INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY I & II[1]

Briercrest College

PHI100 & PHI101

 

Joel L. From, Ph.D.                                                               Office: Room # 132

Fall/Winter 2009-2010                                                             Office Hours: By Appointment

3 Credit Hours per Semester                                                  Office Phone: 756-3203

<jfrom@briercrest.ca>                                                           Home Phone: 756-2847

Web-page: www.joelfrom.com

 

 

COURSE TEXTBOOKS:

 

First Philosophy: Fundamental Problems and Readings in Philosophy. Edited by Andrew Bailey. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2002.  ISBN: 1551113600 (used for both PHI100 and PHI101)

 

Course Package: Each student is required to purchase an Introduction to Philosophy course package (one per semester) from the bookstore.

 

Class Notes: Each student is required to purchase a voucher for the Introduction to Philosophy in-class notes (one per semester) at the bookstore. The notes will be distributed in class throughout the term.

 

Quick Reference Format Guide 2009-2010: Each student is required to have a copy of the current Briercrest College Format Guide.

 

 

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

 

A.      Cognitive Objectives

 

          1.       To develop competence in reading philosophically

          2.       To provide a foundation for understanding contemporary thought and society

          3.       To encourage reflexive awareness of one’s own thought and language

          4.       To challenge the pervasive view of philosophy as a type of discourse

 

B.      Affective Objectives

 

          1.       To cause the student to feel the force of well-crafted arguments, especially when they differ from his or her own view

          2.       To help the student appreciate the beauty of new and penetrating insights

          3.       To initiate the student into the realm of fundamental ideas

          4.       To form the student towards philosophy as a way of life

 

C.      Skill Development Objectives

 

1.       To facilitate argument reconstruction, analysis, and composition

2.             To assist the student in detecting and appreciating sound reasoning

3.             To encourage reading with historical and conceptual understanding


COURSE REQUIREMENTS: (PHI100)

 

A.      Each student will read the Required Readings prior to the relevant class session. Unannounced quizzes will be given in class. Quizzes will cover the required readings for that particular day. 

          Value:          15%

 

B.      Each student will submit two Argument Summaries. (The relevant readings are indicated by underscoring and bolding in the Required Readings.) Argument Summaries (750 to 1000 words) clearly show the logical structure or chain of reasoning which the author uses to support his thesis. Please do not add your editorial or evaluative comments. Please do not quote the author; use your own words. You must submit an argument summary of the Descartes reading; for your remaining summary, you may choose between the Hempel and Campbell readings. Summaries submitted after the beginning of class on their due date will not be accepted.

          Due:            Descartes—Sept. 21; Hempel—Nov. 9; Campbell—Dec. 9

          Value:          15% (times 2) = 30%

 

C.      Each student will build a Portfolio of her/his essays submitted in this course. Please submit your portfolio with each written assignment. Please only paperclip your papers together—no duotangs or folders. Please also include the original, marked-up copy of your previous papers with the portfolio. With the exception of your first summary, papers submitted without a portfolio will not be accepted.

 

D.      Each student will write a Midterm Exam on November 4, 2009 and a Final Exam (as scheduled by the Registrar). The Midterm is worth 25%, and the Final, 30% of the final grade.

 

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: (PHI101)

 

A.      Each student will read the Required Readings prior to the relevant class session. Unannounced quizzes will be given in class. Quizzes will cover the required readings for that particular day.

           Value:         10%

 

B.      Each student will submit Argument Summaries for two selected readings (The readings are indicated by underscoring and bolding in the Required Readings). See B. (above) for further details. Summaries submitted after the beginning of class on their due date will not be accepted.

          Due:            Feuerbach—February 22; Hobbes—April 5

          Value:          10% (times 2) = 20%

 

C.      Each student will write a Thesis Defense Paper (2000+ words) dealing with a substantive philosophical issue. It is very important that your paper argue a philosophical thesis; it must seek to persuade your reader to adopt a certain viewpoint with respect to your topic. Please do not merely chronicle what others have said. Your instructor will distribute further guidelines for writing your essay.

