Syllabus For Introduction To Philosophy
INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY - SPRING 2002
PHIL 101 - Dr. Keith A. Korcz
HOW TO REACH PROFESSOR KORCZ:
My office is in H. L. Griffin Hall, rm. 563. My office hours are MWF 12:00-1:00 and 2:00-3:30, and TTh 12:45-2:00. We can also meet at other times by arrangement - just ask. My office phone no. is 482-6806. You can also contact me (or ask questions) by e-mail at email@example.com.
1. Theodore Schick, Jr. and Lewis Vaughn, Doing Philosophy, (Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Co., 1999).
2. Rene Descartes, Discourse On Method and Meditations On First Philosophy, Fourth Edition, tr. by Donald Cress (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Co., 1998).
3. Course Pack.
The texts should be available at the UL Bookstore and Follett's Bookstore. The Course Pack is available only at Compu-Copy, 1043 Johnston St., between University and Jefferson.
ASSIGNMENTS & GRADING:
There will be two exams during the semester, each worth 20% of your course grade, a cumulative final exam worth 30% of your course grade, and a paper done in successive drafts, the first draft being worth 10% of your course grade and the final draft being worth 20% of your course grade. The in-class exams will consist primarily of short answer and multiple choice questions. A few sample questions typical of some of the sorts of questions which may be on the exams are given in the course pack. However, all make-up exams will be primarily long-essay. The exams will cover both lectures and assigned readings (material in lectures and assigned readings will not always overlap). All exams are closed book/closed note. The paper must be approx. 4-6 pages in length, and will be described in more detail on a separate handout.
The course grades will initially be determined according to the standard scale, i.e., 90-100% = A, 80-89% = B, 70-79% = C, 60-69% = D, 59% and below = F, and then may be modified as follows: Course grades might be curved, but, if so, the curve would not be such that any student's grade is lowered. Such factors as improvement over the length of the course, class participation, attendance, etc., may be taken into consideration, especially where doing so may improve a borderline grade. You must complete all course assignments (namely all exams and both drafts of the paper) to receive a passing grade (i.e., a grade other than F, NC or U).
If you miss class, for whatever reason, it is your responsibility to get class notes from another student. Missed exams or other assignments can be made up only if an appropriate excuse, e.g., illness requiring medical attention, participation in certain official university events, etc., is provided. If you miss an assignment due date, you must notify me within one week of the due date in order to make up the assignment. An unexcused late assignment will be dropped 2/3 of a letter grade per day it is late. If you have a disability and require assistance with fulfilling class assignments, don't hesitate to notify the instructor and the Office for Services to Students with Disabilities at 482-5252. Finally, be sure you are familiar with all university policies described in the UL Undergraduate Bulletin. All assignments for this class must be completed individually, and any instance of academic dishonesty on any assignment will be sufficient to fail the course.
I strongly recommend taking advantage of the following resources!
My Philosophy 101 Home Page contains links to an on-line syllabus (which contains numerous links to home pages of authors we'll be reading, readings available on-line, etc.), study aids, and other resources you will find helpful. The URL address is: http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~kak7409/Philosophy101HomePage.html
My How To Survive Your First Philosophy Course pages contain useful information about how to write papers, study for exams, read philosophy, take notes, do research in philosophy, etc. The URL address is: http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~kak7409/Survival.html.
My home page contains links to all my course home pages, extensive links pages on philosophy, general research, fun sites, and lots of other information. The URL address is: http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~kak7409.
EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURES:
A map of this floor is posted near the elevator marking the evacuation route and the Designated Rescue Area. This is an area where emergency service personnel will go first to look for individuals who need assistance in exiting the building. Students who may need assistance should identify themselves to the teaching faculty.
COURSE CALENDAR & PLANNED READING ASSIGNMENTS*
You should complete each of the readings before they are discussed in class. Some of the readings are difficult, and you may find that you need to re-read them after they have been gone over in class in order to fully understand them.
*NOTE: Topics, readings, course procedures and due dates for assignments are tentative and subject to change.
(DP) = Doing Philosophy
(CP) = Course Pack
(MED) = Discourse on Method & Meditations on First Philosophy
TOPIC 1: PHILOSOPHY AND LOGIC
Week of Jan. 21:
Monday, Jan. 21 - Martin Luther King Day - No Classes
(DP): "The Place of Philosophy in a University Education" by C. J. Ducasse (p. 34-36); (CP): "What Is Philosophy?" by Keith Korcz; (DP): Chapter 1 (p. 1-41). Also do the logic exercises in the CP.
