Office Hours: By request.
About Professor Ahrens
Most students who take my classes expect a boring semester where we study dead white guys. While the study of philosophy does require learning about those dead white guys (for better or worse, philosophy is still a discipline that is largely western in nature), to ignore the ways that philosophy impacts us today is a disservice to the discipline.
I use a combination of lecture and the Socratic method in order to stimulate class discussion, interaction, and individual development of critical thinking skills. We examine a variety of political and cultural questions within the context of the course material in order to understand our own views, and those of others, more clearly. We debate those issues to strengthen our minds and positions, and develop the skills to critically evaluate new arguments.
For all of the talk of the importance of critical thinking within educational communities, I am not sure that most teachers know how to stimulate critical thought, particularly and the pre-collegiate level. The history of philosophy might be understood of the history of critical thought, and I am determined that critical thinking will continue to drive the discipline.
Introduction to Philosophy provides an overview of philosophical thought. This includes significant religious philosophy, the origins of philosophical thought, and how historical thought influences thinking today. This course will help you to clarify the way that you think, to better understand why you think what you think, and to begin to live the examined life.