BEGINNERS PHILOSOPHY WITH ALEKS: MEANING, IDENTITY & POWER



ENROL


COURSE OUTLINE


WEEK 1: EXISTENTIALISM

existentialism is the study of meaning, purpose, and what it means ‘to be’

questions of what it means ‘to be,’ why we are here, and about the meaning of life have haunted philosophers for thousands of years

we will look at the nature of meaning, ask what kinds of things ‘can be,’ and try to figure out whether there is any meaning at all

we will also look at the relationship between meaning and morality (and we will briefly study nihilism—the philosophy that there is no meaning)

WEEK 2: MEANING & INTERPRETATION

language is a curious feature of our lives that is often taken for granted


the philosophy of language asks questions such as:

what does it mean for something to have ‘meaning?
what is language?
how close can we get to understanding what others experience?
how close can we get to understanding what others mean?

WEEK 3: POWER & SOCIETY

society requires pepole to constantly follow rules and adhere to norms

where do these rules and norms come from? who generates them? how do they change?

we will consider a range of theories about the relationship between power, knowledge, obedience, and the construction of society 


WEEK 4: FEMINISM & IDENTITY

feminist philosophy seeks to clarify definitions and interpretations of gender, biological sex, identity, and purpose

we will ask whether society parts of our identity are socially constructed, how they can be constructed, and what the path to equality looks like

WEEK 5: POST-COLONIALISM & EQUALITY

colonialism rests on a set of philosophical theories

these theories relate to land, spirituality, ownership, whiteness, blackness, otherness, and power

we will consider the ways in which philosophers have tried to theories for and against colonialism, and we will consider what it means to live in a postcolonial world


WEEK 6: ETHICS

ethics is the study of good and bad, moral and immoral, right and wrong


we will look at various ethical theories (deontology/consequentialism) and we will try to get at the heart of what it means to be good or bad