Introduction to Philosophy - A historical introduction to Western philosophy through the examination of early modem (16th-18th centuries) texts by canonical male, and recently rediscovered female, philosophers. Students are expected to utilize the reasoning skills that they acquire at the beginning of the course to reconstruct and critically evaluate the arguments in these texts. There will be ample opportunity to demonstrate mastery of textual interpretation and argument analysis in the weekly at-home writing assignment, periodic quizzes, essay exams, and the final take-home essay. The wide-ranging themes of the course have an underlying sub-theme: sceptical arguments. For example, we'll examine sceptical challenges to: the theses that "might makes right" and that "women are by nature intellectually inferior to men" (Gournay), our belief that the senses are reliable guides to the truth (Descartes), and our belief that our inductive practices are rationally justifiable. (Hume).