(formerly Bellevue Community College)
PHIL&101 Introduction to Philosophy Spring Quarter 2012
TTh 12:30 to 2:40 Rm. C168
Instructor: Dr. Tablan email@example.com
R230-K Office Hours: TTh 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
I. COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course introduces some of the traditional problems in philosophy (e.g., reality, human freedom, existence of God, morality, identity). Students examine works by classical and contemporary philosophers and develop basic philosophizing skills such as critical reasoning, conceptual analysis, formulating philosophical questions, writing skills, argument strategy and tactics.
In-class Participation (5%); Assignments (5%); Class activities (15%); 2 Philosophical Essays (30%); Long Exams (20%); Final Exam (25%)
About the Requirements:
Examinations: There will be two in-class long exams and a final exam, which will consist of short answer/multiple choice questions and essay problems on the materials covered. In addition, there will be a number of assignments and class activities that will be given regularly throughout the quarter. The final exam will be held on its scheduled day. Long exams will be held on the second half of the class. The passing score for any exam is 60% of the total items. I do not believe in grading on a curve because it only encourages mediocrity and resentment among students.
Reading Assignments: Being a text-based course, it is the students’ responsibility to do their own reading of the assigned text before coming to class. (If you do not do the reading, you will find the discussions much more difficult to follow.) The expectation is not for the students to have “mastered” the material, but that they are able to participate in an intellectual conversation about its main topic, answer some discussion questions, accomplish active learning exercises, test or resolve some objections to the texts, and suggest passages and/or issues that would be helpful to tackle in class. Instructional procedure will take the form of commentaries, interpretations, explanations, applications, and critical questions on some of the major points and difficult passages of the text. It will not be a paragraph-by-paragraph lecture of its content. All students are required to have a copy of the course textbook and to bring it to class every meeting. (Kessler, Gary. 2007 Voices of Wisdom A Multicultural Philosophy Reader USA: Thomson Wadsworth 6th or 7th Edition. It is highly encouraged that you look for used copies which are less expensive.)
Class Participation: Discussion is a very important part of the course. Students are expected to bring to class insights, issues, interpretation, comments, critiques, and questions regarding the required readings for the purposes of information sharing, argument, and informal debate. People learn in different ways. Some learn by thinking out loud while others need to listen a while before forming their own conclusions. However, even for more reserved students, classroom discussion is an important way to think through questions and ideas. While I do not give graded recitation, I shall take your regular attendance and consistent thoughtful engagement in class as the basis for in-class participation.
Attendance: It is your responsibility as students to attend all classes on time. Class attendance is monitored but not graded. Poor attendance may affect your grade because if you miss class, you miss the discussions, important announcements, active learning exercises, group activities, and the opportunity to ask questions and get answers. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to update yourselves with missed assignments and readings. You are likewise accountable for any announcements, changes in syllabus or class calendar, and schedules of exams and quizzes whether you have been attending class or not. It is highly encouraged that you establish a connection with a classmate for notes and assignments if you are late or absent.
Philosophical Papers: Students will be asked to submit two papers (4 to 5 pages each excluding bibliography, size 12 font, one-sided double-spaced) throughout the quarter. They must be cleanly typed and proofread, and pages must be numbered. For these assignments, students have to do independent reading and interpretation of the texts. If necessary, use footnotes and bibliography. It will be my pleasure to help and/or discuss your essay with you, but I will not do any editing of your paper nor give a grade in advance.
Tutorials and Consultation: Every reasonable effort will be made to assist you for any problems or difficulties you may encounter with any aspect of this course. I will never be offended by your questions or comments about papers, class schedule, reading materials, class discussions, grading, study habits and so on. For brief consultations, you can see me after class. Emails are the most efficient means by which we can communicate outside the classroom. It is strongly advised that you get an acknowledgement that I have received your email. Save a copy of my email acknowledgement for your reference. Every student is required to have a public email (I will not send blind carbon copy to anyone). While I send class updates and class assignments though email from time to time, this is only as a form of
courtesy. This is not an online course. All announcements and assignments should be given in class.
III. TENTATIVE COURSE OUTLINE AND READING ASSIGNMENTS (This schedule is for planning purposes only. It may be changed by the instructor depending upon the students’ interests, the ability of the class to absorb the materials, and the composition of the class.)
Part I: INTRODUCTION.
What is Philosophy? (week 1)
A Definition of Philosophy.
What is Rationality?
Part II: ETHICS.
How Should One Live? (week 2 to 4)
The Buddha and the Middle Way. Buddha: The Four Noble Truths.
Walpola Rahula: The Fourth Noble Truth.
Aristotle on Happiness and the Life of Moderation. Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics.
Socrates on Living the Examined Life. Plato: The Apology.
The Song of God. Bhagavad-Gita.
How Can I Know What Is Right? (week 5 to 7)
The Categorical Imperative. Immanuel Kant: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.
Utilitarianism. John Stuart Mill: What Utilitarianism Is.
An Ethic of Care. Nel Noddings: Caring.
Moral Relativism. David Wong: Relativism.
Part III: METAPHYSICS.
What Is Really Real? (week 8)
The Dao. Laozi: Dao De Jing.
Platonic Dualism. Plato: The Republic.
Are We Free or Determined? (week 9)
We Are Determined. Robert Blatchford: Not Guilty.
We Are Free. Jean-Paul Sartre: Existentialism.
Karma and Freedom. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: Karma and Freedom.
What Am I? (week 10)
You Are Your Mind. René Descartes: Meditation VI.
You Are an Embodied Self. Eve Browning Cole: Body, Mind, and Gender.
