PHIL 101 AMU syllabus Introduction to Philosophy American Military University
Course : PHIL101
Title : Introduction to Philosophy Length of Course : 8
Faculty : Prerequisites : N/A
Credit Hours : 3
This course is intended to equip the student with a baseline understanding of issues and concepts that compose the Western philosophic enterprise, and to serve as a point of departure for their further studies in Philosophy.
The course evaluates the main problems of philosophy and the traditional approaches used to resolve those problems. These philosophical problems are approached historically and conceptually – noting both their place in the history of ideas and their philosophical contributions to the field at large. Students are encouraged to examine their own views in light of the traditional approaches. Although students are never required to agree with any position expressed in this class, they are required to demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the ideas presented in the course content.
After successfully completing this course students will be able to:
1. Identify historical beginnings of philosophy and contemporary positions concerning the nature of knowledge and reality;
2. Examine the relevance of language and logic to problems of knowledge and reality;
3. Distinguish the basic concepts of moral and political philosophy;
4. Evaluate arguments for and against the existence of God
5. Evaluate various approaches to the mind-body problem;
6. Evaluate various approaches to the problem of free will.
4.1 Week 1: Introducing Philosophy: What is Philosophy?
Introducing Philosophy: What is Philosophy?Learning Objectives
• Identify the main branches of philosophy.
• Identify the historical beginnings of philosophy.
• Distinguish philosophy from other ways of making sense of the world.
• Demonstrate an understanding of what makes a question philosophical and what “philosophizing” entails.Readings and Resources
See the Readings and Resources in the Week 1 LessonsAssignment(s)
Week 1 Introduction forum
Forum Week 1 Forum
4.2 Week 2: Socrates and Ancient Greek Philosophy
Socrates and Ancient Greek PhilosophyLearning Objectives
• Identify the Pre-Socratic influences on Socrates and Plato
• Identify the historical and philosophical importance of Ancient Greek philosophy and the philosopher, Socrates
• Understand what is meant by the “Socratic Method” of philosophizing
• Evaluate Socrates’ defense of philosophizing and his definition of wisdom
• Understand Socrates’ and Plato’s epistemology, metaphysics and the role of philosophical dialogue.Readings and Resources
See the Readings and Resources in the Week 2 LessonsAssignment(s)
Week 2 Forum
4.3 Week 3: Part 1: Metaphysics and Epistemology: What is real and how do we know?
Part 1: Metaphysics and Epistemology: What is real and how do we know?Learning Objectives
• Identify the ways in which the question “what is real?” is a metaphysical question and how it poses an epistemological problem
• Examine Plato’s and Descartes metaphysics and epistemology
• Analyze the historical context of Descartes’ skepticism and his formulation of rationalism
• Examine the metaphysical implications concerning dualism and the mind-body problems that follow from rationalismReadings and Resources
See the Readings and Resources in the Week 3 LessonsAssignment(s)
Week 3 Forum
4.4 Week 4: Part 2: Metaphysics and Epistemology: What is real and how do we know?
Part 2: Metaphysics and Epistemology: What is real and how do we know?Learning Objectives
• Examine empiricism and some of its main philosophical proponents in history.
• Identify Locke’s theory of knowledge.
• Identify Kant’s constructivist approach to the problem of knowledge.
• Examine the relationship between empiricism, constructivism, and the limits of knowledge and how these relate to science.Readings and Resources
See the Readings and Resources in the Week 4 LessonsAssignments
Week 4 Forum
Philosophical Essay Outline
4.5 Week 5: Philosophy of Religion: The Question of God
Philosophy of Religion: The Question of God.Learning Objectives
• Examine the definitions of atheism, agnosticism, and theism.
• Identify the philosophical arguments for the existence of God: Ontological, Cosmological, Teleological.
• Identify the philosophical issues associated with the conception of God and the problem omniscience and free will, and the problem of suffering and evil.Readings and Resources
See the Readings and Resources in the Week 5 LessonsAssignments
Week 5 Forum
4.6 Week 6: Part 1: Ethics and Moral Philosophy: What’s the Right Thing to Do?
Part 1: Ethics and Moral Philosophy: What’s the Right Thing to Do?Learning Objectives
• Examine the historical development of ethics.
• Distinguish between moral relativism and moral objectivism.
• Identify and evaluate the Divine Command theory of morality.
• Identify and evaluate secular perspectives on morality without the God.Readings and Resources
See the Readings and Resources in the Week 6 LessonsAssignments
Week 6 Forum
4.7 Week 7: Part 2: Ethics and Moral Philosophy: What’s the Right Thing to Do?
Part 2: Ethics and Moral Philosophy: What’s the Right Thing to Do?Learning Objectives
• Identify Utilitarian moral reasoning and the problems that arise from its application.
• Examine and evaluate Kantian ethics and the implications that arise from its application.
