Philosophy 101

PHL 101 -- Philosophical Inquiry -- is the Philosophy Department's introductory philosophy course. All students at Nazareth College must complete this course as part of the core curriculum. The philosophical method, as discussed in this course, is highly applicable to virtually all other fields of study and, indeed, to nearly any pursuit after college.

This course is an introduction to philosophy by means of an exploration of Aristotle's views on language, logic, metaphysics and epistemology, Plato's Euthyphro and Apology, and Stoic logic.

As a Perspectives I (PI) course, PHL 101 serves as the foundation for upper-level courses in the Philosophy Department. In this course, not only are students introduced to the distinctive domain (i.e., dialectical questions) and method of philosophical inquiry (i.e., dialectical inquiry as the gathering of endoxa (widely held beliefs) and the logical assessment of these opinions), which is the method used in PII-level courses and above, but the many terms and distinctions introduced in PHL 101 are used in upper-level courses. These terms and distinctions are those of the tradition. They have not been 'updated' to conform to 20th century philosophical terminology. Since our department's programmatic mission is to introduce students to philosophy through the history of philosophy, students need to be able to recognize and understand the terminology as they find it in ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern writers.

Skill Objectives

The following Skill Objectives of the core curriculum are addressed in this course:

  • Critical thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, evaluation...)
  • Interactive reading skills
  • Written communication skills
Knowledge Objectives

The KNOWLEDGE OBJECTIVES of the core curriculum that are relevant to this course are as follows:

  • To introduce students to a discipline's distinctive subject matter
  • To introduce students to a discipline's mode(s) of inquiry emphasizing qualitative exposure
  • To foster an appreciation for multiple perspectives within a discipline
  • To foster an appreciation of the past through a knowledge of historical context
  • To foster an awareness, understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity
Teaching Methods

The course typically uses a variety of teaching methods (lecture, discussion, writing, etc.) and is designed to "provide students with opportunities for listening and reading carefully and perceptively, speaking and writing with clarity and precision using writing as a mode of learning; analyzing and synthesizing information and knowledge, and formulating rational arguments" (Core, Summary of Goals and Objectives).

Questions? Contact our faculty and staff.