HOUSTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM Northeast College NOLN

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1 Instructor contact information HOUSTON COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM Northeast College NOLN Instructor: Ferdinand R. Durano Office hours: By appointment only Course Title: Intro. To Philosophy Semester and Year: Summer A 2012 Course Prefix: PHIL1301 Course Number: Class Days & Times: Monday thru Thursday 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM Credit Hours: 3 Prerequisite: College Level Reading Competency Lecture Hours: 3 Class Room Location: 215 Total Contact Hours: 48 Course Description: This course is a theoretically diverse introduction to the study of ideas, including arguments and investigations about abstract and real phenomena. It begins with the basic concept of what philosophy is and its branches, but underscores on the fundamental ideas and questions being raised by various famous philosophers and schools of thoughts. The basis for this inquiry is drawn from history, theories, their application, methods of reasoning, and carried forward to more recent thinkers and issues. (HCC Catalog).Included is the growing emergence of women s, minority, and non-western voices in philosophy. Accordingly, this course should not be construed as history-bound, or strictly western in its perspective. Its thematic elements are contemporary, including the nature and abiding presence of philosophizing in human discourse, and this discipline s impact on current developments in science, the humanities, and political/social order in world cultures. Thus in this course the students are invited to be broad-minded in dealing with these various philosophical issues. Hopefully, a wellrounded recognition and comprehension of the latter will be realized. Course Objectives: Acquire a broad familiarity with the names of major thinkers, the schools they represent, geographical location, and historical periods. Learn historically significant questions of philosophy, definitions of special terms, and concepts of knowledge, ethics, and human condition. Cultivate reading comprehension of philosophical writings. Distinguish various approaches to interpretation, including conceptual analysis, testing for validity, determining if sound or unsound. Articulate the relevance of philosophy and philosophical questioning to everyday life. Consider how philosophy may or may not apply to differing ways of thinking and cultural differences. Inventory, summarize, and assess correlative questions, concepts, and schools of thought found in the history of ideas. Create and cultivate alternative philosophical positions on presented course content. Develop coherent arguments for chosen positions, bringing to bear the rules of logic, written expression and disciplined thinking. Critique chosen positions and adequately defend against possible objections, both theoretical and applied.

2 SLO (Student Learning Outcomes): 1. Recall and identify the major thinkers, schools, core philosophical questions, terms and concepts found in the history of ideas cross-culturally construed, from ancient times to the contemporary world. 2. Interpret and explain core philosophical questions and concepts in terms that illustrate a comprehensive understanding of each. 3. Apply core philosophical questions and concepts to contemporary issues and personal experience. 4. Compare and contrast related core philosophical questions and concepts, and the correlative thinkers and schools with which they are commonly associated. 5. Justify a sound philosophical position on a topic, or topics of contemporary human interest in the areas of knowledge, ethics, or human condition that integrates and logically demonstrates a synthesis in thought. Required texts: 1) Grube. Plato: Five Dialogues. Hackett Publishing. 2nd Edition, 2002//ISBN ) Descartes, Rene. Discourse On Method and Meditations On First Philosophy. Hackett Publishing. 4 th Edition ISBN ) Atherton, Katherine, ed. Women Philosophers of the Early Modern Period. Hackett Publishing, ISBN ) Kant, Immanuel. To Perpetual Peace and Other Essays. Hackett ISBN ) Sartre, Jean-Paul. Existentialism and Human Emotions. Carol Publishing Group, ISBN Instructor guidelines and policies Attendance: All students are strongly encouraged to attend all classes. 1) Excessive absences from the class can result to a failing grade. 2) College policy stipulates that any student who misses more than 12.5 % of instruction (6 class hours = 4 sessions) may be subject to administrative withdrawal. Attendance and on time arrival to class are absolutely essential to you success in this class. You will earn an attendance grade based upon the following scale: 0 absences=100; 1 absence= 95; 2 absences= 90; 3 absences= 85; 4 absences=80; 5 absences=75 and 6 or more absences is a failing grade for this portion of final grade distribution. 3) Tardiness: Please arrive on time. I will call roll every day at the beginning of class. Academic Honesty: The HCC Student Handbook lists cheating, plagiarism and collusion as scholastic dishonesty. It defines: a) Cheating as copying from someone else s paper or using unauthorized materials during a test. b) Plagiarism as "the appropriation of another's work and the unacknowledged incorporation of that work in one's own written work offered for credit." c) Collusion as "the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing work for credit." Any work submitted for this course that is determined by the professor to be the result of either cheating, plagiarism, or collusion will earn a "0" for that assignment, and may easily cause the student to receive an "F" in the course depending on the weight of the assignment in determining your course grade. Your professor may also recommend a further punishment of probation, or dismissal from HCC and ALL of its several colleges. See the Student Handbook for further information.

