Fall 2016 Syllabus (1)

Fall 2016 Syllabus (1) - Philosophy 1000 Introduction to...

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Philosophy 1000: Introduction to Philosophy Spring 2016 Instructor: Dr. Micah Bailey Email: [email protected] Office: Martin 229D (which is inside of Martin 231) Office Hours: MW 9am – 10am & 4pm – 5pm; F 9am Or by appointment Meeting times: MWF 11:00 – 11:50 in Martin 330 MWF 12:00 – 12:50 in Martin 326 COURSE DESCRIPTION This is both an introductory and a general course in philosophy; as such, no previous background in philosophy is required. We will cover an array of philosophical topics from all three of the main branches of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. Philosophy, as a discipline, asks deep, difficult and intriguing questions. These questions typically fall out of the scope of the scientific method (or, at least, they have currently evaded the scrutiny of the scientific method), which partly explains their difficulty. Hallmarks of good philosophical investigation include conceptual analysis, consistent and plausible logical argumentation, imagining counterexamples, and using hypotheticals to test intuition, commitments, or general claims. COURSE GOALS This course fulfills competency 6 of UCM’s General Education Program: Knowledge and appreciation of and/or participation in the creation of performance of literature, languages, and the arts using the standards of evidence and reasoning appropriate to the humanities and the arts. 1 Especially important to our purposes is that “[s]tudents will be exposed to a general inquiry into consciousness, values, and ideals as they seek to describe how experiences and ideas shape our understanding of the world. Students will also explain the historical, linguistic, stylistic, cultural and/or social contexts of these experiences and ideas that address the human condition. Students will employ critical, analytical, interpretative, and speculative methods to study the meanings, values, effects and scope of human endeavors.” 2 I have the following goals for you: 1) to expose you to some philosophical questions and attempts at answering them, 2) to get you to begin using the hallmarks of good philosophical investigation, 3) to increase your reading comprehension – especially in grasping how an argument progresses – and to increase your skill at writing – especially in offering arguments that utilize the above hallmarks, and 4) to put you in a position to critically evaluate your own views. REQUIRED TEXTS The only text needed is the sixteenth edition of Reason and Responsibility: Readings in Some Basic Problems of Philosophy . This book is available at the bookstore in the union. COURSE REQUIREMENTS 1 See https://www.ucmo.edu/hlc/documents/GeneralEducationProgram.pdf , 11-12. 2 Ibid.
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There will be three non-comprehensive tests you are required to take: the first is on 9/26, the second is on 10/31, and the third is on the scheduled final time (see tentative schedule below). Each test will be worth 20% of your grade. You will be given the possible questions in advance of the test. You will choose two from a subset of the possible questions to answer.
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