Social Science Building 2031
Instructor: Darin McGinnis
Office Hours: M/W 11:00-12:00, and by appointment – Social Sciences Building 4005
Course Description: This course is part of the General Education Program at Kennesaw State. Its intent is to familiarize you with the discipline of philosophy, its history and its methods and concepts. In this course, we will focus on two philosophical questions and the responses that they have generated from philosophers from different eras and cultures. Those questions are: “What can I know?” and “What ought I to do?” We will also examine the interaction between philosophy and other disciplines.
Primary Text: Plato, The Dialogues of Plato, Vol. 1; Confucius, The Analects; Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents; supplemental readings online on Blackboard.
1 term paper – 30% of total grade
3 short response papers – 15% of total grade
5 in-class writing assignments – 25% of total grade
Course participation – 5% of total grade
Final exam – 25% of total grade
F Below 60%
Course Schedule and Homework: I expect you to read and study the assigned readings and complete any other homework before the class for which they are scheduled. Always be prepared to go over your readings or homework in class. Since we may need to move more quickly or more slowly depending on topics, adjustments to the schedule are very likely. You are responsible for keeping track of these changes to the syllabus and to the course schedule if they are announced. I also reserve the right to amend or change this syllabus as needed.
Course Objectives: By the end of the semester, the student will:
- Be familiar with the methods and aims of philosophical inquiry;
- Be able to write in a philosophical manner using premises and evidence;
- Have an understanding of the history of philosophical concepts and their application to other disciplines
Conferences: I wholeheartedly encourage you to talk to me if you have any questions. Talk to me before or after class, email me, or stop by my office hours if you have any questions about the reading, quizzes, papers, exams or if you would like discuss other items relating to the class. If you cannot make my office hours, I can meet with you on any day should the need arise.
Attendance: Class attendance is essential to this course. Students who attend regularly always fare better than students who do not. If you keep up with readings and homework and attend class consistently, you will find the class much easier than if you miss assignments and try to catch up later. Please note that while I make every effort to stick to the schedule as printed, changes from time to time will be necessary. Not knowing about changes in the schedule therefore will not constitute an excuse.
Make-up Policy: Papers are accepted only on the day that they are due. The following three criteria together constitute grounds for an excuse: (1) the absence is due to serious illness or a death in the family; (2) you have a note from the Dean excusing the absence; (3) you have notified me in advance (this condition may be waived at my discretion for extenuating circumstances). If your absence does not meet these three criteria, do not approach me about making up missed work.
Writing Assistance: The KSU Writing Center is a free service offered to all KSU students. Experienced, friendly writing assistants work with you on thesis development, organization, research documentation, grammar, mechanics, correct citation, and more. They help you improve your paper and teach you strategies to become a better writer on your own. For more information or to make an appointment, visit http://www.kennesaw.edu/english/WritingCenter, or stop by Room 242 in the English Building.
Academic Honesty: Every KSU student is responsible for upholding the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct, as published in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs. Section II of the Student Code of Conduct addresses the University’s policy on academic honesty, including provisions regarding plagiarism and cheating, unauthorized access to University materials, misrepresentation/falsification of University records or academic work, malicious removal, retention, or destruction of library materials, malicious/intentional misuse of computer facilities and/or services, and misuse of student identification cards. Incidents of alleged academic misconduct will be handled through the established procedures of the University Judiciary Program, which may subject a student to the Code of Conduct’s minimum one semester suspension requirement. Additionally, infractions judged ‘accidental’ by the professor will carry a penalty of a ‘0’ for the assignment in question, while infractions judged ‘deliberate’ will result in a grade for the course of ‘F.’
Tentative Schedule of Readings and Assignments: January 10 – Intro & Syllabus
January 12 – Kant’s “What is Enlightenment?” (on GeorgiaView Vista)