PH101 Intro to Philosophical Thinking

for F2HH 2011

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PH 101 Intro to Philosophical Thinking


F2HH 2011 PA


Vaughan, David K.


Adjunct Professor


BS, Engineering Sciences, US Air Force Academy, 1962
MA, English, University of Michigan, 1969
PhD, English, University of Washington, 1974

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

16 October-11 December 2011

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 10:30 PM

Credit Hours


Robert Woolf, About Philosophy (10th ed), published by Prentice Hall (2008). Abbreviated in the course schedule as AP. ISBN:  978-0-205-64518-3

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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 broadestfashion. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor’s educational philosophy is to establish an atmosphere of interaction in the classroom and to encourage interest and inquiry towards the subject.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain the derivations and interrelationships of major philosophical ideas;
  2. Describe and understand the following terms: metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, categorical imperative, utilitarianism, social determinism, existentialism;
  3. Demonstrate acceptable proficiency in developing and expressing the processes and results of logical reasoning;
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in explaining basic philosophical ideas and concepts in oral and written form.
Class Assessment:
The following assessment will be used in the course: Threaded Discussion Responses; Homework Questions; Quizzes; Final Examination; Course Paper; Class participation. 


The grade in the course will be derived from grades earned on the following assignments: Threaded Discussion Responses, 12%; Homework Questions, 18%; Quizzes, 24%; Final Examination, 30%; Course Paper, 10%, Class participation, 6%. 
 The Discussion Topics will be accomplished online every week of the course, regardless of whether the course meets in the classroom or not. Homework Questions will be accomplished every week and should be submitted through the online course dropbox, regardless of whether the course meets in the classroom or not. Homework questions will be listed online as well as on paper copies distributed in class. The six quizzes (which are open book) will be completed online. The final examination (which will be open book, open notes) will be taken in class during the final class meeting (week 8). The course paper should be submitted through the online course dropbox. Information about the course paper will be provided during the in-class course meetings and will be posted online as well. 

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Homework, papers, or tests completed late will be penalized 10% of the earned score unless absence was excused. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Because this is a Blended Class, a variety of course policies will apply; some pertain to classroom procedures; others pertain to online procedures. Blended courses offer students some flexibility in their schedules, but some important course policies will apply.  

In class: The five in-class sessions will consist of a combination of lecture and class discussion. Students are expected to arrive on time and remain in class for the full period of time. Only official travel or illness is considered an excused absence, both of which must be supported by written documentation. According to Park University policy, two consecutive unexcused absences will result in administrative withdrawal from the course with a resulting grade of "F."   Students should notify the instructor if they expect to be absent from class, and they should arrange to obtain information and instructions pertaining to class assignments which were given out during their absence. Plagiarism (the intentional use of the work of others without giving appropriate acknowledgment) will result in a failing grade for the assignment. Homework, papers, or tests completed late will be penalized 10% of the earned score unless absence was excused. Cell phones and pagers should be turned off while class is in session.   

Online: There are three online classes. Students will be expected participate in all online activities for the course, which will be indicated in the eCompanion online course listing. Very important: Attendance for the online segments of the course (the 3rd, 5th, and 7th class meetings) will be taken for the one-week period starting from midnight of the day on which the previous in-class meeting was held to midnight of the day on which the class meeting would have taken place if the class had been held in the classroom. Since this class is scheduled to be held on Wednesday evenings, the class period for the online portion of the class would run from midnight on one Wednesday night to midnight of the following Wednesday. Students will be expected to log on to the online classroom at least once during that one-week period and accomplish all course-related tasks during that week. If the student does not log on to the course site during that one-week period, the student will be considered to have been absent from that class. All assignments for the online segments of the class must be completed during that same one-week period; any assignment completed after that one-week period will be considered as being completed late and the 10% late penalty will apply. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
19 Oct     Introduction                         AP, Ch 1 (pp. 1-32)     In Class

26 Oct     Theory of Knowledge          AP, Ch 2 (pp. 48-78)    In Class          

02 Nov     Philosophy of Art                AP, Ch 7 (pp. 304-326)    Online          

09 Nov     Philosophy of Science         AP, Ch 4 (pp. 128-146)    In Class        
16 Nov     Ethics                                 AP, Ch 5 (pp. 158-189)    Online             

23 Nov     Social and Political Philosophy    AP, Ch 6 (pp. 246-286)  In Class     

30 Nov     Philosophy of Religion          AP, Ch 8 (pp. 348-379)    Online                
07 Dec      Review; Final Exam; Course Paper due     In Class

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

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:9/13/2011 8:55:27 PM