Howard University College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Philosophy
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Introduction to Philosophy

Phil 055

This course provides an intensive introduction to philosophy. All sections will introduce students to the basic methods of philosophical inquiry. Students will read a variety of influential philosophical texts and consider their answers to central philosophical questions. Here are some examples of these questions:

• Can the existence of God be proved?
• Do we ever act freely, or are our actions determined by forces outside of our control?
• Are we always obligated to obey the law, or are we sometimes permitted, or even required, to break it?
• Do we have certain knowledge of the physical world?
• Is morality all a matter of opinion, or are some moral claims objectively true and others objectively false?

By the end of the course, students will appreciate the range of possible answers to some philosophical questions and have some tools for evaluating these answers and the arguments for them. Students may also undertake a detailed study of a philosophical work to see whether the various arguments within it make a unified and coherent whole. Central texts from Western and non-Western traditions will be considered. Different sections of this course vary considerably in specific course content, and students should contact individual professors for further information about the topics they will cover in their sections.


African American Philosophy
Afro-Caribbean Philosophy
Ancient Egyptian Philosophy
Ancient Egyptian Philosophy
Ancient Greek Philosophy
Classical Ethics
Comparative Philosophy: Philosophical Explanations of Evil Across Cultures
Current Topics: Philosophy and Ethics of Appropriate Technology and Development
Current Topics: Africana Philosophy and Film
Environmental Ethics
Ethics and Public Policy
Ethics of Medical Care
Ethics of Medical Care
History of Africana Philosophy
Introduction to Ethics
Introduction to Philosophy
Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy
Medieval Philosophy
Modern Philosophy
Philosophy of Education
Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy of Social Science
Principles of Reasoning
Representative Thinkers
Seminar on Aristotle 
Symbolic Logic


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