Syllabus: Introduction To Philosophy
Phil 101 - Fall 2010 - Dr. Keith A. Korcz
How To Reach Professor Keith Korcz:
My office is in H. L. Griffin Hall, rm. 563. My office hours are MW 2:15-5:00, and M-F 12:00-1:00. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Create: Introduction to Philosophy, (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2010), (containing selections from Theodore Schick, Jr. and Lewis Vaughn, Doing Philosophy, Fourth Ed., (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2010)).
2. Rene Descartes, Discourse On Method and Meditations On First Philosophy, Fourth Edition, tr. by Donald Cress (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Co., 1998).
There will be two exams during the semester, each worth 20% of your course grade and a cumulative final exam worth 30% of your course grade. The in-class exams will consist primarily of short answer and multiple choice questions. However, all make-up exams will be primarily 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 will be 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 paper must be approx. 6-8 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 three 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. If you miss an assignment due date, you must notify me within one week of either the due date of the assignment or the cessation of a medically documented persistent vegetative state in order to make up the assignment. Late assignments can be made up for full credit only if an appropriate excuse, e.g., illness requiring medical attention, participation in certain official university events, etc., is provided. 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 of Disability Services at 482-5252. Finally, be sure you are familiar with all university policies described in the UL Lafayette 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 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 address is: http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~kak7409/101Home.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 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 address is: http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~kak7409.
A Moodle page for the course will be activated at the beginning of the semester.
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.
(IP) = Introduction to Philosophy (Note: page numbers refer to those in the lower, not upper, right hand corner)
(MED) = Discourse on Method & Meditations on First Philosophy
(OL) = article linked from the on-line syllabus via the course home page
TOPIC 1: PHILOSOPHY AND LOGIC
Week of August 23: (OL): "What Is Philosophy?" by Keith Korcz ; (IP): Chapter 1, “The Philosophical Enterprise.”
TOPIC 2: PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
A. Philosophy Of Religion And The Nature Of God
Week of August 30: (IP): p. 457-464
Monday, September 6: Labor Day, No Classes
B. Arguments That God Exists
1. The Argument from Biblical Inerrancy - no readings
Sept. 8 & 10:
2. Cosmological Arguments - (IP): "The Five Ways" by St. Thomas Aquinas, p. 539-540 and (IP): p. 465-472
Week of Sept. 13:
3. Arguments From Design - (IP): p. 472-488
4. The Argument From Miracles - (IP): p. 488-492
5. The Argument From Religious Experience - (IP): p. 493-496
Week of Sept. 20:
6. Ontological Arguments - (IP): p. 496-500
7. Pascal's Wager - (IP): p. 500-506
Monday, Feb. 15 Through Wednesday, Feb. 17 - Mardi Gras Holiday
C. Arguments The God Does Not Exist
FIRST EXAM: WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 29Sept. 27:
1. The Logical Argument From Evil - no readings
Thursday, September 30 & Friday, October 1: Fall Holiday, No Classes.Week of Oct. 4:
2. The Evidential Argument From Evil - (IP): p. 508-524; (IP): "God and the Problem of Evil" by B. C. Johnson, p. 551-554
D. Faith And Reason
(IP): p. 525-538
TOPIC 3: DESCARTES & THE THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE
A. The Nature Of Epistemology and the Importance of Descartes
Week of Oct. 11:
(MED): Editor's Preface (p. vii-ix), Discourse: Parts 1-4 (p. 1-22)
B. Descartes' Foundation Of Knowledge
Week of Oct. 18:
(MED): Preface to the Reader, Synopsis, Meditations 1-2 (p. 51-69)
FIRST DRAFT OF PAPER DUE: MONDAY, OCT. 28, AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS.
Monday, Oct. 18: Advising for Spring 2011 begins.
C. Building on the Foundation Of Knowledge
Week of Oct. 18:
(MED): Meditations 3-6
EXAM #2: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8.
TOPIC 4: PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
A. Life After Death
Week of Nov. 8: (no readings)
B. Cartesian Dualism
Week of Nov. 15: (IP): p. 75-98
C. Varieties of PhysicalismFINAL DRAFT OF PAPER DUE: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS.
Week of Nov. 22:
1. The Identity Theory - (IP): p. 111-124
2. Functionalism - (IP): p. 125-145
Thursday And Friday, November 25-26: Thanksgiving Holiday, No Classes.
Week of Nov. 29:
3. Eliminative Materialism - (IP): p. 146-155
4. Property Dualism - (IP): p. 156-166
LAST DAY OF CLASSES: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3
STUDY DAY: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8
FINAL EXAM: MONDAY, DEC. 6, FROM 2:00PM - 4:30 PM, IN REGULAR CLASSROOM
*Note: Assignment due dates, topics and readings are tentative and may change at the discretion of the instructor.
SOME HELPFUL TIPS:
1. On class evaluations, students often state that they would tell friends planning to take my classes 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!