Instructor: Darin McGinnis Office Hours

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Philosophy 2200/17: Ways of Knowing

Mon./Wed. 2:00PM-3:15PM; Spring Semester 2011

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.
Graded Assignments:

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

Grading Scale:

A 100-90%

B 89-80%

C 79-70%

D 69-60%

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, 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)

January 17 – No Class

January 19 – Kant cont’d – First in-class writing assignment

January 24 – Plato’s “Euthyphro”

January 26 – Plato’s “Euthyphro”

January 31 – Plato’s “Apology”

February 2 – Plato’s “Apology” – Second in-class writing assignment

February 7 – Plato’s “Crito”

February 9 – Plato’s “Crito” – First Response Paper due

February 14 – Descartes’ “Meditations” 1 (on GeorgiaView Vista)

February 16 – Descartes’ “Meditations” 2

February 21 – Descartes’ “Meditations” 2 & 3

February 23 – Descartes’ “Meditations” 3 & 4

February 28 – Descartes’ “Meditations” 4 & 6 – Third in-class writing assignment

March 2 – Descartes’ “Meditations” 6

March 7 & 9 – Spring Break
March 14 – Selections from Confucius’s Analects

March 16 – Selections from Confucius’s Analects – Second Response Paper due

March 21 – Selections from Confucius’s Analects

March 23 – Marx’s “Estranged Labor” (on GeorgiaView Vista)

March 28 – Marx’s “The Power of Money” – Fourth in-class writing assignment

March 30 – Kierkegaard’s “Fear and Trembling” (on GeorgiaView Vista)

April 4 – Kierkegaard’s “Fear and Trembling” – Third Response Paper due

April 6 – Term Paper Peer Review

April 11 – Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents, Ch. I & II

April 13 – Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents, Ch. III & IV – Fifth in-class writing assignment

April 18 – Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents, Ch. V & VI

April 20 – Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents, Ch. VII-VIII

April 25 – Term Paper Due

April 27 – Plato’s Myth of the Cave

May 2 – Last Day of Class, Review

May 4 – Final Exam 2:00PM-4:00PM

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