Philosophy 101: Introduction to Philosophy
Spring Quarter 2009
Office Hours: MW 2 – 3 and by appointment.
Phone Number: 564 – 2341 (email is a MUCH better way to contact me!)
Email: email@example.com (please do not use my college email address).
Texts: Plato: Five Dialogues; Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo, Second edition
Descartes, Rene: Discourse on Method
Hobbes, Thomas: Leviathan
Course Description: Philosophy is perhaps best described as the process of thinking through questions that are unanswerable by any other discipline, questions such as “What does it mean to do right?”, “How can I know anything?”, and “What makes a society good?” These questions and others like them have occupied some of the greatest thinkers in the history of mankind. This semester we are going to concern ourselves with five of these kinds of questions. We will proceed by asking and understanding the question, seeing what other people have had to say, and then deciding whether what they have said is acceptable and ideal. The format of this class will be lecture combined with discussion.
Evaluation: There will be two tests and two papers in this class. These assignments will be discussed in greater detail later in the quarter. Each of these is worth 20% of the final grade. The remaining 20% of the grade will be based on attendance, participation, and in class work.
Grading: I do not give I’s, except in extraordinary and uncontrollable situations, and only when I am advised before the end of the semester of a student’s inability to complete class assignments.
93 – 100%: A 90 – 92%: A- 88 – 89%: B+
83 – 87%: B 80 – 82%: B- 78 – 79%: C+
73 – 77%: C 70 – 72%: C- 68 – 69%: D+
60 – 67%: D Below 60%: F
Attendance and Late Work: Missed in-class work cannot be made up. Missed exams can be made up only if I have given my permission before the exam. I accept late papers, but they will be graded down one-half letter grade for each calendar day that the paper is late.
I keep track of attendance. You are expected to be present every day, having already read and thought about the assigned material.
Plagiarism: Any form of plagiarism will be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. Please see the student handbook for the official definition of plagiarism and a description of its requisite punishments, or see me.
Students with disabilities who have accommodation needs are required to meet with the Director of Disability Support Services to establish their eligibility for accommodation. The DSS office will provide each eligible student with an accommodation letter. Eligible students should review the accommodation letter with the instructor during the first week of the quarter.
Schedule. I reserve the right to make changes as needed.
April 1: Introduction to the class; Logic
April 6: Ethics. _________________________________________________________________
April 8: Ethics. _________________________________________________________________
April 13: Ethics. ________________________________________________________________
April 15: Ethics/Review Day. _____________________________________________________
April 20: Test on material covered so far.
Part II. Descartes
April 22: Epistemology. _________________________________________________________
April 27: Epistemology. _________________________________________________________
April 29: Epistemology.
May 4: Movie Day _________________________________________________________
May 6: Paper Discussion Day ___________________________________________________
May 11: Epistemology. ________________________________________________________
Part III Hobbes
May 13: Social/Political. _________________________________________________________
May 18: Social/Political. _________________________________________________________
May 20: Social/Political. Descartes papers due.________________________________________
May 27: Social/Political. ________________________________________________________
Part IV. TBA
June 1: _____________________________________________________________________
June 3: ____________________________________________________________________
June 8: Hobbes papers due.______________________________________________________
June 10: TBA/Review Day. _____________________________________________________