Course Description

01:730:303 The Practice of Philosophy

  • Description:

    One of the few things philosophers agree on is that philosophers disagree on what, exactly, philosophy is. This makes coming to other conclusions about philosophy difficult to say the least. What exactly does a philosopher do, and how do they do it? Argumentation would seem to be central to the philosopher's toolkit, but what counts as an argument, and how do different forms of argument work? This semester we’ll examine several forms of argument against the backdrop of different conceptions of philosophy. We’ll spend the early part of the semester thinking about what philosophy is (or might be). Then we’ll examine some forms of argument in depth in the middle part of the semester, including, potentially: reductio ad absurdum, argument by analogy, and transcendental arguments. We’ll conclude the semester by thinking about related topics, including whether philosophy is a science and whether there can be progress in philosophy at all. Prior exposure to philosophical topics and argumentation is expected.

  • Credits: 3