This course is designed as a "topics-based" introduction to philosophy. What this means is that instead of working through the history of philosophy focusing on great historical figures and their views on different topics, we will focus on great philosophical topics and look at what historical and contemporary writers have said about them. Topics to be addressed will include the existence of God, the relation between the mind and the body, human freedom, and the foundations of morality.
Davis, Thomas, Philosophy: An Introduction Through Original Fiction, Disucssion, and a Multi-Media CD-ROM. 4th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Higher Education, 2004. ISBN: 0072831766.
Feinberg, Joel, and Russ Shafer-Landau, eds., Reason and Responsibility. 12th ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN: 0534543510. See Calendar for links to many of the readings from this text.
Martinich, A.P., Philosophical Writing. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1997. ISBN: 0631202811.
There is midterm exam (covering weeks 1-6) and a cumulative final exam. In addition, there are four writing assignments. The first two papers are shorter assignments (about 3 pages), the latter two are somewhat longer (around 7 pages). Besides these writing assignments, each student will help write and defend a group presentation. Finally, there is also a weekly quiz over the readings.
|First and Second Papers||20%|
|Third and Fourth Papers||35%|
|Presentation and Participation||10%|
For tips on writing philosophy papers and an explanation of grading criteria, see the following: