Pl 16: historyofphilosophy I (ancient and medieval philosophy)



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Suffolk Community College, Selden, New York 11784
PL 16: H I S T O R Y O F P H I L O S O P H Y I

(ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY)

Instructor: Dr.Gertrude Postl Office H120, Southampton Building

Fall 2005, Section 2964 Tel. 451-4860 (Main Office: 451-4093)



Time: M/W 12:30-1:45 p.m. Office Hours: M/W 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

T/T 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.


O B J E C T I V E S

Upon successful completion of History of Philosophy I (PL16), the student will be able to:

1. identify and understand the contributions of principal figures in the history of Western philosophy from early Greeks to Medieval thinkers, with special emphasis on the works of Plato and Aristotle;

2. understand different positions on particular philosophical issues and questions as a product of a historical and cultural context;

3. understand historically changing concepts of metaphysics, theory of knowledge, ethics, and social philosophy;

4. relate historically grounded philosophical theories to contemporary problems and the student's own life-experiences.

5. develop basic skills of critical analysis and interpretation.

Procedures for accomplishing these objectives: Lectures, class discussion, in-class group projects, written assignments;



T E X T S:

- Forrest E. Baird, Walter Kaufmann (eds.), From Plato to Derrida. Philosophic Classics, Fourth Ed., Prentice Hall, 2003.

- handouts;
R E Q U I R E M E N T S:

1) FOUR QUIZZES: quiz 1 - W 9/28 quiz 3 - M 11/21



quiz 2 - W 10/26 quiz 4 - M 12/19

Quizzes will consist of brief essay questions relating to the readings and the course material in general. The lowest quiz-grade will be dropped. No make-up quizzes!


2) TWO TEXT SUMMARIES

Students have to choose one text from each section (“Greek Philosophy,” “Medieval Philosophy”) and summarize in their own words the main arguments of the text. The focus should be on the content of the text and not on a student’s opinion. Each of these papers should be approx. 300 words long (about one page, double spaced), typed, and in the appropriate academic format (author, title, student’s name, correct quotations). These text summaries are due before the text in question is discussed in class in order to be accepted.


3) ONE PAPER (due 12/7 but may be handed in earlier)

Each paper should be at least three pages long, typed, double-spaced, and in the appropriate academic format (name, title, correct quotation). If a paper is handed early (before 11/21) 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 was 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! Papers received after the deadline will not be accepted! Topics for this paper will be provided on a separate handout.


4) CLASS PARTICIPATION, READING ASSIGNMENTS AND BEHAVIOR

This means participating 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. The biographical introduction to each author is part of the reading.

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.
5) 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 which will be passed around. 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 (10/31) without justifiable reason, he/she well receive an "F" for the course.


G R A D I N G

3 Quizzes: 40% of the final grade

1 Paper: 25% of the final grade

2 Text Summaries: 20% of the final grade

Class Participation: 15% of the final grade

Excessive absence will lower the final grade!


P L A G I A R I S M:

“In writing, students must fully acknowledge the source of any paraphrased 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.89). Plagiarism of any kind will result in a “0” for the assignment in question and in repeated cases in an “F” for the course.



S C H E D U L E

W 8/31: Introduction: What is philosophy? The areas of philosophy; historical context of philosophical theories; overview: Greek, medieval, and modern thought; beginnings: the shift from mythology to philosophy;


M 9/5: No Class (Labor Day)
ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
W 9/7: Introduction: Beginnings of Western Philosophy:

Pre-Socratics (handout)


M 9/12: Pre-Socratics continued;
W 9/14: Pre-Socratics continued;
M 9/19: “Greek Fire” (movie);
W/9/21: Body and Soul – Knowledge as Recollection:

Plato, Phaedo (pp.46-57);


M 9/26: Phaedo continued;
W 9/28: QUIZ 1

The Reality of Ideas:

Plato, Republic, Books VI and VII, excerpt (pp.133/507b-142);


M 10/3: Republic continued;
W 10/5: No Class (Rosh Hashanah)
M 10/10: Republic continued;
W 10/12: Theory of Four Causes:

Aristotle, Metaphysics (pp.163-169);


M 10/17: Metaphysics continued;
W 10/19: What is Happiness?

Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, Book I, sections 1-9 (pp.185-194);


M 10/24: No Class
W 10/26: QUIZ 2

Nichomachean Ethics continued;


M 10/31: Pleasure as the highest Good:

Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus (pp.250-253);



LAST DAY TO WITHDRAW FROM CLASSES WITH GUARANTEED “W”!

II: MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY
W 11/2: Introduction: Medieval Thought;
M 11/7: Time and Eternity:

Augustine, Confessions, Book XI (pp.295-305);


W 11/9: Confessions continued;
M 11/14: Evil and the Goodness of God:

Augustine, The City of God (pp. 305-315);


W 11/16: The City of God continued;
M 11/21: QUIZ 3

Proofs for God’s existence;


W 11/23: Ontological Proof:

Anselm (and Gaunilo), Proslogion and Debate (pp.324-330);


M 11/28: Anselm continued;
W 11/30: Cosmological Proof:

Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, First Part, Question 2 (pp.349-353);


M 12/5: Summa Theologica continued;

W 12/7: Mysticism:

Hildegard von Bingen, Scivias (pp.333-337);

PAPER DUE
M 12/12: Beginning of Renaissance Thought:

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Oration on the Dignity of Man (pp.389-391);


W 12/14: Mirandola continued;
M 12/19: QUIZ 4

W 12/21: No Class


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