PH101 Intro to Philosophical Thinking

for F1J 2007

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


PH 101 Introduction to Philosophical Thinking


F1J 2007 PV


Harrison Hartley


Senior Adjunct Instructor


B.S.Ed. (MO Life-Secondary English Certification)
B.A. (English/Social Sciences)
M.A. (and graduate studies in English and Philosophy)

Office Location

Before and after class and by appointment.

Office Hours

Before and after class and by appointment.

Daytime Phone

Call (816) 279-8100 any time; leave a message and I'll answer as soon as possible.

E-Mail (*Use for fastest response.)

Semester Dates

20 Aug. to 13 Oct. 2007 (Last day to drop 8/27; last day to withdraw 9/23.)

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) 

Additional Resources:
Additional meterials will be provided by the instructor.

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.
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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 entry into philosophy by two routes an exploration of philosophical problems through reading and discussing selections from the great thinkers or a lecture-discussion survey of philosophy conceived in the broadest fashion. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
Most people think they think fairly clearly, but much of what passes for clear thinking is not much more than gut reaction or culturally ingrained response. In addition, most people say that religion and politics are two of the most important subjects in life, but most people derive their religious and political beliefs by inheritance or marriage and stop seriously examining both at about age 12 (when they also stop learning much about science). This is a disservice to individual existence and an abdication of the essential responsibility of personal development. Mr. Hartley believes that the purpose of philosophy is to reawaken a spirit of enquiry and establish patterns of thought that lead to real intellectual independence and integrity. Because philosophy is eclectic, PH101 will be eclectic. Class periods will include lectures, discussions, demonstrations (often involving objects of world culture or scientific instruments and specimens), readings, video essays, guest presentations, and written and oral responses from class members. Evaluations (as shown below) will provide opportunities for a variety of responses to accommodate different learning styles, and Mr. Hartley is committed to helping every class member derive full benefit from the course.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Students who successfully complete this course will, at a minimum, be able to define about 75 terms common to philosophy
  2. Name and describe the general disciplines of philosophy
  3. Identify and discuss the philosophical structures and implications of empiricism, rationalism, and mysticism
  4. Identify, define, analyze, and correctly use the basic elements of logic (including the recognition and analysis of the most common logical fallacies)
  5. Define and describe the tension between subjectivity and objectivity
  6. Describe and explain the scientific method
  7. List, describe, and explain the five universal characteristics of religion, the three classical "proofs" of God, and the position of theists, atheists, and agnostics
  8. Identify and describe the foundational ideas of Occidental philosophy and the touchstone philosophical systems of key figures
  9. Frame a coherent statement of current personal philosophy
  10. Participate in free and open discussions of important cultural and personal ideas in a considerate, intelligent, philosophical manner
Class Assessment:
Grades for PH101 will be based on the results of four assignments over readings (which may include follow-up quizzes along with work to do at home), a cumulative midterm examination, two papers based on class topics, and a cumulative final examination (including provision for a statement of each class participant's current philosophical thinking). Percentaqges are indicated below.


Four readings assignments (10% each):    40%                  
Cumulative Midterm Examination:             15%
Response/Analysis Paper:                          10%
Analysis/Research Paper:                           15% 
Final Examination:                                       20%

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:
Eveyone is aware of proper conduct which, therefore, needs no glossing here. If you would, please remember to turn cell 'phones off or put them on "silent" mode. If you wish to bring something to eat or drink, please do so. (We will take a supper break about 6:40 and another break in honor of Mother Nature about 8:15.) If you would like to record classes or use a laptop computer, please do.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

* A Helpful Hint: philosophical thinking and reading are more demanding than "ordinary" thinking and reading. Plan to mull over some of what you read more than once, and engage your friends and family in a discussion of your ideas. Philosophy thrives on participation and starves on isolation - keep it alive!
*A Brief Warning: besides being rigorous and thorough, philosophy regards any honest question as fair game. Impoliteness, vulgarity, rudeness, and uncontrolled emotional outbursts are never acceptable, but no subject is off-limits; things may remain sacred, but nothing is sacrosanct.This frightens some people, but is a necessary condition of real philosophical thought which BEGINS with questions, not pre-determined answers.
*Class topics listed below are designed to entice curiosity and tickle the imagination, and will relate to the subject under discussion. Note that reading assignments are for the FOLLOWING week.

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
All Park University regulations regarding academic honesty and plagiarism will be strictly enforced. Intellectual honesty is the absolute heart of philosophy (and intellectual courage is its soul) - anything less is a travesty.

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
An education seems to be the ONE thing Americans are willing to pay for and then not get! You have paid for a product and Mr. Hartley is committed to delivering the finest quality possible - come and collect what you paid for! If you must come late, come late! If you must miss, let Mr. Hartley know and he will help you fill in the gaps. (If you can, in such a case, have someone in class take notes for you.) If you miss unexpectedly, contact Mr. Hartley as soon as possible to have the absence excused and find out how to catch up.

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: .
Please let Mr. Hartley know if you need any special arrangements regarding seeing, hearing, or mobility.


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Last Updated:8/7/2007 2:17:07 PM