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August 13, 2008

Are you ready to journey into Philosophy's past?

Philosophy 3301 is an exciting journey back to our intellectual roots: philosophy, the mother of all intellectual disciplines, is itself born, created, forged in the crucible of numerous sea-girt villages of the Mediterranean during the first millennium B.C. No one knows what precise conditions came together to cause the first philosopher-scientists to seek another mode of explanation from the myths and folklore on which they had grown up. What makes a young mind seek a better theory? Cognitive dissonance? Inadequacy of extant explanations? New phenomena not covered by the old theories? Rebelliousness? Increasing intellectual sophistication over the older generation?

Anyway, it happens fast when it happens. We'll watch something explosive occur over a few hundred years, something that we still benefit from and can appreciate as beautiful.

So here's my first discussion for you: What theories or explanations, widely accepted by your parents' generation, do you personally find inadequate today, and why?