Professor: Daniel Campos
Office: 3311 Boylan
Virtual Office Hours: W 1:00 – 2:00 PM or by appointment
Email: dcampos@brooklyn.cuny.edu
Course times: MW 9:30 – 10:45 AM
Course site: Blackboard through CUNY
Classroom: TBA

Course Description: In this course we will examine a variety of American approaches to classical philosophical topics, including (a) the origin and purpose of the natural world, (b) the nature and place of human beings within it, as influenced by society, (c) the sources and types of human knowledge, (d) the pursuit of the good life in natural and social environments; (d) the nature of the political community, and (e) the origin, purpose, and legitimacy of social relations and institutions such as freedom, slavery, and democracy.

We will study a plurality of views, both of those figures who are usually considered “classical American philosophers” and of other philosophers from the Native-, African-, Latino-, and Asian- American traditions. By the end of the course, the student should be able to reflect on the distinctive characters and mutual influences of these views and to articulate a personal position on whether there indeed exist “American philosophies.”

The format of the class will be lecture-discussion; students are encouraged to participate and to ask questions at any point.

Learning Outcomes

Throughout the course students will develop the following skills:

  1. Analytic:
    • a) Ability to identify arguments and distinguish premises and conclusions
    • b)  Ability to formulate an argument in support or in opposition to a claim
    • c)  Ability to evaluate (by providing reasons) the validity and/or cogency of an argument
    • d)  Ability to apply an argument to a practical case
  2. Interpretive:
    • a)  Ability to explain a selection from a philosophical text
    • b)  Ability to analyze and evaluate a selection from a philosophical text
    • c)  Ability to provide a reasoned response to a selection from a philosophical text, a philosophical theory, issue, or argument

Texts and Materials

This will be an Open Educational Resources course, so all texts and audiovisual materials will be provided.

Unless otherwise noted, this PHIL 3130: American Philosophy site was curated as an Open Educational Resource (OER) by Professor Daniel Campos f0r Brooklyn College in 2022 and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.