History of Philosophy I

Phil A211, section 601 - Fall 2011

William Jamison

THEME: Survey of primarily Western philosophy from the pre-Socratic era through the late Middle Ages. Traces development of scientific, metaphysical, epistemological and ethical thought with emphasis on pivotal historical figures and debates.

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.

Student Outcomes

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.


Look Inside This Book
Author: BAIRD
ISBN: 9780205783854


Look Inside This Book
Author: BAIRD
ISBN: 9780205783908



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 paper. 

 Response to quiz questions posed in each lecture -25%.

CLASS: Hours: TR 8:30A – 9:45A Room ADM-148

OFFICE: in Administration and Humanities Building Room 261 Here is my Current Schedule.  

Phone: 786-4458 (office) or 694-1023 (home- please no calls after 8P), Philosophy Department Secretary 786-4455. The best way to get a message to me is via e-mail. My web page is located at and my e-mail address is wsjamison@UAA.ALASKA.EDU. All 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 30: 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. Some useful links we may use for the course are listed here and a bibliography here.    

September1: Estimated reading schedule to be discussed PCV1 to page 48. Lecture 2.

Before Socrates.

September 6: Labor Day Holiday (no classes)

September 8: PCV1 to page 99. Lecture 3.


Plato 1.



September 13: PCV1 to page 150. Lecture 4

Plato 2.



September 15: PCV1 to page 199. Lecture 5.

Plato 3.



September 20: PCV1 to page 247. Lecture 6.

Plato 4.


September 22: PCV1 to page 290. Lecture 7.

Plato 5.


September 27: PCV1 to page 314. Lecture 8.

Plato 6.



    The Timaeus "As being is to becoming, so is truth to belief." 29c

September 29: PCV1 to page 344. Lecture 9.

Aristotle 1.


    On Interpretation

    Posterior Analytics


October 4: PCV1 to page 371. Lecture 10.

Aristotle 2.


October 6: PCV1 to page 450. Lecture 11.

Aristotle 3.

    On the Soul

    Nichomachean Ethics

Take this link to exam one.

October 11: PCV1 to page 462. Lecture 12.

Aristotle 4.



First exam due.

October 13: PCV1 to page 504. Lecture 13.

Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy 1.



October 18: PCV1 to last page and V2 preface.  Lecture 14.

Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy 2.

October 20: PCV2 to page 42. Lecture 15.

Early Christianity.

October 25: PCV2 to page 88. Lecture 16.

Augustine 1.

    On the Free Choice of the Will


October 27: PCV2 to page 116. Lecture 17.

Augustine 2.

    The City of God

November1: PCV2 to page 150. Lecture 18.

Augustine 2.

    The City of God

November 3: PCV2 to page 188. Lecture 19.

Early Medieval 1.



Take this link to exam two.

November 8: PCV2 to page 231. Lecture 20.

Early Medieval 2.



    John of Salisbury

November 10: PCV2 to page 231.

Islamic and Jewish Philosophy 1.




November 15: PCV2 to page 307. Lecture 21.

Islamic and Jewish Philosophy and 13th Century Philosophy.

    Moses Maimonides

    Robert Grosseteste

    Roger Bacon


    Siger of Brabant

Second exam due.

November 17: PCV2 to page 332. Lecture 22.

Aquinas 1.

    Summa Theologica

November 22: PCV2 to page 375. Lecture 23.

Aquinas 2.

    Summa Theologica

November 24: Thanksgiving Break (No Classes)

November 29: PCV2 to page 399. Lecture 24.

Aquinas 3.

    Summa Theologica

December1: PCV2 to page 408. Lecture 25.

Aquinas 4.

    The Principles of Nature

December 6: PCV2 to page 473. Lecture 26.

Late Medieval Philosophy.

    John Duns Scotus

    William of Ockham

    Meister Eckhart

December 8: PCV2 to page 534. Lecture 27.

Renaissance Philosophy.

Take this link to exam three. Term Papers due.

December 13: No class because of the final schedule.

December 15: Third exam due. Class meets at 7:00A. We will watch and discuss an appropriate movie. Remember also to take the post-test to help evaluate the course on Blackboard.

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 August 14, 2012. 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.