been proposed and defended, and how they have been addressed and dealt with by luminaries such as Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and others. Students who complete this course will be equipped with the tools necessary to diagnose and correct some of the most intractable errors that presently dominate our culture.
Introduction, background, begin reading Plato’s “Theatetus”
Subjectivism, read Plato’s “Theatetus”
Cultural Relativism, read Herodotus “Histories”
Skepticism, read Sextus Empiricus “Outlines of Pyrrhonism”
Skepticism, continue Sextus Empiricius “Outlines of Pyrrhonism”
Refutation of Skepticism, read St. Augustine “Contra Academicos”
Rationalism: read Rene Descartes “Meditations I-III”
Dualism: continue Rene Descartes “Meditations IV -VI”
Naturalism: read David Hume “On Miracles”
Naturalism: read David Hume “Enquiry on Human Understanding”
Course materials: All texts for this class will be posted online from open-source translations or online archives. There is no purchase required.
Homework: Homework consists of daily readings. Plus, there will be three quizzes, a mid-term examination, and a final. Expect to devote one to two hours per day on reading and testing.