Philosophy (PHIL) 231
Introduction to Philosophy: West and East (Revision 2)
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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online
Area of Study: Humanities
Precluded Course: PHIL 251 and PHIL 261 (PHIL 231 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for PHIL 251 or PHIL 261.)
PHIL 231 has a Challenge for Credit option.
PHIL 231 introduces students to philosophical debate over some of the most fundamental questions humanity has encountered and continues to encounter. Through a study of some of the world's most influential thinkers—Socrates, Confucius, Chuang Tzu (Taoism) and the Buddha—we encounter debate and insights about our place in the universe, what it is to live the good life, what it is to overcome deception and falsity. “What exists?” “What can we know?” “What is the best way to lead our lives?” These questions mark three foundational areas of philosophical debate: Metaphysics, Epistemology, Ethics.
The course focuses on developing an ability to think critically and independently about these questions, initiating the process of making better decisions about which views are worth holding.
- Unit 1: Introductory Concepts, Explanations, and Exercises - The Apology
- Unit 2: The Phaedo Part I
- Unit 3: The Phaedo Part II
- Unit 4: Confucius and the Analects
- Unit 5: Taoism
- Unit 6: Buddhism
Descriptive exposition of a Socratic text (section)
Descriptive exposition of an Eastern text (section)
Critical Position Essay
To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.
Plato, The Trial and Death of Socrates (3rd ed.) (G.M.A. Grube trans.) 2000. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co.
Plato, The Phaedo (G.M.A. Grube trans.). 1977. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co.
Confucius, The Analects of Confucius (A. Waley trans.). 1989. New York: Vintage Books.
Chuang-tzu, Basic Writings (Burton Watson, trans.). 1996 New York: Columbia U.P.
Readings on Buddhism are provided online and embedded in the study guide.
The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, and intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.
Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.
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Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form
Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.
Opened in Revision 2, April 8, 2014.
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Updated April 03 2019 by Student & Academic Services