In this course you will learn to reflect systematically on some important and fundamental philosophical questions, by analyzing a selection of basic texts, mainly taken from contemporary philosophy. Because there is a close interaction between most of the philosophical problems that are discussed in this course and similar problems in Christian religion and theology, special attention will be given to this question. Furthermore, there is a close connection between all kinds of existential and societal questions and philosophy’s radical and systematic reflection on them. This connection will also be discussed in this course After having completed this course you will be able to identify and to explain some important philosophical issues. Moreover, you will be capable to set forth and to evaluate the dominant positions that have been defended in this respect. Furthermore, you are capable of identifying the similarities and differences between a philosophical and a theological approach of these questions. You will also be able to argue for those positions in a coherent way, and give arguments pro and contra for each of them. Finally, you will learn to analyze philosophical texts as to their presuppositions.
In this course, extra attention will be given to analyzing philosophical argumentations, as well as to understanding and being able to develop a philosophical argumentation yourself. You can practice these skills during the classes, by delivering written answers to the Study Questions and those for further reflection that accompany all treated texts. During every class you get feedback on the answers that you have prepared.
The course starts with the question: What is systematic philosophy, what are the main problems that are dealt with in this discipline and how do they relate to religion and theology? Next, the following questions will be discussed: 1) Is religious faith an irrational conviction or can it reasonably be argued for (philosophy of religion)? 2) Is 'objective knowledge' possible, or is it always entangled with our own mind frame (epistemology)? 3) What is the reason that nowadays we are confronted with so much bullshit in all kinds of conversations (epistemology/philosophy of culture) 4) Are we only corporeal beings or are there reasons to believe that we also have a soul? 5) Does free will exist and, if so, what does that imply (philosophical anthropology)? 6) What is the meaning of life (metaphysics)? 7) Are values objective or are they nothing but an expression of our subjective desires and preferences (metaphysics/ethics)?|
Type of instructions
Lectures and seminars
Type of exams
- 1. L.P. Pojman, L. Vaughn, Philosophy. The Quest for Truth, Oxford University Press, 2012, ISBN ISBN 978-0-19-975179-2..
- Harry Frankfurt, On Bullshit.
- Thomas Nagel, Value.