PHL 101 – 100: I S S U E S I N P H I L O S O P H Y Instructor: Dr. Gertrude Postl Office: Southampton Building 120
Fall 2009, Section 91358 Tel. 451-4513 (Main Office: 451-4093)
Time: M/W 2:00-3:15 p.m. firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: H 29 Office Hours: M 11:00 - 12:00 a.m.
T/R 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
W 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Upon successful completion of Issues in Philosophy (PL 11), the student will be able to:
(1) identify traditional and current issues in epistemology and metaphysics;
(2) distinguish between and critically assess major approaches in epistemology, such as Empiricism, Rationalism and Skepticism;
(3) distinguish and critically assess competing metaphysical approaches, for example, in Mind-Body, Personal Identity, and Freewill;
(4) demonstrate skills of information management (basic on-line and/or library research).
Procedures for accomplishing these objectives: Lectures, class discussion, in-class group projects, written assignments;
1) Plato, Phaedo, trans., G.M. A. Grube, Hackett, 1977.
2) Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, trans. Donald A. Cress, 3rd ed., Hackett, 1993.
3) David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, ed. by Eric Steinberg, 2nd ed., Hackett, 1993.
4) Friedrich Nietzsche, A Nietzsche Reader, ed. by R. J. Hollingdale, Penguin Classics, 1977.
5) Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism and Human Emotions, Citadel Press, 1987.
1) FIVE TEXT REPORTS
Before a text is discussed in class, each student has to turn in a brief account of the text in question. Each report has to be approx. one page long, indicating the main themes and/or arguments of the respective text. See schedule for deadlines. Focus only on the sections listed on the course outline. The purpose of these reports is not to demonstrate full comprehension of the text but to show that a text has been read.
2) ONE PAPER
This paper should be at least four pages long (it may be longer), typed, double-spaced, and in the appropriate academic format (title, correct quotations, etc.). Deadline: Dec. 14. Papers received after this deadline will not be accepted! See separate handout for details and topics. For problems with writing papers, please consult the Writing Center (Islip Arts Building 101).
If the paper is handed in early (before Thanksgiving) it may be rewritten in order to improve the grade. The due date for the second version is in general two weeks after the first version has been returned. The first version has to be handed in together with the second version! In order to raise the grade, the rewritten version has to show serious improvements!
3) MIDTERM EXAM
Covering the first half of the course material (Plato, Descartes) – one essay, definitions, and brief essay questions.
4) FINAL EXAM
Covering the second half of the course material (Hume, Nietzsche, Sartre) – one essay, definitions, and brief essay questions.
Class participation means to participate in the common effort of discussion in order to complement the reading material and to accomplish the aims stated in the course objectives. Absolute unwillingness to participate will result in a lower final grade. "Talking a lot" is not necessarily participation. Reading assignments have to be completed before class meetings. It is not enough to read a text; one should also be able to talk about it.
Disruptive or inconsiderate behavior (including walking in and out of the classroom during class time) will affect the grade. Cell phones and beepers have to be switched off during class time.
6) ATTENDANCE POLICY
The college defines excessive absence or lateness as more than the equivalent of one week of class meetings during the semester. In this course, students are allowed no more than three absences! Any additional absence will affect the grade. Excessive absence or lateness may lead to failure in the course or removal from the class roster. If a student is late, the time will be added up and will thereby also contribute to the amount of absences. It is the student's obligation to sign the sign-up sheet. If a student misses a class due to sickness or other justifiable reasons, evidence needs to be shown as soon as possible! In this case the absence will be excused. If a student drops the class after the official withdraw-date (10/21) without justifiable reason, he/she will receive an "F" for the course. No “W” will be given after the official withdraw-date.
“In writing, students must fully credit the source of any quoted, paraphrased, or summarized passages and any ideas which they have borrowed. Failure to conform to these academic standards is plagiarism and may result in a failing grade for the course and/or serious disciplinary sanctions as outlines in the Code of Conduct” (SCCC Catalog, p.69). Plagiarism of any kind will result in a “0” for the assignment in question and in repeated cases in an “F” for the course.
SCHEDULE M 8/31: Introduction: What is philosophy? The areas and issues of philosophy; philosophy vs. mythology, religion, and science; historical framework: Greek, medieval, and modern thought;
Epistemology: knowledge vs. sense perception; idealism; truth and reality; learning as recollection;
Metaphysics: immortality of the soul; theory of forms;
Personhood: body vs. soul; the question of death; reincarnation of the soul;
Ethics: the good as highest idea; the life of the philosopher as practice of death;
W 9/2: Introduction to Plato
Phaedo (pp. 5 - 18; 57a - 69a);
M 9/7: No Class (Labor Day)
W 9/9: Phaedo (pp. 18 - 38; 70a - 88b);
TEXT REPORT ON “PHAEDO” DUE! M 9/14: Phaedo (pp. 38 - 67; 88c - 118a);
W 9/16: from Republic, Allegory of the Cave (handout);
The Matrix (movie);
M 9/21: Cave Allegory and The Matrix continued;
W 9/23: Plato: Summary, Conclusion;