          Value:          25%                                Due Date:    March 31, 2010

 

D.           Each student will build a Portfolio of her/his essays submitted in this course.  Please follow the guidelines given above for your first semester portfolio.

 

E.      Each student will write a Midterm Exam on March 1st and a Final Exam (as scheduled by the Registrar). The Midterm is worth 20%. The Final is worth 25%.


COURSE OUTLINE AND REQUIRED READINGS:

 

FIRST  SEMESTER (PHI100)

 

Unit

Section Title

Required Readings

 

 

 

Unit 1.

INTRODUCTION

 

  I.

Why Study Philosophy?

“The Garden of Eden” [CP]

“The Top Hat” [CP]

  II.

What is Philosophy?

"What is Philosophy,” [FP], 1-5

“Questions and Perspectives,” [CP]

 

 

 

Unit 2.

EPISTEMOLOGY

 

  I.

Intro: Theories of Perception

 

  II.

Rationalism

Argument Summary: R. Descartes, "First and Second Meditations," [FP], 147-54

Also read [FP], 137-47; 154-76

  III.

Empiricism

 

    A.

John Locke

A. Bailey, [FP], 176-82

J. Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, [CP]

    B.

George Berkeley

G. Berkeley, "Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous,” [FP], 195-221

    C.

David Hume

D. Hume, "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding,” [FP], 275-88

  IV.

Phenomenalism

I. Kant, “Critique of Pure Reason,” [FP], 222-40

 

Unit 3.

PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE

 

  I.

Induction, Confirmation, and Invention

Argument Summary: C. Hempel, “Scientific Inquiry: Invention and Test,” [FP], 314-24

  II.

Conjectures and Refutations

K. Popper, “Science: Conjectures and Refutations,” [FP], 325-52

  III.

Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice

T. Kuhn, “Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice,” [FP], 369-87

 

Unit 4.

METAPHYSICS

 

  I.

Form-Matter Dualism—Plato

Plato, “The Role of Perception in Knowing,” [CP]

  II.

Kant’s Critique of Metaphysics

S. Stumpf, “Kant: Critical Mediator . . . “ [CP]

  III.

Romanticism

[No Required Reading]

  IV.

Free Will and Determinism

 

    A.

Introduction

 

    B.

Strict Determinism

Baron d’Holbach, “Determinism Rules Out Free Will,” [CP]

    C.

Compatibilism

S. Wolf, “Sanity and the Metaphysics of Responsibility,” [FP], 563-75

    D.

Libertarianism

Argument Summary: C. A. Campbell, “Free Will Rules Out Determinism,” [FP], 508-22


 

 

        SECOND

SEMESTER (PHI101)

 

 

 

Unit 5.

PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION

 

  I.

Introduction

[No Required Reading]

  II.

Arguments for God’s Existence

 

     A.

Ontological Arguments

Anselm, “Proslogion,” [FP], 19-26

     B.

Cosmological Arguments

Aquinas, “Summa Theologiae,” [FP], 36-47

     C.

Religious Experience

W. Stace, “The Nature of Mysticism,” [CP]

M. Peterson et al., “Religious Experience . . . ,” [CP]

  III.

The Problems of Evil

 

     A.

Introduction

 

     B.

The Logical Problem

J. L. Mackie, “Evil and Omnipotence,” [FP], 104-14

     C.

The Evidential Problems

[No Required Reading]

  IV.

The Problem of Miracles

D. Hume, “Of Miracles,” [CP]

  V.

The Rationality of Religious Belief

W. K. Clifford, “The Ethics of Belief,” [CP]

  VI.

Transcendental Anthropology

Argument Summary: L. Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, [CP]

 

 

 

Unit 6.

ETHICS

 

  I.

Intro: Is Ethics Even Possible?

J. Rachels, “The Psychological and Ethical Egoism,” [CP]

  II.

Meta-Ethics

 

  III.

Normative Ethics

 

    A.

Virtue Ethics

Aristotle, “The Nicomachean Ethics,” [FP], 613-33

    B.

Deontological Theories

I. Kant, “Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals,” [FP], 634-66

    C.

