PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION

 

Professor Hud Hudson
Office: Bond Hall 311
Office Hours: Wed 10:00-11:30 and Thu 1:15-2:00

Spring 2018
Philosophy 113
Bond Hall 317
Tues/Thurs 10:00-11:15

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION, LEARNING OUTCOMES, AND REQUIREMENTS

 

This course is an introduction to the philosophy of religion in particular and to philosophy in general.  During this term we will examine different conceptions of divinity and different analyses of divine attributes, we will discuss and critically evaluate several traditional arguments for the non-existence of God, and we will discuss and critically evaluate several traditional arguments for the existence of God.

In addition to providing an introduction  to this important subfield in philosophy, this course is designed to encourage and to assist students in developing and improving a range of skills.  In particular, this course is designed to help you to think critically, to write analytically, and to carefully reconstruct and critically evaluate arguments.

There is no textbook for this course.

There will be three essay examinations.  The first exam will be given in class on Tuesday, April 24th.  The second exam will be given in class on Tuesday, May 15th.  The third exam will be given according to the final exam schedule on Thursday, June 14th (8:00-10:00).  Each exam will be "closed-book," and will be worth one-third of the final grade for the course.

 

OTHER POLICIES AND INFORMATION

 

Attendance is not a requirement for the course, and you do not need to contact me to inform me that you will miss a meeting of the class.  If you do miss class, however, it is your responsibility to get notes from one of your colleagues.  Office hours are not designed for lecturing or for introducing new material.  You are, though, welcome to come talk to me about any questions you have once you work through the notes.

If you need to contact me, email works best.  Email is appropriate for brief questions and comments or to set up a time to meet.  Please note that I have a firm policy against conducting substantive discussions about the class material or answering substantive questions about the study guides by email.

Academic dishonesty is a serious infraction and will be dealt with severely.  It is the responsibility of students to read, to understand, and to uphold the standards for academic honesty in Appendix D of the university catalog.  Students are also responsible for knowing and adhering to the university's standards for Ethical Computing.

Western is committed to providing a campus community, workplace, and academic environment that is fully accessible to people of all abilities.  Under federal and state law, no qualified person will be denied access to participation in or the benefits of a university program or activity on the basis of a disability.  More information on accommodations is available through the university's  Disability Resources website.

Western's students enjoy the same basic rights, privileges, and freedoms granted to all members of society.  At the same time, acceptance of admission to the university carries with it an obligation to fulfill certain responsibilities as a member of our university community.  For more information on these expectations, see Western’s Student Rights and Responsibilities Code.

Western is committed to an environment free of discrimination and harassment.  Federal and state laws, as well as university policies, protect faculty, staff, and students against discrimination based on the following legally protected characteristics: Race, Color, Creed, Religion, National Origin, Sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), Age, Disability, Marital Status, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, Genetic Information, and Veteran Status. For more details, see the university's Equal Opportunity website.

Western encourages students to seek university assistance and support at the onset of an illness, difficulty, or crisis.  In the case of a medical concern or question, contact the Health Center (650-3400).  In the case of an emotional or psychological concern or question, contact the Counseling Center (650-3400).  In the case of a safety concern, contact the University Police (650-3555).  In the case of a family or personal emergency, contact the Dean of Students (650-3450).

 

COURSE OUTLINE

 

04/03        Introduction

04/05        The Concept of God
04/10

04/12        The Problem of Evil
04/17
04/19

04/24        Exam I

04/26        Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom
05/01
05/03

05/08        The Cosmological Argument
05/10

05/15        Exam II

05/17      The Ontological Argument
05/22
05/24        No Class
05/29

05/31       The Fine-Tuning Argument
06/05
06/07

06/14        Exam III  (8:00-10:00)