PH101 Intro to Philosophical Thinking

for S2J 2008

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PH 101 Intro to Philosophical Thinking


S2J 2008 PV


Senior, Andrew





Office Location


Office Hours

before and after class and by appointment

Daytime Phone

(785) 539-7552


Semester Dates

March 17, 2008 through May 11, 2008

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM

Credit Hours



ABOUT PHILOSOPHY (9th ed.) by Robert Paul Wolff

(Prentice Hall, 2006, ISBN 0-13-191606-8) 

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Additional Resources:
Additional materials will be provided by the Instructor and contributed by Students.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:


An introduction to philosophy by studying primary texts and related secondary sources. This includes the study of the historical development of philosophy and an overview of the divisions of philosophy and major ideas and schools of thought. An exploration of philosophical problems, approached through class lectures, assigned readings, and group discussion.

Educational Philosophy:

Education, as the etymology of the word shows, is about “leading forth” students, from a state of lesser to greater knowledge, or “bringing out” what they know and come to know. It is not so much about packing information into students’ memories, as it is helping them to develop their knowledge and abilities. It is not like a mechanical manufacturing process, but an organic living one. It is not so much doing things to students as it is helping them do things. It is a process of discovery, of self, of others,  of the environment around us.

Philosophy seeks to find the ultimate answers to the deepest questions in life. It asks what do we know, and how do we know it. It wonders where we came from, who and what and where we are, and where we are going. It seeks to find out what the universe is made of, and how it came to be. In this introductory course, students will be able to examine the thoughts of the great philosophers, and compare and critique them with their own life experiences and those of others. They will develop an understanding of, and appreciation for, the various schools of thought and points of view, and have the resources and tools to be able to integrate and synthesize their own unique philosophy

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Entry-level working knowledge of basic vocabulary of philosophy.
  2. Familiarity with the general divisions and disciplines of philosophy.
  3. Identify and discuss the philosophical structures and implications of major schools of thought, such as empiricism, rationalism, nominalism, conceptualism, absolute realism, moderate realism, etc.
  4. Define and describe subjective and objective systems.
  5. Describe and explain the origin and applications of the scientific method.
  6. Have the basis for comparing, contrasting, critiquing a coherent statement of personal philosophical positions.
  7. Be able to more fully participate in free and open discussions of important cultural and personal ideas in a considerate, intelligent, philosophical manner.
Class Assessment:

Class Assessment:

Grades for PH101 will be based on the results of Three Papers, Class Participation, and a Term Paper/Final Exam.


Grading:         Scale A = 90 - 100 B = 80 - 89 C = 70 - 79   D = 60 - 69   F = 0 - 59

Three Papers* (20% each):                              60%                  

Class Participation:                                           15%                

Final Examination/ Term Paper:                         25%

*Papers will be graded as follows:

Clarity and Quality of Writing      30%     

Coherence and Support of Thesis40%

Literacy (Grammar / MLA Style)20%     

(More information on papers will be given in class.)

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Materials may be submitted late with the instructor's permission. All materials must be submitted by the end of the last class period excepting only in the most extreme circumstances.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Everyone should be aware of proper conduct in this setting. Although philosophy tends to bring about serious, passionate, and even strenuous discussion, good manners should be practiced and respect shown for the rights and dignity of all. Given the time of day, if you wish to bring something to eat or drink, please do so. We will take a supper break around 6:40, and another break around 8:15.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

March 18                    Wolff, Ch. 1: What Is Philosophy

                                                            Course Introduction

 Human Nature, the Universe, Rationality, Universality, Objectivity, The Western Tradition, Philosophy and Popular Culture.              

March 25                    Wolff, Ch. 2: Theory of Knowledge

Descartes, Rationalism, Empiricism, Leibniz, Hume, Hume, Kant, New Epistemology, Popular Culture.


April 1             Wolff, Ch. 3: Metaphysics and Philosophy of Mind

                                                            First Paper Due
Metaphysics, Hobbes, Materialism, Determinism, Mindody, Philosophy and Popular Culture

April 8            
Wolff, Ch. 4: Philosophy of Science

Science in the Western World, Francis Bacon, Foundations of Scientific Method, Relations of                                             Theory and Observation, Science as Social Institution, Philosophy and Popular Culture.


April 15                       Wolff, Ch. 5: Ethical Theory

                                                            Second Paper Due

Varieties, Kant, Categorical Imperative, Utilitarianism, Virtue Ethics, Feminist Critique,                                                        Philosophy and Popular Culture


April 22                       Wolff, Ch. 6: Social and Political Philosophy

John Stuart Mill, Laissez-Faire Liberalism, Socialism / Capitalism, Rousseau, Social Contract,                                              Pluralist Theory of State, Racial Critique, Philosophy and Popular Culture.


April 29                       Wolff, Ch. 7:   Philosophy of Art

                                                            Third Paper Due

 Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Poetics, Marcuse, The Frankfurt School, Danto, Philosophy and Popular                               Culture.                                                


May 6                         Wolff, Ch. 8: Philosophy of Religion

 Kierkegaard, Proof of God's Existence, Paley, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Anselm, Problem of Evil,                                       Philosophy and Popular Culture.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:3/18/2008 2:10:09 PM