Skip Course Information

Course Information

Instructor Info:Christoph Cox
Office Extension x5604
Term: 2014S
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
02:00 PM - 03:20 PM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 4
02:00 PM - 03:20 PM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 4

What is ultimately or fundamentally real? What is the nature of being? Is reality ultimately physical or nonphysical? Is it one or many, visible or invisible, discrete or diffuse, eternal or temporal? Philosophers have offered the wildest and most varied answers to these questions. Today, metaphysical debates continue to rage within philosophy, cultural theory, and social theory. In this course, we will survey a range of metaphysical theories, from ancient Greek, Indian, and Chinese ontological theories up through the most recent debates in European and Anglo-American philosophy. Readings from Heraclitus, Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, the Buddha, Nagarjuna, Samkara, Leibniz, Spinoza, Berkeley, Schopenhauer, Bergson, Heidegger, and Harman.

Course Objectives:

1. To think deeply about the fundamental nature of reality.

2. To learn to understand the main position(s) in influential and important metaphysical texts.

3. To learn to identify and summarize the key arguments for these positions orally and in writing.

4. To formulate and clarify your own positions on metaphysical questions.

5. To offer compelling arguments for your own positions.

6. To discuss these positions and arguments with your classmates in an effort to clarify, sharpen, and strengthen their arguments and your own.