PH101 Intro to Philosophical Thinking

for S2Z 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


PH 101 Intro to Philosophical Thinking


S2Z 2012 ML


Duckworth, Patricia G.


adjunct faculty


BA, University of Sioux Falls
MDiv, Central Baptist Theological Seminary
PHD candidate, International Baptist Theological Seminary/University of Wales

Office Hours

by appointment

Daytime Phone


E-Mail, preferred

Semester Dates

March 19 - May 13, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

7:45 - 10:15 PM

Credit Hours



Christian, James L.   Philosophy: an Introduction to the Art of Wondering. 10th  ed.  Belmont,CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2009.

Additional Resources:

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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 values the student's world view as well as his/her personal experiences and values.  Lectures, reading, tests, group discussions, critical thinking papers, internet, and videos are tools which broaden a student's understanding and thinking about philosophy and life issues.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. explore general understanding of philosophy and ways of thinking about life;
  2. discuss their ideas with others and read/discuss some of philosophy's classic ideas;
  3. be challenged to ask "hard questions" and then seek to find at least temporary answers;
  4. discuss understandings of how life and philosophy affect each other;
  5. define some of the basic terms used in philosophy;
  6. read about some of the ideas of the significant thinkers;
  7. apply philosophical insights to real life situations.
Class Assessment:
  • assigned reading in the text
  • 6 tests (100 points each - at least 3 of which will be take home tests)  
  • class participation (100 points)
  • completion of 4 response papers; 1-2 pages each (50 points each)
  • participation in the "Socractic Final" (100 points)


The total number of points earned during the course will be divided by the maximum number possible. The final grade will be determined on the following percentage scale:
100 - 90 = A
  89 - 80 = B
  79 - 70 = C
 - 60 = D
  59 - 0 = F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
All papers are to be submitted in prescribed form. Late papers are discouraged. Late papers will be accepted when prior arrangements have been made with the instructor and for reasons of illness or unscheduled work/duty. Late papers which are accepted are subject to a late penalty (5% of the total possible).

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Students are expected to actively participate in classroom activities, demonstrate respect for others in speech and behavior, and explore ideas openly and honestly.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

      1(t)     Mar 20             Introductions 
                                         The World Riddle (1-1)
                                         Critical Analysis (1-3)

The Condition and the Odyssey

      2(th)   Mar 22               Predicament / Illusion (2-1)
                                           Self / Autonomy     (2-2)
                                           Critical Response paper 1 due                                                           
      3(t)     Mar 27              Change / Growth     (2-3)
                                           Life / Time (2-4) as follows:

All the World’s a Stage

Mapping a Life/Time

The Ground Plan

The Shriek of Ivan Ilytch


        4(th)   Mar 29            Knowledge (3-1)
                                          Test #1 (Unit #1)

The Real World: Knowing and Unknowing

      5(t)     Apr 3                   Sense and Reality (3-2)
                                             The Pragmatic Mind (3-3)                                                                                   
      6(th)   Apr   6               Truth (3-4)
                                           Psyche / Soma (4-4)
                                           Critical Response paper 2 due

The Inner World: The Fantastic Journey

      7(t)     Apr 10                Past / Present / Future (4-2)
                                            Freedom / Choice (4-3)
                                            Symbols / Communication (4-4)
                                            Test #2 (Units #2-3)

Coexistence: Man's Love / Hate Condition

      8 (th) Apr 12                History / Meaning (5-1)
                                           Laws / Conscience (5-2) 
      9(t)     Apr 17               Lifestyles (5-3)
                                           Politics (5-4)
                                           Test #3 (Unit #4)

The Protoplasmic Venture                                                                                       

      10(th) Apr 19                Life (6-1)
                                            Humans (6-2)
                                                     Albert Schweitzer
      11(t)   Apr 24              Knowledge of Nature (7-1)
                                          Test #4 (Unit #5)

Of Ultimate Concern

      12(th) Apr 26              Of Ultimate Concern (8-1) 
                                          Response paper 3 due
      13(t)    May 1              Ultimate Reality (8-2)
                                          Test #5 (Unit #6-7)
      14(th) May 3               Death / Immortality (8-3)
                                          Response paper 4 due 

      15(t)    May 8              Meaning Existence (8-4)

      16(th) May 10             Test #6    (Unit #8)

                                                   'Socratic Final'

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
ATTENDANCE:  Students are required to attend class.  A maximum of 1 unexcused absence is allowed.  (Unexcused in generally defined as work-related or due to illness.) If a student misses more than one class for an unexcused reason, the final letter grade will be dropped one letter for each additional day missed.  Students are responsible for reporting absences to instructor, prior to class if at all possible.

If students must miss more than four classes due to work/duty related issues, additional work in the form of additional critical response papers will be assigned.  Students need to negotiate this with the instructor in advance and/or during the term so that work is completed by the end of the term.

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: .

Additional Information:

For information on Critical Response papers, please see  attachments or view materials available through the eCollege connection with this course after the beginning of the term.  


Critical response paper format


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Last Updated:2/21/2012 2:27:59 PM