Louis Community College Florissant Valley
Introduction to Philosophy
Section 502 and 505 MWF
Instructor: Ana P.
Building 133, (314)595-2292, users.stlcc.edu/acoelho
- M W 8:30 - 9:00
/ 12:00 noon - 2:00
12:00 noon - 3:00
- TH 2:00 - 4:00
Philosophical Questions, edited by James Gould, 10th Edition
An introduction to philosophical inquiry through a study of such
perennial problems as the nature of truth and the possibility of knowledge;
the various conceptions of the mind-body relation; the nature and basis
of morality; the problem of free will; and an analysis of the main arguments
for the nature and existence of God.
Introduction to Philosophy
is an invitation to join the dialogue philosophers have been carrying
on for many centuries. We will interrupt this centuries-old dialogue
at some of the moments when the discussion became energized by new ways
of looking at the nature of knowledge, freedom, reality, and morality.
We will interrupt to understand in depth the positions being proposed
as well as to critically assess these positions.
When you have mastered the material in this class, you should
be able to
- State orally or in written
form the reasons the different philosophers we studied give for defending
the positions that they defend.
- Identify and describe
the traditions to which the different philosophers we studied belong.
- Join the philosophers'
dialogue by saying or writing down what you think of the positions
- Discuss the intellectual
context out of which modern philosophy emerged.
- Tell the difference between
giving reasons for holding a position and merely describing a position.
You will demonstrate your mastery of the material in the course by completing
eight assignments, four tests and four essays.
- The four tests are in-class
tests and will consist of true or false questions, multiple-choice
questions and short-answer questions. I let students do an alternative
assignment to test II. If you are interested please speak to me
as soon as you get your first test back.
- The essays are also written
in class but you may bring outlines in index cards. The essays will
be graded based on thoroughness (did you answer all the questions
and cover all the relevant material?), accuracy (did your answers
show mastery of the material or did they include errors?), clarity
(did you present the material in a way that made sense? Did you move
smoothly from one point to the next point?), and thoughtfulness (did
you raise points in your discussion that show you spent time considering
the material at hand?).
- Your final grade in the
course is based on the percentage of earned points from the highest
three tests and the highest three essays. A borderline grade will
be helped by contributions to class discussions. Also, please note
that there are no make-up tests in this class.
The following grading scale
will be used:
| 80 - 89%
| 70 - 79%
| 60 - 69%
I expect each student to attend all scheduled class meetings. However,
merely attending class will result in neither a passing grade nor extra-
Accommodations can be arranged for any student registered with
the access office. Please see me as soon as possible so that we can
make appropriate arrangements.
Honors contracts are strongly encouraged in this class.
Mastering the material
in this class requires sustained reading and writing.
Philosophers write and talk to each other like very old friends do.
Over the course of their shared histories they have developed technical
ways of talking about the subjects that interest them. So, in order
to join in on their dialogue, sometimes we have to spend time just getting
used to their way of talking and to their areas of interest.
We will be spending a considerable
portion of class time discussing major sections of the assigned readings.
I expect each student to read the assigned reading prior to the day
it is to be discussed in class. I also expect each student to finish
on his/her own all sections of the assigned readings not discussed in
class. At the end of some classes, you will be asked to spend a few
minutes writing down the most important point you have learned during
that class discussion or what you found confusing about the class discussion.
The following is a
tentative schedule of readings. To accommodate to our needs
as the semester progresses, we might be on occasion, a few readings
behind or a few readings ahead, or we might add a new article to our
class discussion. It is the responsibility of each member of the
class to keep informed of any changes in the course. We will, however,
keep to the sequence of readings and to the schedule of tests.
Orientation to the course. Expected goals.
HOW DO WE ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE?
Galileo-The Intellectual Climate that Ushered in Modern Philosophy
Descartes, Knowledge is Not Ultimately Sense Knowledge (p.271)
Locke, Knowledge is Ultimately Sense Knowledge (p. 284)
Kant, Knowledge is Both Rational and Empirical (p. 300)
OF WHAT DOES REALITY CONSIST?
Berkeley, Reality Consists of Ideas (p. 393)
Taylor, Reality consists of Matter (p. 378)
ARE HUMANS FREE?
d'Holbach, Humans are Determined (p. 133)
C.A. Campbell, A Defence of Free Will (handout)
Mill, Consciousness and Free Will (handout)
James, Humans Are Free (p. 143)
WHAT IS BASIC IN ETHICS: HAPPINESS OR OBLIGATION?
Aristotle, Happiness Is Living Virtuously (p. 193)
I. Kant, Duty Is Prior to Happiness (p.214)
Bentham, Happiness Is Doing Good for All People (204)
J. S. Mill, Utilitarianism (handout)
Nietzsche, Happiness Is Having Power (p. 230)
Sartre, Existentialist Ethics (p.238)
Tong, Feminist Ethics Are Different (p.249)
TEST I - FEBRUARY
TEST II - MARCH 19
TEST III - APRIL 11
TEST IV - MAY 9
| TEST I
| TEST II
| TEST III
| TEST IV
a. Sum of three highest tests ______
b. Sum of three highest essays ______
Your grade is the average of the number in lines a and b