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Essential Philosophy

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  1. Introduction
    Introduction: Essential Philosophy (Preview Content)
    1 Topic
  2. Dr. Schenk's Story: Essential Philosophy (Preview Content)
    1 Topic
  3. Lessons & Discussions
    Lesson 1: Fundamental Distinctions Used in Philosophy (Preview Content)
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  4. Discussion 1: Paying Attention to Your Own Thinking
  5. Lesson 2: Popular Errors in Academia (Preview Content)
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  6. Discussion 2: Discussion of Three Common Academic Errors
  7. Lesson 3: Skepticism about Truth (Preview Content)
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  8. Lesson 4: Three Examples of Faulty Reasoning
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  9. Lesson 5: Ontology--The Study of Being
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  10. Discussion 3: Discussion of the Ontological Argument
  11. Lesson 6: Anselm’s Ontological Argument for the Existence of God
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  12. Lesson 7: Anselm’s Ontological Argument Continued
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  13. Discussion 4: Alvin Plantinga's Contribution to Arguments for the Existence of God
  14. Lesson 8: Aquinas' Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  15. Lesson 9: Craig's Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  16. Discussion 5: Why Do We Keep Arguing about the Existence of God?
  17. Lesson 10: Grunbaum’s Response to the Cosmological Argument
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  18. Discussion 6: Why is There Something and Not Nothing?
  19. Lesson 11: Introduction to the Problem of Evil
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  20. Lesson 12: Solution to the Problem of Evil
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  21. Discussion 7: The Problem of Evil
  22. Lesson 13: Theodicies for the Greater Good Argument
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  23. Lesson 14: William Rowe’s Evidential Version of the Problem of Evil Argument
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  24. Lesson 15: The Design Argument for the Existence of God
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  25. Lesson 16: The Fine-Tuning Argument for the Existence of God
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  26. Lesson 17: The Fine-Tuning Argument Continued
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  27. Discussion 8: The Fine-Tuning Argument
  28. Lesson 18: The Free Will Debate
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  29. Discussion 9: The Free Will Debate
  30. Lesson 19: David Hume's Radical Empiricism and Argument Against Causation
    2 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  31. Lesson 20: Roderick Chisholm's Theory of Agency
    2 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  32. Lesson 21:Chisholm's Critique of Hume's Compatibilist Theory of Action
    2 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  33. Lesson 22: The Need for a Theory of Action
    2 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  34. Lesson 23: Frankfurt's Theory of Action
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  35. Discussion 10: Why Educators Should Study Philosophy
  36. Discussion 11: Why Dr. Schenk Moved from Atheism to Theism
  37. End of Course Test
    End of Course Test: Essential Philosophy
    1 Quiz
Lesson 24, Topic 1
In Progress

Recommended Reading: Paley, the Watchmaker, & the Mantis Shrimp

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In this lecture, Dr. Schenk discusses William Paley’s Watchmaker Design Argument, which stems from Paley’s book Natural Theology or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity (1802). While it is not necessary to read Paley’s book to understand this lecture, you may wish to investigate Paley’s nineteenth century work on your own.

William Paley (1743-1805) was an English clergyman, Christian apologist, philosopher, and natural theologist. His book, Natural Theology, contains a popular design argument analogy, the watchmaker. The watchmaker illustrates that an object which appears to be designed, such as a watch, must have a watchmaker. As Dr. Schenk shares in this lecture, Paley made other analogies, such as seeing the human eye as an object of such magnificent design that it, too, must have had a designer.

Paley’s work in natural theology came before the development of evolutionary science under such minds as Charles Darwin (1809-1882). Darwin’s work in natural selection offered a different explanation for the scientific complexity of human biology. With more recent developments in genetic science, Neo-Darwinians offer a more complex response to Paley: the human eye is, in fact, less impressive than previously supposed when compared with creatures that possess more excellent vision, such as the mantis shrimp. In this lecture, Dr. Schenk will explore William Paley’s famous argument, as well as its objections.

Curious about why this Mantis Shrimp is featured in this lecture? Click the image to read  “Why a Mantis Shrimp is my new favorite animal,” a comic referenced by Dr. Schenk in this lecture and written by The Oatmeal.