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PHIL 469

Philosophical Problems

A study of one or more problems, such as universals, time, freedom, causation, happiness and necessary truth. Attention mainly to recent papers and books. Prerequisite: two courses in philosophy or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit with different topics.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Two courses in philosophy or permission of instructor 1 course

Spring Semester information

Erik Wielenberg

469A: Philosophical Problems: Humility: Christian, Confucian, and Secular

While identified as a tremendously important virtue in the Christian tradition, humility's status outside of a religious context is controversial. We will first examine humility as a Christian virtue, focusing on how humility is construed within Christianity and why it is viewed as so important in that tradition. We will next turn to some critical discussions of humility outside of Christianity before considering what Confucian thought has to say about humility's nature and importance. Finally, we will examine contemporary work on humility, both by philosophers and psychologists. In addition to understanding and evaluating a number of views and arguments about humility, we will seek an answer to the following questions: (1) what would it mean for us to be humble? (2) should we be humble -- and if so, why? Requirements include two short papers, a final paper, and two exams. Pre-requisites: any two courses in philosophy or permission of instructor.