Epperson - CSUS - Philosophy 002 - Philosophical Ethics
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If you are tempted to divide your college courses into those that are ‘useful’ and those that are ‘useless,’ beware!  If you believe that the useful courses are only those that describe how the world works (including how you work)—economics, chemistry, marketing, biology, business, engineering—consider this: Thinking about why the world is the way it is could be a big advantage in understanding how the world works the way it does. Some might even say that describing how without exploring why is no real knowledge at all—or even more severely, in the words of Socrates, that “…an unexamined life is not worth living.”

In this course, we will examine some of the why questions that lie at the very heart of all the useful courses: What does it all matter?  Is it all matter?  Is mind matter?  If it’s all matter, including me, why am I free and conscious and a computer isn’t?  Could one ever be?  What kind of being am I?  Am I a body, or do I have a body?  What does it mean to know something correctly?  How do we know a ‘fact of knowledge’ is really knowledge of a fact?  Does reason have rules?  What is the good life?  Can there be good without evil?  Would the useful courses even exist today without the useless ones taught ages and ages ago?

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