We discuss the pros and cons of killing someone in order to save your own life, prompted the Queen v. Dudley and Stephens case of 1884. 

We discuss the pros and cons of killing someone in order to save your own life, prompted the Queen v. Dudley and Stephens case of 1884. 

Finding Peace in Identity 

What are we? How do we make sense of ourselves? How do we conceive of each other? In this course, we will discuss several proposed responses. The purpose of the course is not to give definitive answers to these questions, but by the end of the semester, students should be well equipped to try to answer them themselves. 

Students will be introduced to the philosophical analysis of personal identity. We will examine metaphysical conceptions of what we are as well as value theoretical considerations related to how we conceive of ourselves and our survival. Once we’ve established some theories of what we are fundamentally, we will explore how we identify ourselves and each other with an eye toward making peace with ourselves, our experiences, and our futures. 

Offered Fall 2017, Fall 2018

Environmental Ethics 

What is nature? How do we relate to it? Why should we care about it? In this course, we will discuss several proposed responses. The purpose of the course is not to give definitive answers to these questions, but by the end of the semester, students should be equipped to try to answer them themselves.

Students will be introduced to philosophical approaches to environmental issues. We will investigate the relationship between humanity and nature, the moral status of the environment and other animals, and discuss what obligations we have to the earth and its inhabitants. We will also spend some time considering particular applied issues such as the ethics of food and climate justice. 

Offered Fall 2017, Fall 2018

World Philosophy 

What is the nature of reality? How do we acquire knowledge? What is morality, and what does it require of us? In this course, we will discuss several proposed responses with origins in a variety of traditions. The purpose of the course is not to give definitive answers to these questions, but by the end of the semester, students should be well equipped to try to answer them themselves. 

Students will be introduced to various philosophical issues as they are addressed in different traditions. We will examine fundamental areas of philosophy -- philosophy of mind, metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics -- through Western and non-Western perspectives, both historical and contemporary. Our discussions will be both evaluative and comparative as we survey varying approaches to each topic. Through these discussions, our aim will be to gain a broader understanding of the differing origins and virtues of philosophical theories rather than to demonstrate superiority of any particular worldview.

Offered Spring 2018, Spring 2019

 

 What does 'right to life' mean? We consider students' suggestions for discussion.

What does 'right to life' mean? We consider students' suggestions for discussion.

Social Dimensions of Equality

What is equality, and why does it matter? How is equality achieved in a just society? How do individual and collective actions reflect the value of equality? In this course, we will discuss several proposed responses. The purpose of the course is not to give definitive answers to these questions, but by the end of the semester, students should be well equipped to try to answer them themselves.

Students will be introduced to the philosophical analysis of ethical interactions, both individual and collective. We will examine theories of equality and justice as well as theories of right behavior. After discussing theoretical approaches to these topics, we will assess various applied issues as they arise for individuals and in society.  

Offered Spring 2018, Spring 2019

 

First Year Seminar: Critical Thinking (Fall 2017, Fall 2018)

This is an interdisciplinary course providing a common academic experience for all first year students. It introduces students to college-level thinking in the arts and sciences. Emphasis is on developing a community of learners with an appreciation for the arts and sciences and with the tools for academic success.  

Offered Fall 2017, Fall 2018


UltimateQuestions

 

Past Courses (at UIUC) 

 

Living Well:  Introduction to Ethics (Spring 2015, Spring 2016)

Who Are We?: Conceptions of Human Nature (Fall 2015)

Ultimate Questions: Introduction to Philosophy (Fall 2014)