Dolske’s Philosophy Course Readings

“Fixed ideas are like a cramp, in the foot for example–the best remedy is to step on them.” Kierkegaard


Introduction To Philosophy

Required Text: Classic Philosophical Questions, Fourteenth Edition.

Robert J. Mulvaney

The readings below are listed by author and chapter headings:

  • Plato, The Euthyphro. Defining Philosophical Terms.
  • Suggested Reading: Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder.
  • Plato, The Apology. Socrates’ Trial and Defense.
  • Aristotle, Book II of Nicomachean Ethics. Happiness is Living Virtuously.
  • Mary Wollstonecraft, Chapter Two of A Vindication of the Rights of Women. Equal Education.
  • John Stuart Mill, Liberty is Independence from the Majority’s Tyranny.
  • Martin Luther King Jr., Liberty and Racial Prejudice.
  • Suggested Reading: “My Trip to the Land of Gandhi,” Martin Luther King Jr.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas, The Cosmological Argument.
  • Blaise Pascal, It is Better to Believe in God’s Existence than to Deny It.
  • Suggested Reading: Life of Pi by Yann Martel and Lit by Mary Karr.
  • Suggested Film: Contact, directed by Robert Zemeckis.
  • David Hume, A Good God Would Exclude Evil.
  • Descartes, Meditations I and II.
  • Suggested Films: The Matrix, directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski.  The Truman Show, directed by Peter Weir. Waking Life, by Richard Linklater.
  • Baron d’Holbach, Humans are Determined.
  • Suggested Film: Minority Report, directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • Suggested Reading: Clarence Darrow’s defense of Leopold and Loeb.
  • Richard Taylor, Humans are Free.
  • Leo Tolstoy, Faith Provides Life’s Meaning.
  • Albert Camus, Life’s Meaning is Determined by Each Individual.
  • Suggested Film: Match Point, directed by Woody Allen.

*In class, I will play the following interviews from the Colbert Report to pair with the lectures:

Ethical Considerations in Technology

Required Text: Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

  • Aristotle, Book I-III.
  • In class discussion: The Virtuous Engineer, a look at Dean Kamen (Colbert Report Interview).
  • Kristin Frader-Scharett, “Technology and Ethics.” (From the anthology Philosophy of Technology.)
  • Suggested Film: Flash of Genius, directed by Marc Abraham.
  • Immanuel Kant, “Duties Towards Others.” (From Lectures on Ethics.)
  • In class discussion: Kant’s principle of Autonomy, The Challenger Disaster, and The Titanic.
  • John Stuart Mill, Chapter Two of Utilitarianism.
  • Suggested Reading: Peter Singer, What Should A Billionaire Give and What Should You?
  • Mario Bunge, “Philosophical Inputs and Outputs of Technology.” (From the anthology Philosophy of Technology.)
  • In class film, “Hurricane Katrina,” from the History Channel’s Engineering Disasters.
  • Suggested Reading: Dave Eggers, Zeitoun.


  • Soren Kierkegaard, “Editor’s Preface” and “Rotation of Crops,” from Either/Or.
  • Leo Tolstoy, My Confession.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ.
  • Suggested Readings: The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy.  When Nietzsche Wept by Irvin Yalom.
  • Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and The Fall.
  • Jean-Paul Sartre, No Exit.
  • Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
  • Suggested Reading: Shakespeare, Hamlet.
  • Simone de Beauvoir, “Pyrrhus and Cineas.”

2 responses to “Dolske’s Philosophy Course Readings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: