PHIL 286
Contemporary Systematic Philosophy Fall 2016
Division II
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Systematic philosophy, also describable as comprehensive theorization, was central to the philosophical enterprise from at least the time of Aristotle until that of Hegel, but has been out of style, in both analytic and continental philosophy, for more than 100 years. This course examines a current attempt to return systematic philosophy to its long-central position.We begin by assessing Alan White’s Toward a Philosophical Theory of Everything (2014), which, although not yet receiving widespread attention, was described by one reviewer as “a critically important work for all those deeply interested in philosophical issues and their significance for basic human concerns.” Because of the scope of systematic philosophy, this course provides students with the opportunity to investigate theories currently under development on a much richer variety of issues than is usual in philosophy courses (which are often restricted to specific subdisciplines of philosophy or to works of historical figures). Among those issues are ones involving semantics, ontology, truth, knowledge, moral and other values, human freedom, beauty, being, and God.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 12
Expected: 6
Class#: 1780
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: participation, one or more essays
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Philosophy majors and potential Philosophy majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: PHIL Contemp Metaphysics & Epistemology Courses

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