Each winter term I offer three sessions in philosophy. This one is intended for those who have little or no experience with either the history of philosophy or its methods. Through the use of an interactive text for class preparation and class discussions, this session seeks to acquaint participants with both by concentrating on two areas: ethics and philosophy of religion. In the ethics section, topical questions present opposing essays on a variety of problems, and most of the historical essays are about figures in the ancient world. The same format follows in the section on philosophy of religion, and in that one most of the historical figures are from the Middle Ages. The text is crammed with provocative questions for discussion, and it has a website rich in further resources. Facilitated Discussion. CAVEAT: My philosophy "classes" are collaborative, collegial gatherings. I select the subject and the text and facilitate the discussion, but we do philosophy together in an intellectually rigorous, open, and mutually helpful way. If you are registering for one of these groups for the first time, please be aware of the nature of the group and know that your participation in its process is essential for its success. Participation involves a close, critical reading of the text, readiness on the basis of that to offer questions, comments, and conclusions on the subject of the day, and commitment to consistent attendance so that the continuity of the conversation is maintained and the spirit of the inquiry is fostered. So if you are anticipating an extended trip this winter or have any personal business which will prevent this, it would not be wise to register for this one. You will have wonderful intellectual fun if you do!
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