Core 284: Philosophy of Human Nature

Master Syllabus

 

 

Catalog Description:

 

What is a human person? What is the human condition? What factors influence human life, choice, and action? What is human destiny? These questions concerning humanity are philosophical questions, and it is the general approach of this course to expose the student to the ways serious thinkers have approached and understood such topics as: humanity’s origin and evolution; humanity’s place in the universe; the impact of human scientific, technological and creative achievement; the relationship between human beings and God; and humanity’s ultimate destiny. Prerequisite: Core 280.

 

Specific Learning Objectives:

 

As a result of taking this course, students should be able to:

 

  1. Read and understand primary philosophical texts on human nature;

 

  1. Understand the major figures and central issues addressed in the field;

 

  1. Formulate, express, and defend their own views on the philosophical issues studied in the course;

 

  1. Write an essay on a course topic that meets the assessment standards for argumentative and/or critical essays students learned in Core 100 (Liberal Arts Seminar) and Core 110 (Effective Writing).

 

 

 

General Learning Goals:

 

As a result of taking this course, students should:

 

  1. come to appreciate the value of philosophical reflection in Western civilization and in the life of every liberally educated person;

 

  1. form the lifelong habit of philosophizing and leading an examined life;

 

  1. form the lifelong habit of reading and rereading classic and contemporary philosophical texts that they find interesting and relevant;

 

  1. begin to develop their own critically reflective philosophy of life;

 

  1. understand the practical value of philosophy in clarifying and contributing to current social and political debates.

 

 

Assessment Measures:

 

1. At least two tests to assess mastery of course content.

 

2. Periodic quizzes (at the instructor’s discretion) to encourage students to keep up with course readings and to measure their progress in the course;

 

3. Short writing assignments (at the instructor’s discretion) to assess critical reading/thinking skills and mastery of course content.

 

4. One major writing assignment—either a critical essay or an argumentative essay—to assess students’ ability to analyze and evaluate philosophical texts and to formulate and defend their own philosophical views.

 

5. Teaching and/or course evaluations administered at the conclusion of the course.

 

 

Required Text(s):

 

Each instructor may choose a text or texts best suited to his or her pedagogical goals and individual teaching style.