Philosophy & the Humanities Commons

PHL 103: Intro To Philosophy

Introduction to philosophical reflection and study of some central philosophical questions in the Western and non-western intellectual traditions, including questions of ethics, human knowledge, and metaphysics. Prerequisites: None

This course will be taught by many different instructors who will be responsible for selecting topics that will address the course objectives. Inevitably, the topics will vary from section to section. See the course objectives below for further information.

Methods of instruction may include: lecture, instruction on close, critical reading of assigned material (e.g., written responses to reading guides, guided classroom discussion, oral presentations), co-curricular experiences (e.g., guest speakers), and written assignments including essays that require students to produce clear and logical papers.

First Year Immersion Experience

A method of instruction unique to Humanities Commons courses is participation in the First Year Immersion experience, which is required of all students in PHL 103. Tickets and transportation to the Schuster Center or Victoria Theater for a performance of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance symphony, opera or ballet are provided and the event is incorporated into curricula across the four Humanities Commons courses. Events have included:

  • 2014: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Symphony
  • 2015: Dead Man Walking, Opera
  • 2016: Romeo and Juliet, Ballet
  • Gian-Carlo Menotti's The Consul, Opera

The First Year Immersion experience is further supported by the programming of the Graul Chair in Arts and Languages, the Rites.Rights.Writes. initiative, the Alumni Chair in Humanities programming and ArtsLIVE initiatives.

Learning Goals & Outcomes

Humanities Commons Student Learning Goals

PHL 103 is a first-year Humanities Commons course within the Common Academic Program. As such, its student learning outcomes are designed to support the six student learning goals of the Humanities Commons. 

By completing the courses within the Humanities Commons, students will:

  • Read primary texts closely and critically (including self-critically);
  • Analyze, in writing, a variety of texts contributing to larger historical conversations, debates, and traditions and as resources for understanding and appreciating the complexities of human identity, dignity, and experience;
  • Develop an understanding of their place in community, country, and world in relationship to multiple others, with particular attention to differences – such as class, gender, and race – upon which social inequalities are constructed and maintained;
  • Engage central concepts of Catholic intellectual tradition as they contribute to humanistic inquiry and reflection in the relevant academic discipline (English, History, Philosophy, or Religious Studies);
  • Examine the question of what it means to be human from a disciplinary perspective, and in the process make connections among disciplines and develop an appreciation for the ways in which learning is a process of integrating knowledge
  • Understand and practice academic honesty as foundational to the making and sharing of knowledge in a community of learners that is both local and global.
PHL 103 Student Learning Outcomes

 On completion of this course:

  1. Students will be able to understand and accurately represent philosophical arguments. (Scholarship)
  2. students will be able to engage in competent ethical reasoning. (Practical Wisdom)
  3. Students will demonstrate basic understanding of philosophical perspectives from outside the western canon or of philosophical issues related to diversity and social justice. (Diversity)

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