PH101 Intro to Philosophical Thinking

for F1OO 2011

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PH 101 Intro to Philosophical Thinking


F1OO 2011 WO


Gifford, Matthew D.


Adjunct Faculty


Semester Dates

August 16, 2011 - October 04, 2011

Class Days


Class Time

5:00 - 10:20 PM

Credit Hours


Gendler, Siegel & Cahn, ed. The Elements of Philosophy: Readings from Past and Present. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Additional Resources:

Here are websites I trust.  You should spend some time on them at the beginning of the semester, as they are a great place to turn when you have questions.  They range from basic to technical, as some are simply Philosophical dictionaries and others encyclopedias with 20 page articles.

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:
PH 101 Introduction to Philosophical Thinking (GE) 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:
Class time will be spent in lectures and discussions after the quiz or test.  The lecture material will be based on readings from the book and other sources, such as, websites and handouts.  However, it is up to the student to be prepared for the lecture.  Discussions are vital to philosophy, not to mention the fact that you have 2 options: 1) I can talk for 5 hours each session or 2) there can be a lively discussion about questions and topics you care about from the reading that are germane to the course material.  The choice is yours. 

Class Assessment:



There will be 2 test given in this class.  They should fall on the days scheduled in this syllabus, however, I cannot promise this.  I will tell you at the end of the night if there will be a test the following week and answer any questions you have about it from the review.  Any time you miss a class or even a portion of a class it is your responsibility to get notes from someone in the class and ask them about upcoming tests. 

The test will probably consist of multiple-choice questions, true/false, fill in the blank and matching, and probably a few essay questions. Each test is worth 100 points and 45% of your final grade & will be taken on a scantron, which, you provide.

The test will be given at the beginning of class and you will have 1 hour 15 mins. for the test.  If you miss the test given in class there will be a 25 point deduction from test grade.  If not taken by the start of class, one week after the test was given, I will not grade the test.  I cannot stress how much of a problem it is for all involved when you miss a test, and therefore you should be in class when they are given.

Only in cases of death of a loved one, personal illness or military orders will I consider revoking any point deduction & due date, AND documentation with a date on it will be required.  I reserve the right to make the final decision on any and all cases involving a missed tests and point deductions.  You should email me prior to the test if you feel you might miss it, if not before the test, asap after because if you wait till the week after the test you will have failed it.  Test must be taken before I give it in class in any case where you knew you would not be able to make it, there will be no point deductions for test taken early. 


There will be about 4-5 quizzes given during the semester.  These quizzes are simply a pass/fail quiz making up the remaining 10% of your final grade.  There will be 10 multiple-choice, true/false, matching or fill in the blank questions on the quiz, if you miss more than 4 you will fail the quiz.  There will be no make up quizzes given, and they will only be given at the beginning of class.  This is to help ensure your attendance and on-time-ness.  These can be given any day of the week, and will probably consist mostly of material spoken on during the prior class session, but will also cover some content which, you should have read for that class period.  These questions will also help prepare you for the tests, as they will be made of the same style and type questions.


Student grades will be determined according to the following breakdown and scale:

                                                Exams:                                       90%

                                                Quizzes:                                     10%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Quizzes cannot be made up or taken late.  They will only be given at the start of the class session.  Test have one week to be made up and there will be a point deduction.  See test section for more details.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Attendance and contribution is necessary to gain the full experience of an education.  Therefore, students are required to attend each class session.  However, I realize that you are adults and can make your own decisions and so an absence is understandable.  With that said missing more than 1 class sessions will be considered excessive and may result in the student being withdrawn from the class as stated in the Student Handbook. While you are required to be in class your children and cell phones are not suppose to be as illustrated in the handbook.  I cannot stress enough how much it will irritate me if I catch you texting or on Facebook in the middle of my lecture (or anything else).  Please do not disrespect me or your classmates by doing this.  Do not be surprised if I ask you to step outside and finish your texting.  Also, while in my class I expect you to be working on my material and not another classes, please do not work on anything in my class that is not germane to my class.  Please be prepared to have lively discussions in class, to do this you must read before you come.  No listening to music either. 


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Day1: Pre-Socratics & Plato 217 & 380

Day2: Plato 343 & 743 & Aristotle 114

Day3: Augustine & Anselm 15-17

Day4: Aquinas (Handout), Paley 31, Ockham Razor & Pascal Wager 48

Day5: TEST! Descartes 351, 553 & Locke 512

Day6: Hume 422 & Kant 105 & Mill 77

Day7: Nietzsche (Handout), Heidegger & Sartre 748

Day8: TEST & Conversation

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93
While all work is scheduled to be done in class, situations may change due to weather or other events.  Any form of cheating or plagiarism in or outside of class will receive a zero on the assignment and you will be turned into the office.

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, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. 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".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

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:7/12/2011 2:26:36 PM