Teleological Theories

J. S. Mill, "Utilitarianism," [FP], 667-702

  IV.

Moral Particularism

A. Oldenquist, "Loyalties," [CP]

 

 

 

 Unit 7.

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

 

  I.

Classic Realism

Plato, “Republic,” [FP], 597-612

  II.

Positivism

Argument Summary: T. Hobbes, Leviathan, [FP], 760-64 and 771-78; omit chapter XV, 764-71

  III.

Liberalism

J. Locke, "Limited Government: The Natural Rights Approach," [CP]

J. J. Rousseau, "The Social Compact," [CP]

 

 

 


BIBLIOGRAPHY

          (Materials Used Directly in the Course)

 

Alston, William P. Perceiving God: The Epistemology of Religious Experience. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991.

 

Anselm, St. Proslogion. Reprinted in First Philosophy, 19-35.

 

Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologiae. Excerpted in First Philosophy, 36-47.

 

Aristotle. The Nicomachean Ethics. Excerpted in First Philosophy, 613-33.

 

Bailey, Andrew. “What is Philosophy?” In First Philosophy, 1-5.

 

Berkeley, George. “Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous.” Reprinted in First Philosophy, 195-221.

 

Campbell, C. A. "Free Will Rules Out Determinism." From Lecture IX, "Has the Self 'Free Will'?" On Selfhood and Godhood (1957). Reprinted in First Philosophy, 508-22.

 

Clifford, W.K. "The Ethics of Belief." Reprinted in Philosophy: Paradox and Discovery, 80-96.

 

Descartes, Rene. "First and Second Meditations." Reprinted in First Philosophy, 147-54.

 

d'Holbach, Baron. "Determinism Rules Out Free Will." Excerpted from Chapter XI of The System of Nature [1770]. Translated by H. D. Robinson. Reprinted in The Problems of Philosophy, 403-13.

 

The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Edited by Paul Edwards. 8 vols. New York: Macmillan/The Free Press, 1967.

 

Faith and Rationality: Reason and Belief in God. Edited by Alvin Plantinga and Nicholas Wolterstorff.  Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983.

 

Feuerbach, Ludwig. The Essence of Christianity. Translated by George Eliot. New York: Harper & Row, 1957, 1-32.

 

First Philosophy: Fundamental Problems and Readings in Philosophy. Edited by Andrew Bailey. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2002.

 

Gaarder, Jostein. “The Garden of Eden.” In Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy. Translated by Paulette Moller. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994.

 

Gaarder, Jostein. “The Top Hat.” In Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy. Translated by Paulette Moller. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994.

 

Hadot, Pierre. “Questions and Perspectives.” Chapter 12 in What is Ancient Philosophy? Translated by Michael Chase. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002.

 

Hakim, Albert. Historical Introduction to Philosophy. 2nd ed. Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan Canada, 1992.

 

Hempel, Carl. “Scientific Inquiry: Invention and Test.” Reprinted in First Philosophy, 314-24.

 

Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. Excerpted in First Philosophy, 749-78.

 

Hume, David. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Excerpted in First Philosophy, 275-88.

 

Hume, David. "Of Miracles." Reprinted in Philosophy of Religion, 384-92.

 

An Introduction to Ethics. Robert E. Dewey and Robert H. Hurlbutt III, eds. New York: Macmillan Pub. Co., 1977.

 

Jones, W. T. A History of Western Philosophy, 2nd ed. 4 vols. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1975.

 

Kant, Immanuel. Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. Excerpted in First Philosophy, 634-66.

 

Kuhn, Thomas. “Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice.” Reprinted in First Philosophy, 369-87.

 

Locke, John. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Excerpted in Hakim, Historical Introduction to Philosophy, 441-56.

 

________. "Limited Government: The Natural Rights Approach." Reprinted in Philosophy: Paradox and Discovery, 389-97.

 

Mackie, J. L. "Evil and Omnipotence." Mind  64 (1955). Reprinted in First Philosophy, 104-14.

 

Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels. The Communist Manifesto. Excerpted in First Philosophy, 824-46.

 

Mavrodes, George. Belief in God. New York: Random House, 1970.

