Often, my 45-minute daily sliver of teaching Introduction to Western Philosophy is the high point of the day. This year, an especially small (five-person!), talented class allows us to push further into primary sources. Recently, I asked for their intellectual interests, in the form of “Fill in the blank: I’m interested in the philosophy of…” Students came through with some cool answers.
I then selected primary source readings that each student will read and discuss with me, then present in seminar discussion for their peers. These are no easy readings, as you can see:
- Sleep: Aristotle’s On Dreams (350 BCE)
- Mathematics: Whitehead and Russell, Principia Mathematica (1910) [excerpts]
- Perception and Reality: Bishop Berkeley, Principles of Human Knowledge (1710) [excerpts]
- Freedom: Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism is a Humanism (1946)
- Artificial Intelligence: Alan Turing, Computer Machinery and Intelligence (1950)
Reading and student-led discussions will take place weekly through December. This is fun!