PHIL 232 - Problems of Philosophy
Winter 2017, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
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Requirements & Distribution:
Credit Exclusions:
No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in PHIL 181, 182, 202, 231, 234, or 297.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Many important debates involve such profound disagreements that it's hard to know who we should believe.

  • What should we do when we're faced with such a debate?
  • When we learn that people's views are different from ours, should our own views change? If so, in what ways?
  • Might we have wrong views that we can't change, no matter how hard we try?
  • Can two people disagree about so much that it's impossible for one to understand the other's position?
  • Could some truths be literally unbelievable?
  • What does it even mean to say that something is true, or to say that something is true for you but not true for me?

We will discuss all these questions in this course, focusing on how they arise when we think about freedom, morality, justice, inequality, science, prejudice, bias, consciousness, communication, and ideology. Reading, thinking, talking, and writing about these philosophical issues is exciting and important work. But the skills you will develop by doing that work are valuable outside of philosophy as well, helping you think and write more clearly, ask more insightful questions, and become more creative at solving problems.

Our main text for the course is Kwame Anthony Appiah’s Thinking It Through — an excellent introduction to contemporary analytic philosophy and to its historical roots. We will supplement Appiah’s book with philosophically rich films (Blade Runner, The Conversation, The House I Live In, Rashomon, and Run Lola Run), modern music and dance, and articles and excerpts by other philosophers.

Course Requirements:

two in-class exams, two short papers, participation, regular short reading responses

Intended Audience:

anyone who has faced some philosophical question -- and everyone has!

Class Format:

lectures with time for some discussion, and sections dedicated to discussion


PHIL 232 - Problems of Philosophy
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 9:00AM - 10:00AM
002 (DIS)
 In Person
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:00AM
003 (DIS)
 In Person
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:00PM

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