 

Mill, J. S. Utilitarianism. Excerpted in First Philosophy, 667-702.

 

Moral Problems: A Collection of Philosophical Essays. 2nd ed. James Rachels, ed. New York: Harper and Row, 1975.

 

Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis. Steven Katz, ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.

 

Oldenquist, Andrew. "Loyalties." The Journal of Philosophy 79 (April 1982): 173-93.

 

Perspectives in Social Philosophy. Robert Beck, ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1967.

 

Peterson, Michael et al. “Religious Experience: What Does It Mean to Encounter the Divine?” In Reason and Religious Belief: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. 3rd ed. Michael Peterson et al., ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

 

Plato. "The Role of Perception in Knowing." Excerpted in Philosophy: Paradox and Discovery, 152-66.

 

Plato. Republic. Excerpted in First Philosophy, 597-612.

 

Philosophy for a New Generation. A. K. Bierman and James Gould, eds. 4th ed. New York: Macmillan Pub. Co., 1981.

 

Philosophy of Religion. William Rowe and William Wainwright, eds. New York: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1973.

 

Philosophy: Paradox and Discovery. 4th ed. Thomas Shipka and Arthur Minton, eds. New York: McGraw-Hill Pub. Co., 1996.

 

Popper, Karl. “Science: Conjectures and Refutations.” In First Philosophy, 325-52.

 

The Problems of Philosophy. William Alston and Richard Brandt, eds. 3rd ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1982.

 

Rachels, James. "The Psychological and Ethical Egoism." Reprinted in Philosophy for a New Generation, 58-66.

 

Rousseau, J. J. "The Social Compact." Excerpted from The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right. Reprinted in Perspectives in Social Philosophy, 146-54.

 

Stace, Walter. "The Nature of Mysticism." Reprinted in Philosophy of Religion, 264-79.

 

Stumpf, Samuel E. "Kant: Critical Mediator . . . " In Socrates to Sartre: A History of Philosophy, 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1975.

 

Wolf, Susan. “Sanity and the Metaphysics of Responsibility.” Reprinted in First Philosophy, 563-75.


Course Package

PHI101

 (Listed in Order of Classroom Use)

 

 

Stace, Walter. "The Nature of Mysticism." Reprinted in Philosophy of Religion. Edited by William Rowe and William Wainwright. New York: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1973, 264-79.

 

Peterson, Michael et al. “Religious Experience: What Does It Mean to Encounter the Divine?” In Reason and Religious Belief: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. 3d ed. Edited by Michael Peterson et al. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003, 15-38.

 

Hume, David. "Of Miracles." Reprinted in Philosophy of Religion. Edited by William Rowe and William Wainwright. New York: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, 1973, 384-92.

 

Clifford, W.K. "The Ethics of Belief." Reprinted in Philosophy: Paradox and Discovery. 4th ed. Edited by Thomas Shipka and Arthur Minton. New York: McGraw-Hill Pub. Co., 1996, 80-95.

 

Feuerbach, Ludwig. The Essence of Christianity. Translated by George Eliot. New York: Harper & Row, 1957, 10-21.

 

Rachels, James. "The Psychological and Ethical Egoism." Reprinted in Philosophy for a New Generation. Edited by A. K. Bierman and James Gould. 4th ed. New York: Macmillan Pub. Co., 1981, 58-66.

 

Oldenquist, Andrew. "Loyalties." The Journal of Philosophy 79 (April 1982): 173-93.

 

Locke, John. "Limited Government: The Natural Rights Approach." Reprinted in Philosophy: Paradox and Discovery. 4th ed. Edited by Thomas Shipka and Arthur Minton. New York: McGraw-Hill Pub. Co., 1996, 389-97.

 

Rousseau, J. J. "The Social Compact." Excerpted from The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right. Reprinted in Perspectives in Social Philosophy. Edited by Robert Beck. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1967, 146-54.

 

 

 

Sample Student Paper:

 

Coutts, Joshua. “The Proper Basicality of Belief in God: A Defence of Alvin Plantinga Against Richard Grigg.”

 



[1]Course content, requirements, and examinations are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.