3 Withdrawal: The final date for student withdrawal is June 25 (Monday), 2012 by 12:00 PM noon. If you drop the course, you must complete the necessary forms with the Registration personnel prior to this date. If you do not complete the withdrawal form and do not complete the required work in this class, you will receive an F for the course. HCCS instructors are no longer allowed to give students a grade of W at the end on the semester. The only way your grade will appear as a W on your course record is if the withdrawal form is submitted prior to the deadline, June 25, Assignments: Students are expected to read the material in advance for the topics to be discussed. This is one way of preparing themselves for the class in order to participate actively in philosophical discussions. Make-up Exams: No make-up exam is allowed unless the student has a valid reason and proof presented to me. Please see me personally if a situation like this occurs. Cell phones, beepers, laptops, etc. 1) Cell phones and beepers are to be turned off or put in a vibrate mode during the class. 2) The students use of laptops, I-pods and other electronic devices is likewise discouraged, unless if they are used in class presentations and other class activities that are assigned by the professor. 3) Repeated offenses can result in a grade change. No student has the right to disrupt the education of other students. Class Civility Note: In this class many in depth and controversial concepts are introduced. It is not uncommon, within the context of the class, to hear many ideas often thought taboo for public discussions. You must conduct yourself in an adult manner. Challenging a poorly thought out idea is acceptable but attacking the person forwarding the idea is not. If a person is attacked or a demeaning comment such as you re an idiot or that s gay is heard the offending party will be dropped from the class without further discussion. Americans with Disabilities Act Statement Houston Community College System is dedicated to providing the least restrictive environment for all students. It promotes equity in academic access through the implementation of reasonable accommodations as required by the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title V, Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) which will enable students with disabilities to participate in and benefit from all post-secondary educational activities. GRADE DETERMINATION: Your grade will be determined by the following Details Percent of Final Average Prelim Examination Multiple Choice and essay exam. 20% Midterm Examination Multiple Choice and essay exam. 20% Final Examination Multiple Choice (Cumulative) 20% Quizzes Written tests and group activities 30% Class participation Attendance and class discussions 10% Total: 100% The prelim and midterm examinations will contain a mixture of multiple-choice (80%) and essay questions (20%). The final examination is purely multiple-choice. It covers all the topics discussed from the prelim examination to the finals. Quizzes are in the form of individual or group activities. These are done by answering an exercise or a series of exercises either taken from the required textbook or given by the professor. Class participation includes attending the class, being active and cooperative in the class discussion and group activities.

4 LETTER GRADE ASSIGNMENT: Letter Grade Final Average in Percent A B C D F 59 0

5 COURSE OUTLINE: Week Number TOPICS 1 A. Syllabus discussion Discuss the course syllabus. Objectives and Details Understand the course guidelines. B. Introductory comments Define and elaborate the various branches of philosophy. C. The Branches of Philosophy D. Logic and Fallacies First Quiz Contrast logic from fallacy; deductive from inductive reasoning. Enumerate and explain the common fallacies. A. The Pre-Socratics: Differentiate mythos from logos. Discuss the metaphysical ideas of the Pre-Socratics. B. Thales, Democritus, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, tc. 2 A. Socratic Philosophy B. Plato s epistemology Contrast Heraclitus from Parmenides concept of reality. Second Quiz Discuss the Socratic Method and Euthyphro. Analyze Plato s Allegory of the Cave and his rationalism. Elaborate Plato s metaphysics. C. Descartes epistemology and metaphysics 3 D. Descartes philosophy (continuation) A. Aristotle s epistemology & metaphysics Define skepticism. Identify and elaborate Descartes skepticism. Prelim Exam Review PRELIM EXAM June 13 (Wednesday) Elaborate Descartes Reconstruction. Contrast Aristotle s epistemology and metaphysics from Plato s. Third Quiz B. John Locke s epistemology and metaphysics C. Bishop Berkeley s monistic idealism D. David Hume s Skepticism E. Immanuel Kant s Synthesis F. Monistic Materialism: Behaviorism, Functionalism and Eliminative Materialism Contrast Locke s epistemology from Descartes. Define and understand representationalism. Compare and contrast primary from secondary qualities. Compare and contrast Berkeley s epistemology from Hume s. Understand Hume s empiricism and skepticism. Contrast impressions from ideas ; matters of fact from relations of ideas; analytic from synthetic propositions. Discuss Immanuel Kant s metaphysics. Elaborate Kant s reactions about rationalism and empiricism through his categories of understanding. Define and distinguish the various types of materialism.

6 Week Number TOPICS Objectives and Details 4 A. Theodicy: An Introduction B. Arguments for God s existence: C. Ontological Vs. the Cosmological Arguments for God s existence D. Atheism: Hume, Darwin, Marx and Nietzsche A. Determinism Vs. Existentialism Hard Vs. Soft Determinism Existentialism: Soren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre and Gabriel Marcel Define and introduce theodicy; the various types of religions. Fourth Quiz Analyze St. Anselm and Descartes ontological arguments. Analyze Aquinas and Kant s cosmological arguments. Contrast theism from atheism; agnosticism from non-theism. Discuss and analyze the arguments against God s existence. Contrast determinism from existentialism. Contrast hard determinism from soft determinism. Analyze the arguments for determinism. Discuss subjectivism and leap of faith. Contrast Marcel s from Sartre s existentialism. Review for the Midterm Exam MIDTERM EXAM June 25 (Monday) A. Ethics: An Introduction Compare and contrast Epicurus ethics from Epictetus. Epicurus and Epictetus Socratic Ethics Platonic Ethics Egoism Fifth Quiz Contrast consequentialism from non-consequentialism Compare and contrast Socrates Ethics from Plato s. Compare and contrast Hobbes egoism from Rand s. 5 Utilitarianism Compare and contrast Bentham s utilitarian principles from Mill s. Deontology: Aristotle Immanuel Kant and William David Ross I Immanuel Kant and William David Ross II Relativism Review for the finals Discuss Aristotle s virtue ethics. Compare and contrast Kant s deontology from Ross. Compare and contrast Kant s deontology from Ross. Sixth Quiz Compare and contrast ethical subjectivism from cultural relativism. FINALS July 5 (Thursday)

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