You are not a Machine: John Searle: Can Computers Think?
Are Religious Claims True? (week 11)
Arguments for God’s Existence: Anselm of Canterbury: The Ontological Argument
St Thomas Aquinas: The Five Ways.
IV. CLASS POLICIES
1. I have a little difficulty in hearing so please speak slowly, loudly and clearly whenever you talk in class.
2. Before coming to class, students must have enough sleep and rest. Take a cup of coffee/tea, or soda that has caffeine. Eat lightly. Some people get sleepy after eating a heavy meal. Eating during class is not allowed.
3. All written assignments or papers are due at the beginning of the class on the submission date. Lack of access to a computer and/or computer glitches are not acceptable excuses for failing to hand in assignments on time. Late submission for any requirement, for whatever reasons, is subject to a substantial grade reduction – 10% deduction for every meeting. If you cannot come to class, you can submit your paper in advance or ask one of your classmates to do it. Late papers cannot be left in my faculty mailbox without my permission. No late requirements will be accepted one week after the due date.
4. Email submission is NOT allowed.
5. Students are expected to plan their schedules in advance having the dates of the exam in mind. If you miss a long exam, the only acceptable excuse is serious physical injury/illness and a note from a hospital or doctor. There will be no make-up for missed class activities.
6. It is the responsibility of the students to arrange for make-up work at the convenience of the instructor. All make-up work must be completed within one week upon returning to class.
7. Students who are absent are accountable for all the lectures, handouts, discussions, and announcements that are given during the class
8. An incomplete grade is given only if the student has completed substantial requirements of the course but failed to take the final exam. If an incomplete is granted, the student must complete the academic work according to the BC policy.
9. All returned materials should be kept until the official final grade is given. Back up all written assignments to insure against loss.
10. The use of laptop during class is not allowed without permission from the disability center.
11. No student will be permitted to rewrite a submitted paper. It is understood that all papers submitted are in their final version.
12. Letter grades (A, A-, B+, etc.) are assigned only at the end of the quarter.
13. The final grade is non-negotiable. No extra credit.
Students with disabilities who have accommodation needs are required to meet with the Director of the Disability Resource Center (room B132-G; 425-564-2498 or TTY 425-564-4110) to establish their eligibility for accommodation. The DRC office will provide each eligible student with an accommodation letter. Students who require accommodation in class should review the DRC accommodation letter with the instructor during the first week of the quarter.
“Cheating, stealing and plagiarizing (using the ideas or words of another as one’s own without crediting the source) and inappropriate/disruptive classroom behavior are violations of the Student Code of Conduct at Bellevue College. Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to talking out of turn, arriving late or leaving early without a valid reason, allowing cell phones/pagers to ring, and inappropriate behavior toward the instructor or classmates. The instructor can refer any violation of the Student Code of Conduct to the Vice President of Student Services for possible probation or suspension from Bellevue College. Specific student rights, responsibilities and appeal procedures are listed in the Student Code of Conduct, available in the office of the Vice President of Student Services.” The Student Code, Policy 2050, in its entirety is located at: http://bellevuecollege.edu/policies/2/2050_Student_Code.asp
Bellevue College is committed to maintaining an environment in which every member of the campus community feels welcome to participate in the life of the college, free from harassment and discrimination. We value our different backgrounds at Bellevue College, and students, faculty, staff members, and administrators are to treat one another with dignity and respect. Part of this respect involves professional behavior toward the instructor, colleagues, and the class itself. Disruptive behavior is disrespectful behavior. The Arts and Humanities Division honors the right of its faculty to define "disruptive behavior," which often involves such things as arriving late, leaving early, leaving class and then returning, talking while others are trying to hear the instructor or their group members, doing other homework in class, wearing earphones in class, bringing activated beepers, alarm watches, or cellular phones into class, inappropriate comments or gestures, etc. http://bellevuecollege.edu/about/goals/inclusion.asp
Grading Criteria for Essays
1. Completion of the Requirements 25 points
Answers to the guide questions/paper instructions; accomplishment of the paper’s objective; effective title and conclusion; grammatically correct sentences; footnotes and documentation (when applicable); careful proofreading; appropriate manuscript form; clean typing and printing; pages are numbered and stapled.
2. Quality of Ideas 35 points
New insights, creativity and originality; persuasiveness of arguments; absence of fallacies; appropriate examples; complexity of ideas and arguments; appropriate awareness of opposing views; range and depth of analysis; range and depth of interpretation.
3. Organization and Development 25 points
Clarity of thesis statement (when applicable); logical and clear arrangement of ideas; good development of ideas through supporting details, examples, evidence and quotations from the text; effective use of transition; unity and coherence of paragraph
4. Clarity and Style 15 points
Ease of readability; clarity of arguments and sentence structure; appropriate audience; gracefulness of sentence structure; appropriate variety of sentence structure.
Grade Description 5
if your answer is both complete and perfect (has no
if your answer is complete but imperfect or perfect
but incomplete 3.5
if your answer is both imperfect and incomplete 3
if your answer is half correct and half wrong 2
if your answer is “more wrong” than “correct”, or
if your answer is relevant
but it is not the exact answer to the question. 1
for trying 0
no answer or its equivalent
Policy On Grading Essay Test
5 if your answer is both complete and perfect (has no mistakes)
4 if your answer is complete but imperfect or perfect but incomplete
3.5 if your answer is both imperfect and incomplete
3 if your answer is half correct and half wrong
2 if your answer is “more wrong” than “correct”, or if your answer
is relevant but it is not the exact answer to the question.
1 for trying
0 no answer or its equivalent