PHILOSOPHY 100 - INTRODUCTION TO

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PHILOSOPHY 100 (SPRING 2013) – INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY (TTh)
Instructor: Ted Stolze
Office: SS-132
Office Phone: 562-860-2451, extension 2774
Office Hours: MTTh 9-9:30am, M 11am-12:30pm
E-mail: [email protected]
Webpage: www.cerritos.edu/tstolze
“There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers. Yet it is admirable to profess because it was
once admirable to live. To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school,
but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and
trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.”
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Transfer Credit:
CSU, UC
Course Description:
In this course we’ll develop philosophical concepts by investigating a wide variety of problems, systems of
thought, and cultural perspectives. We’ll be reading carefully and critically selected philosophers and philosophies
from ancient Greece, India, and China up to contemporary Europe and the United States.
Texts:
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James Rachels, Problems from Philosophy, 3rd ed. (McGraw Hill, 2008) = PFP
Victoria Hamilton, Eastern Philosophy (Routledge, 2012) = EP
Student Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this course you should be able to do the following:
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Explain Socrates’ statement, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” by applying the statement in at
least two of the following areas: ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics.
Demonstrate a basic understanding of methods of philosophy.
Demonstrate an enhanced ability to articulate ideas about philosophical issues.
Use philosophical methods, assumptions, and principles to analyze philosophical ideas and positions,
including contemporary problems and issues.
Evaluate philosophical arguments, methods, assumptions, and principles for coherence, relevance, truth,
sources, and limits of knowledge.
Explain philosophical arguments, methods, fundamental assumptions, and principles about the nature of
reality, self, and freedom.
Explain philosophical arguments, methods, and evaluate fundamental assumptions and principles of
various ethical theories, including Deontology, Utilitarianism, and Virtue Ethics.
Evaluate your own philosophical presuppositions, as well as the philosophical presuppositions of others in
order to assess the merits of these assumptions.
Course Requirements:
1.
Show up regularly and on time. Be prepared to discuss the readings. You should carefully read the
assignment before class, noting difficult passages and writing down any questions you’d like to pose in
class. You should also briefly reread the assignment after class to confirm that you now understand the
author’s main points. NOTE: you must turn off all electronic devices before class begins (unless you
have a demonstrable need); there is absolutely no texting permitted during class.
2
NOTE: I reserve the right to drop any student who is absent for more than six class sessions
during the course. Also, if you leave class early without permission, you will be considered
absent for that session.
2.
Take seven surprise quizzes, of which I’ll keep only the five highest grades. Each quiz counts for 5% of
your final grade.
3.
Take three exams, each of which counts for 25% of your final grade.
4.
Final grades will be based on the following scale:
90 - 100 points
80 - 89 points
70 - 79 points
60 - 69 points
0 - 59 points
A
B
C
D
F
5.
Plagiarism is ethically unacceptable and will result in automatic failure for a particular assignment. For
the official Cerritos College Academic Honesty/ Dishonesty Policy, see http://cms.cerritos.edu/academicaffairs/academic-honesty.
6.
If you have a disability for which you would like to request an accommodation, you are encouraged to
contact both me and the Disabled Student Programs and Services at (562) 860-2451 ext. 2335, as early
as possible in the term.
Standards for Classroom Behavior and Discussion:
Our goal in this course is to achieve respectful philosophical dialogue in which everyone feels affirmed in the
value of his or her ideas and contributions to the class. This means not only that we should speak in certain
ways, but also that we should listen in certain ways. Respectful philosophical dialogue demands that even if we
strongly disagree with others, we should be very careful not to speak in a way that demeans them or their
ideas. We should instead engage in active listening—a technique that helps us to be less defensive in responding
to criticism or disagreement. Mindful, active listening requires each of us to focus on the words of the person
speaking rather than on what we ourselves might want to say, and to reserve judgment until he or she has
finished speaking and we are sure that we really understand his or her perspective. At the very least, active
listening requires the following respectful behavior:
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No sleeping in class! If you are tired or ill, stay home and rest.
No side conversations, passing notes, or texting.
Body language that indicates supportive attention (e.g., eye contact with the speaker).
No body language that is disrespectful (e.g., sighs, eye-rolling, muttering under your breath, throw-away
comments after the speaker is finished).
Reading Assignments:
I. What is Philosophy?
1/15
1/17
1/22
1/24
Introduction to Philosophy
Video on the Life of Socrates
PFP, pp. 1-9, 191-199
MLK, “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
(http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/resources/article/annotated_letter_from_birmingham/)
II. Metaphysics: What is Reality?
1/29
PFP, pp. 10-26
3
1/31
2/5
2/7
2/12
2/14
2/19
2/21
2/26
2/28
3/5
3/7
VIDEO: Darwin and the Tree of Life
“”
PFP, pp. 27-37
Video on Life after Death
PFP, pp. 38-51
Review
Exam #1
Video: The Secret You
PFP, pp. 52-66
PFP, pp. 67-82
Review
III. Epistemology: What is Knowledge?
3/12
3/14
3/19
3/25-31
PFP, pp. 125-38
Alex Byrne, “Is Snow White?” (http://www.bostonreview.net/BR30.2/byrne.php)
“”
No Class – Spring Recess
IV. Axiology: What is Value?
4/2
4/4
4/9
4/11
4/16
Review
PFP, pp. 139-152
PFP, pp. 166-175
“”
Exam #2
V. Eastern Philosophy
4/18
4/23
4/25
4/30
5/2
5/7
5/9
5/14
5/16
5/21
5/23
EP, pp. 1-24
EP, pp. 25-48
EP, pp. 49-74
EP, pp. 75-100
“”
EP, pp. 101-127
EP, pp. 128-151
EP, pp. 152-177
EP, pp. 178-184
Exam #3 (10am-12pm) for 9:30-11 section
Exam #3 (12-2pm) for 12:30-2 section
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