St. Louis Community College
Florissant Valley

Ana Coelho

St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley

Liberal Arts Seminar: Woman's Studies
Introduction to Philosophy
3 credits
Special Section

Instructor: Ana P. Coelho

Office: Humanities Building 133, (314)595-2292

Office Hours:

  • M 12:00 noon-5:00
  • W 12:00 noon-2:00
  • TTH 12:30-2:00

Required Text: M. Frye, The Politics of Reality
All other readings will be on reserve at the Library.

Course Description:
An interdisciplinary introduction to philosophical inquiry through an examination of writings by feminist philosophers. Guest speakers from disciplines other than philosophy will discuss how the issues raised by the philosophical literature are related to women's issues addressed in other areas of expertise, including Art, Literature, Anthropology, Political Science, Law, and Advertising.

Course Goals:
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 identifying women's issues the way they do.
  • Identify and describe the traditions to which the different philosophers we studied belong.
  • Discuss, in writing and orally, the ways in which different disciplines describe, study, or explain issues related to women's experience.
  • Have a better appreciation of the differing goals and approaches of different disciplines addressing the same subject matter.
  • Join the interdiciplinary dialogue by saying or writing down yor well-reasoned views on the positions studied.

Attendance Policy: I expect each student to attend all scheduled class meetings. However, merely attending class will result in neither a passing grade nor extra- credit.

Grading Procedure:
You will demonstrate your mastery of the material in the course by completing at four written assignments.

  • Three assignments covering the philosophy parts of the course. The three assignments are in-class tests. Each test will consist of True or False questions, short-answer questions, and brief essay questions. The tests 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?).
  • Brief-answer or T/F quizzes on each guest lecturer's material or philosophy material: dates of quizzes will be announced in class.
  • Each test will constitute 1/5th of your grade. The cumulative grades on the quizzes will constitute 2/5th of your grade. A borderline grade will be helped by contributions to class discussions.

The following grading scale will be used:

90% or above A Excellent
80 - 89% B Good
70 - 79% C Average
60 - 69% D Below Average
59% or below F  
  • Mastering the material in this class requires sustained reading and writing. We will be spending a considerable portion of class time discussing major sections of the assigned readings. I expect each student to come to class prepared to engage in thoughtful discussion of the material assigned for that day. I also expect each student to finish on his/her own all sections of the assigned readings not discussed in class.
  • Honors students need to fill the appropriate honors contract and are expected, in addition to fulfilling all other requirements, to complete a term paper. The honors contract will specify the kind of paper you are expected to complete.
  • 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.

The following is a tentative schedule of readings. To accommodate to our needs as the semester progresses in the philosophy sections of this class, 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.

January 14-February 22

Utilitarianism (J.S. Mill)
Kant's Moral Theory
Virtue Ethics (Aristotle)
Aristotle, Kant, and Mill, On The Nature of Women
J. Rawls, Justice as Fairness

TEST I - February 22

February 25-March 29

Carol Gilligan, Moral Orientation and Moral Development
M. Friedman, Beyond Caring, The Demoralization of Gender
Susan Moller Okin, Justice and Gender
M. Nussbaum, The Intelligence of Emotions
R. Iyob, Madamism and Beyond: The Construction of Eritrean Women
Guest lecturer:

TEST II - March 29

April 1-May 10

M. Frye:
The Problem that Has No Name
On Being White: Toward a Feminist Understanding of Race and Race Supremacy

Guest lecturer:
English Literature
Art/Graphic Design

TEST III - May 10



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Revised December 4, 2002