Chabot College Fall 2006 50 - God, Nature, Human Nature

Chabot College
Fall 2006
Course Outline for Philosophy 50
Catalog Description:
50 - God, Nature, Human Nature
3 units
Nature and range of philosophical inquiry in relation to everyday problems of humans as individuals,
as citizen, as existing in nature, and as a creator of works of the arts and of the spirit. Analysis of
primary philosophical documents that concentrate on these broad areas of a human's concerns.
Introduction to Philosophy by the Philosophers' own works, their methods of procedure and inquiry;
attention given to the development of skills for reading, analyzing, and pursuing philosophical
argument. NOTE: Philosophy 60, 65, and 70 are also introductory courses and may be taken before
Philosophy 50 if a more detailed examination of ethical problems, the theory of knowledge, or political
philosophy is desired. 3 hours.
[Typical contact hours: 52.5]
Prerequisite Skills:
Expected Outcomes for Students:
Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to:
1. read, analyze, and discuss major philosophical statements about humans, society, nature, the arts
and the spirit;
2. understand and explicate the methods of philosophical inquiry, as demonstrated in particular
works of consequence, in order to give the student experience in following through logical
arguments to their conclusion.
Course Content:
1. Method(s) of inquiry used to philosophize about ideas rather than through books of explanation or
2. Insight into philosophy by way of various philosophers' own "statements" or works.
3. Reading, analyzing, and investigating primary works chosen for their clarity of exposition, their
importance to the understanding of philosophical ideas, and their intrinsic "meaning."
4. Basic works may range from the standard classical philosophies to more current statements but
always with the criterion of selection being their own integrity.
NOTE: This General Introduction to Philosophy is to be three-fold in nature:
1. First, and most importantly, the experience of direct immediate contact with the work itself—the
concepts, methods, and procedures of individual philosophers—how the philosopher proceeds,
the logic of inquiry;
2. Secondly, by a loose organization of the works into fundamental "problem" areas (i.e., moralsocial inquiries, the search for truth, the nature of being or God, etc.) the interrelationships of the
works themselves as well as a human's continuing concern with certain basic issues;
3. Third, and finally, some "historical" grasp of the progression and continuing attempts of an
inquiring human to solve the problems of his time, of himself, and of the cosmos.
Chabot College
Course Outline for Philosophy 50, Page 2
Fall 2006
Methods of Presentation:
1. Lecture-discussion-analysis of assigned works.
2. Participation in the on-going classroom inquiry, to read with skill, and to analyze rigorously.
3. Emphasis will be given to expression through writing.
Typical Assignments and Methods of Evaluating Student Progress:
1. Typical Assignments
a. In an essay, identify and differentiate among key philosophical ideas
b. Using research, create a tape or give a speech in which you compare notions of the self
between two different philosophers
c. In a researched speech or essay, explicate a key argument about the nature or existence of
d. In a short paper, show how historical events shape philosophical ideas using at least two
examples (two historical periods, two philosophers)
2. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
a. Daily class contributions (including quizzes)
b. Short analytic essay assignments
c. A midterm, and final examination
d. All tests will be based on class discussion as well as on the readings
Textbook(s) Typical:
Stevenson and Haberman, Ten Theories of Human Nature, New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Kolak, Lovers of Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy, New York: Wadsworth Press, 2001.
Special Student Materials:
PS:kh Phil 50
Revised: 11/1/05