• Compare and contrast consequentialistic with non-consequentialistic moral theoriesReadings and Resources
See the Readings and Resources in the Week 7 LessonsAssignments
Week 7 Forums
4.8 Week 8: Social and Political Philosophy
Social and Political PhilosophyLearning Objectives
• Identify the historical development of Social and Political Philosophy and its connections to and differences from moral philosophy
• Examine the various formulations of Social Contract Theory
• Identify the assumptions about human nature in formulations of the Social Contract TheoryReadings and Resources
See the Readings and Resources in the Week 8 LessonsAssignments
Week 8 Forum
|Week 1 Forum – Introduction||5.56 %|
|Week 1 Forum||5.56 %|
|Week 2 Forum||5.56 %|
|Week 3 Forum||5.56 %|
|Week 4 Forum||5.56 %|
|Week 5 Forum||5.56 %|
|Week 6 Forum||5.56 %|
|Week 7 Forum||5.56 %|
|Week 8 Forum||5.56 %|
|Philosophical Essay Outline||20.00 %|
|Week 4 – Philosophical Essay Outline||20.00 %|
|Philosophical Essay||30.00 %|
|Week 7 – Philosophical Essay||30.00 %|
Book Title: Introduction to Philosophy-E-book link provided inside the classroomAuthor: PecorinoPublication Info: Open Web SourcesISBN: PHIL101-NTMO
The readings for this course are a composition of web-based sources and public domain texts. The Course Outline in the syllabus has links for all course readings and videos. PowerPoint lecture notes and Podcasts can be found under the COURSE MATERIALS tab for the corresponding week.
7. Course Guidelines
Citation and Reference Style
- Students will follow MLA format as the sole citation and reference style used in written assignments submitted as part of coursework to the Humanities Department.
- Please note that no formal citation style is graded on forum assignments in the School of Arts & Humanities—only attribution of sources (please see details regarding forum communication below).
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School of Arts & Humanities Late Policy
Students are expected to submit classroom assignments by the posted due date and to complete the course according to the published class schedule. As adults, students, and working professionals, I understand you must manage competing demands on your time. Should you need additional time to complete an assignment, please contact me before the due date so we can discuss the situation and determine an acceptable resolution.
Work posted or submitted after the assignment due date will be reduced by 10% of the potential total score possible for each day late up to a total of five days, including forum posts/replies, quizzes, and assignments. Beginning on the sixth day late through the end of the course, late work, including forum posts/replies, quizzes, and assignments, will be accepted with a grade reduction of 50% of the potential total score earned.
Turn It In
Assignments are automatically submitted to Turnitin.com within the course. Turnitin.com will analyze an assignment submission and report a similarity score. Your assignment submission is automatically processed through the assignments area of the course when you submit your work.
Academic Dishonesty incorporates more than plagiarism, which is using the work of others without citation. Academic dishonesty includes any use of content purchased or retrieved from web services such as CourseHero.com or Scribd. Additionally, allowing your work to be placed on such web services is academic dishonesty, as it is enabling the dishonesty of others. The copy and pasting of content from any web page, without citation as a direct quote, is academic dishonesty. When in doubt, do not copy/paste, and always cite.
- Some assignments may have very specific requirements for formatting (such as font, margins, etc) and submission file type (such as .docx, .pdf, etc). See the assignment instructions for details. In general, standard file types such as those associated with Microsoft Office are preferred, unless otherwise specified.
- It is the student’s responsibility to ensure the all submitted work can be accessed and opened by the instructor.
Course content may vary from the outline to meet the needs of a particular group or class.
Communicating on the Forum
- Forums are the heart of the interaction in this course. The more engaged and lively the exchanges, the more interesting and fun the course will be. Only substantive comments will receive credit. Although there is a final posting day/time after which the instructor will grade and provide feedback, it is not sufficient to wait until the last day to contribute your comments/questions on the forum. The purpose of the forums is to actively participate in an on-going discussion about the assigned content.
- “Substantive” means comments that contribute something new and important to the discussion. Thus a message that simply says “I agree” is not substantive. A substantive comment contributes a new idea or perspective, a good follow-up question to a point made, offers a response to a question, provides an example or illustration of a key point, points out an inconsistency in an argument, etc.
- As a class, if we run into conflicting view points, we must respect each individual’s own opinion. Hateful and hurtful comments towards other individuals, students, groups, peoples, and/or societies will not be tolerated.
- Students must post a response to the weekly forums prompt and post the required number of replies to other students – refer to the grading rubric and/or forum instructions for specific expectations on number of replies and word count requirements.
- The main response to the forum is due mid-week – refer to the grading rubric and/or forum instructions for specific expectations. Late main response posts to a forum may not be accepted without prior instructor approval.
- Replies must be posted in the week due and replies after the end of the each week may not be graded.