PHIL 151 - Philosophical Dimensions of Personal Decisions
Winter 2016, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Waitlist Notes:
Other Course Info:
Students are strongly advised not to take more than two Philosophy Introductions.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


We can all imagine ways our lives might be better, and ways they might be worse. So too, we can imagine better and worse ways for our lives to end. And it's obvious that the choices we make affect the quality of our lives. In this course, we will examine a variety of philosophical perspectives on these issues. In particular, we will raise the following questions:

  • What makes life worth living? What does it take to lead a good life?
  • What is the relationship between a person’s moral character, her actions, and her well-being?
  • What, if anything,makes death bad? Should we fear death?
  • Is there any such thing as a good death?
  • What does it mean to be rational?
  • What does it mean to make good choices?
  • What is the relationship between choosing rationally and living well?
We will begin by canvassing a variety of philosophical views on these questions. We will also explore how contemporary research in psychology and behavioral economics informs our answers to these questions. Students will develop philosophical skills that enable them to approach these and other important questions carefully, thoughtfully, and rigorously. In particular, students can expect to improve their understanding of arguments, learn to carefully analyze philosophical concepts that appear in these arguments, and learn to identify the strengths and weaknesses of various philosophical positions.

Course Requirements:

Grades will be based on in-class participation, quizzes, essays and exams.

Intended Audience:

No previous experience with Philosophy is assumed

Class Format:

4 hrs of lecture w/discussion per week


PHIL 151 - Philosophical Dimensions of Personal Decisions
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (LEC)
 In Person
4Y1 or Y2
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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