TOPIC 2: PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION & THE NATURE OF GOD
Week of Jan. 28: (CP): "The Existence of God" by B. R. Tilghman.
TOPIC 3: ARGUMENTS FOR GOD'S EXISTENCE
Week of Feb. 4:
a. The Arguments From Faith - (CP): Richard Robinson - "Religion and Reason" - (note: this occurs in the middle of the rest of Robinson's book "An Atheist's Values" - but you're not required to read the whole thing!); (DP): "The Leap of Faith" (p. 388-392)
Monday - Wednesday, Feb. 11 - 13 - Mardi Gras Holiday - No Classes.
Feb. 15, Week of Feb. 18:
b. The Argument From Biblical Inerrancy - (CP): "The Bible, Truth and History" by B. R. Tilghman
c. The Cosmological Arguments - (DP): "The Traditional First Cause Argument" (p. 351-356); "The Five Ways" by St. Thomas Aquinas (p. 394-395).
EXAM #1 - FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22
Week of Feb. 25:
d. The Teleological Arguments - (DP): "The Teleological Argument" (p. 356-364).
e. The Arguments From Miracles - (DP): "The Argument From Miracles" (p. 364-367).
f. The Arguments From Experience - (DP): "The Argument From Religious Experience" (p. 367-370).
Week of March 4:
g. The Ontological Arguments - (DP): "The Ontological Argument" (p. 370-374).
h. Pascal's Wager - (DP): "Pascal's Wager" (p. 374-376).
TOPIC 4: ARGUMENTS AGAINST GOD'S EXISTENCE
Week of March 11:
a. The Logical Argument Regarding Evil - OPTIONAL: (DP): "Letters From Earth" (Letter III and Letter VI) by Mark Twain (p. 406-410).
b. The Evidential Argument Regarding Evil - (DP): "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" (p. 381-388); "The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism" by William Rowe (p. 40-405).
TOPIC 5: DESCARTES & THE THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE
Week of March 18:
a. The Nature Of Epistemology and the Importance of Descartes - (MED): Editor's Preface (p. vii-ix), Discourse: Parts 1-4 (p. 1-22). (note: you can read copies of the Discourse and Meditations on-line here or here (the latter link provides links to numerous copies on-line, including texts in the original French or Latin as well as English)).
March 25, Week of April 1:
b. Descartes' Foundation Of Knowledge - (DP): "Things Aren't Always What They Seem" (p. 414-420); (MED): Preface to the Reader, Synopsis, Meditations 1-2 (p. 51-69).
EXAM #2: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27
Thursday, March 28 - Monday, April 1 - Easter/Passover Holiday - No Classes
Week of April 8:
c. Building on the Foundation Of Knowledge - (DP): (p. 44-56); (MED): Meditations 3-6.
FIRST DRAFT OF PAPER DUE: FRIDAY, APRIL 5, AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS.
TOPIC 6: PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
Week of April 15:
a. Life After Death - (CP): "Life After Death" by George Graham.
b. Dualism - (DP): "The Problem of Interaction" (p. 56-60).
Week of April 22:
c. Materialism- (DP): (p. 70-108).
TOPIC 7: PERSONAL IDENTITY
Week of April 29:
a. Body and Soul - (DP): 189-203.
b. The Memory Criterion - (DP): "Golden Memories" (p. 204-219); "Of Identity and Diversity" (note: this link is to an un-edited version of the chapter from which our reading is taken) by John Locke (p. 232-238); "On Mr. Locke's Account of Personal Identity" by Thomas Reid (p. 238-240).
c. The Brain Theory & Survival - (DP): (p. 220-231); "Divided Minds and the Nature of Persons" by Derek Parfit (p. 241-245).
FINAL DRAFT OF PAPER DUE MONDAY, APRIL 29 AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS.
FINAL EXAM, IN REGULAR CLASSROOM: MONDAY, MAY 13 FROM 10:15AM - 12:45PM.
SOME HELPFUL TIPS:
1. On class evaluations, students often state that they would tell friends planning to take this class that good class attendance and good class notes are essential to doing well on the exams.
2. Keep up with the readings - they further explain and help you to remember the issues you'll be tested on.
3. If you're having trouble understanding course material, do not hesitate to discuss it with the instructor!