Course Abstract Details

PHIL-215, American Philosophy

Credits: 3

Course Description

PHIL-215, American Philosophy, investigates the unique history of the American experience that has consistently been reflected in the writings and actions of its most prominent thinkers. The extent to which this occurs makes it possible to identify an American Philosophy-presenting a style, direction, and flavor characterized by the experiences of American people. This course will explore the variety and development of American thought. Emphasis will be placed on American philosophical writings and to the historical and cultural developments that helped shape some of these philosophical approaches. This course will also explore the ways in which these philosophical approaches may have influenced American history and culture. This study will lead to some consideration of the possible directions in which American philosophy-and America itself-may soon be going. Prerequisite: exemption/completion of ENG-097 and READ-099. Three lecture hours each week. Three credits. Three billable hours. DIVERSITY/WORLD VIEW.

Course Objectives and Grading Information


1. Participate in class discussions of topical issues and philosophical perspectives, maintaining a cooperative, respectful, and supportive environment. (G18-1, 2, 7) (H19-1, 2, 4) 

2. Explore central tenets and implications of philosophical theories from various traditions in American philosophical thought. Identify fundamental themes in American philosophical traditions. (G- 1, 2) (H-1, 2, 4) 

3. Draw critical comparisons between different philosophical theories. Discern important differences and significant themes between select theories. (G-2, 6) (H-2, 4) 

4. Critically evaluate different philosophical perspectives, while exhibiting fairness and charity toward the views under consideration. (G-2) (H-1, 4) 

5. Develop fair, reasoned, and insightful critiques of your own perspectives. (G-2) (H-2, 4, 5) 

6. Use philosophical activity as a way to explore issues that are important to you and to expand, challenge, and refine your views. (G-2, 5, 7) (H-4, 5) 

7. Critically explore the role of culture in philosophical exploration and the possibility and value of multicultural philosophical exploration. (G-2, 5, 6, 7) (H-2, 4, 5) 

8. Critically explore the value and possible necessity of diversity in philosophical exploration. Critically consider the role of philosophical exploration in the development of diverse cultures. (G-2, 5, 6, 7) (H-2, 4, 5)

Learning Goals

The abbreviations in parentheses represent Learning Goals which have been identified for this course and program of study:

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