The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:
A combination of lecture and discussion. Some class sessions may involve formal lectures for the entire time (allowing time for questions), in which case a later class session will be devoted to a discussion of the lecture and reading material. Other class sessions may involve a combination of informal lecture and structured discussion.
- Historical and contemporary perspectives on the nature of metaphysics, on its relation to epistemology, and on a range of specific metaphysical problems.
- An examination of at least one major historical philosopher (e.g., Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Heidegger) on a set of central problems in metaphysics, or an examination of the writings of several philosophers on one major historical problem of metaphysics.
- The study of another major problem of metaphysics with significant emphasis on contemporary thinking about that problem.
- Works examined might include Descartes’ Meditations, or Kant’s Prolegomena; problems covered might include the mind/body problem, the problem of personal identity, or the ultimate nature of reality. Other topics covered might include: God, life after death, meaning and the purpose of life, causation, free will and determinism, human nature, investigation in philosophical psychology, and the relation of language to consciousness.
Successful students will be able to:
- Explain traditional and contemporary problems of metaphysics, and the philosophical reasoning and viewpoints pertaining to them.
- Systematically develop their own philosophical reasoning and reflection about the types of metaphysical problems covered.
- Demonstrate the relation of metaphysics and theory of knowledge with regard to the problems discussed in the course.
- Contrast and compare traditional and contemporary philosophical perspectives on specific topics covered in the course.
Evaluation will be based on course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester.
Any possible combination of the following which equals 100%:
|Tests, Quizzes, Short Written Assignments||30% – 60%||Five 10% Tests||50%|
|Written Class Presentations, Argument Analyses, Exams||20% – 50%||Two 20% Analyses||40%|
|Instructor’s General Evaluation
(may include attendance class participation, group work, homework, etc.)
|0% – 20%||Attendance/
(No one evaluation component within each category may exceed 40%)
Texts will be updated periodically. Typical example are:
- Pojman, L. (Ed.). Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Temporary Readings, (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford Univeristy Press, 2004.
- van Inwagen, Peter and Zimmerman, Dean W. Metaphysics: The Big Questions, (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell, 2008.
- Zimmerman, Dean W. (ed.). Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Vol. 2. Oxford: the Clarendon Press, 2006.