Introduction to Philosophy
Phil A201, section 603 - Fall 2014
THEME: Introduces works of influential thinkers, both ancient and modern, in the Western philosophical tradition. Emphasizes central problems of knowledge, reality, and good and evil.
Special Note: This page links to other pages on my web site that are an important part of the syllabus. Students should select those links to become familiar with the other elements of the syllabus. On following a link a page will state that it is part of the syllabus if it is. Other links are supplied as resources for students that are interested in taking advantage of them, but if they are not specifically noted as part of the syllabus it is up to the student to pursue them or not. The purpose of this is to simplify the main page of the syllabus while supplying supplementary information as necessary or to enrich the experience of taking the course.
Students completing this course should be able to identify, comprehend, analyze, and evaluate complex philosophical arguments in oral and written discourse. They should also be able to understand, analayze, interpret, and apply major works in the areas of the History of Philosophy, Ethics, and contemporary topics.
Course grades are based on:
Exams - 50% - nine essays showing an understanding of the materials covered in class and the assigned readings in response to questions, each with a minimum of 300 words,
25% of the grade will be based on a term project.
Response to quiz questions posed in each lecture -25%.
CLASS: Hours: TR 4:00 P – 5:15 P Room ADM-142
OFFICE: TR 5:30 P - 7:00 P, in Administration and Humanities Building Room 277 or by appointment. Here is my Current Schedule.
Phone: 786-4458 (office) or 694-1023 (home- please no calls after 8P). The best way to get a message to me is via e-mail. My web page is located at http://wsjamison.uaa.alaska.edu and my e-mail address is wsjamison@UAA.ALASKA.EDU. All quizzes, tests and the term paper should be turned in using e-mail. This syllabus on my web site has links to other sources for many of the texts for the philosophers we will discuss. Some of the links include wonderful web pages on the various philosophers.
August 26: This lecture includes an introduction to the course and description of course requirements. We will discuss: the purpose of doing philosophy, the course readings as an "all you can eat buffet", and what the tests and quizzes will be like. Society in prehistory, mythology, water and civilization. The first philosophers, Thales and water.
August 28: Be prepared to discuss the Apology. Try comparing the text with my version: what was Socrates' message to us? A major part of this topic will be Socrates, his life and mission. To read about Alcibiades check Plutarch. His relationship with Socrates is very interesting.
September 2: Labor Day Holiday (no classes)
September 9: Focus will be Plato and his theories of knowledge and justice.
September 11: Aristotle, his life and work. Be prepared to discuss Realism. Read for general familiarity.
October 7: Descartes "I think..." This is the start of Rationalism.
October 21: Second exam due. This lecture will focus on Leibniz - Monadology "Best of all possible worlds." You may also be interested in Anne Conway and the ideas she gave to Leibniz. Leibniz and Stephen Hawking - What's a Quark?November 27: Thanksgiving Break (No Classes)
December 9: (This is a corretion. I mistakenly had December 11th for the last meeting.)
Third exam due. Class meets at 4:00P. We will discuss the postmodern dilemma.This syllabus may be adjusted at any time to meet the class or instructor’s requirements upon one week’s notice to students.
This page is maintained by William S. Jamison. It was last updated December 9, 2014. All links on these pages are either to open source or public domain materials or they are marked with the appropriate copyright information. I frequently check the links I have made to other web sites but each source is responsible for their own content.