Everywhere we are, whether in the workforce, at college, or simply watching the evening news, we are surrounded by claims about the way things are, about who we are, about what we can know, and about right and wrong. We live in a culture where we cannot avoid the subjects that we collectively refer to as philosophy. The question is not, "Will I have to think about philosophical issues?" but rather, "Will I be able to think well about philosophical issues?"
History's Great Ideas gives students the knowledge and reasoning skills to confidently answer that question in the affirmative. Working from The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World, by Christian pastor and theologian R.C. Sproul, we will survey the historical development of the important beliefs that affect how we think about life today.
Students will study and discuss the ideas of great thinkers from Socrates to Hume, from Augustine to Nietzsche, with emphasis on how various philosophers' ideas related to one another and how they are relevant today. Whether or not students choose to pursue the study of philosophy beyond this class, they will leave with an understanding of important concepts, ideas, and thinking skills that will enable them to intelligently engage important questions for the rest of their lives.
The class meets for one-and-a-half hours weekly for 16 weeks. It is very discussion-based and class participation is encouraged. Students will be assigned three three-page papers on relevant topics, and grades will be given based on the quality of the papers, scores on reading quizzes, and participation in classroom discussion. Tuition is $199.
Students taking this class will need good reading and writing ability, but no prior knowledge of philosophy is required.