What 30 Terms Should Every Intro Phil Student Know?

In thinking about my syllabus for introduction to philosophy, I was struggling with the fact that most freshman college students have not encountered philosophy before. Many professional philosophers are fighting this trend, like the good folks at PLATO and the Iowa Lyceum (and Utah Lcyeum, Western Michigan Lyceum, and SoCal Philosophy Academy).

I came up with the idea of giving them a list of roughly 30 philosophical terms that every introduction to philosophy student should know. I also am giving them an exam on those terms around week three. I am curious: what are your roughly 30 terms that every first-time philosophy student should leave your course knowing?

I won’t share my list because, first, my list is geared slightly towards what we will read in the course, and second, my list might bias the answers. Some terms are fairly easy: they should know what an argument is, for example, and they should probably know what ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology are. That leaves a lot open.

So what would go on your list?

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