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Phil101 Syllabus for CUNY Pathways


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  • 1. PHIL 101: INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHYGeneral EducationFlexible Core-D Individual and SocietyNo pre- or co-requisitesCOURSE DESCRIPTIONStudies the basic issues and traditions in philosophy. Thinkers include Socrates, Plato,Descartes, Kant, Rawls. Issues include the soul, truth, god, reality, knowledge, ethics, mind,freedom, religion, and social and political thought. Developing skills of critical analysis anddialectical thinking, students will be able to identify traditional and current issues in philosophy.FLEXIBLE CORE AREA AND LEARNING OUTCOMES-INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETYStudents will:1. Gather, interpret, and assess information from a variety of sources and points ofview.2. Evaluate evidence and arguments critically or analytically.3. Produce well-reasoned written or oral arguments using evidence to supportconclusions.4. Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a discipline orinterdisciplinary field exploring the relationship between the individual and society,including, but not limited to, anthropology, communications, cultural studies, history,journalism, philosophy, political science, psychology, public affairs, religion, andsociology.5. Examine how an individual’s place in society affects experiences, values, or choices.6. Articulate and assess ethical views and their underlying premises.7. Articulate ethical uses of data and other information resources to respond toproblems and questions.8. Identify and engage with local, national, or global trends or ideologies, and analyze theirimpact on individual or collective decision-making.This course will address Learning Outcomes 1,2,3,4,6 and 7.DISCIPLINE-SPECIFIC LEARNING OBJECTIVESA. Identify some of the basic content in the field of Philosophy (vocabulary, concepts, theories);B. Identify traditional and current Issues in Philosophy;C. Communicate awareness of and understanding of philosophical issues;D. Demonstrate familiarity with the main areas of philosophic discourse and be able to statewhat major schools of thought there are that have contributed to the ongoing discussion ofthese issues;E. Develop skills of critical analysis and dialectical thinking; andF. Analyze and respond to the comments of other students regarding philosophical issues.REQUIRED TEXTPecorino, Philip A. An Introduction to Philosophy. 2010. [available free online at]
  • 2. OPTIONAL TEXTSNote: any previous edition or used edition will do.Soccio, Douglas. Archetypes of Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy. 6th ed. Belmont, CA:Thomson Wadsworth, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0495007074 [$147.00]Great Dialogues of Plato. Ed. H.D Rouse. New York, NY: Signet, 2008. ISBN-13:978-0451530851 [$6.95]Weston, Anthony. A Rulebook for Arguments. 4th ed. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett PublishingCompany, 2009. ISBN-13: 978-0872209541 [$7.95]ASSIGNMENTSQuizzes (4 x 2 points) 8%Discussion Board Participation (4 x 6 points) 24%Formal Essays (4 x 12 points) 48%Essay Exams (4 x 5 points) 20%Total 100%GRADING94-100 A90-93 A-87-89 B+84-86 B80-83 B-77-79 C+74-76 C70-73 C-60-69 D59 and below FWRITING ASSIGNMENTSThis course requires a lot of writing. Students should expect to spend several hours each workmaking outlines, proofreading, revising, drafting, etc. This, of course, is in addition to the timerequired to read and review the text, and participate in online discussions. Each learning modulealso features a formal essay, a timed quiz, and a timed essay exam. If you are a weak writer, orare unfamiliar with structuring persuasive essays, you should purchase and read the optionalWeston text.Quizzes: Each learning module has a quiz that comprises 5 short answer questions designed totest the extent to which students have internalized the material from the lesson. Quizzes aretimed and must be completed in 15 minutes. The quizzes assess Flexible Core LearningOutcome 4 and Discipline-Specific Learning Objectives A and B.PHIL 101/PAGE-2
  • 3. Discussion Boards: Each learning module has a discussion board that requires students tothink critically about topics from the lessons, as well as criticize, comment, and expand upon theposts of other students. Initial posts should be a paragraph or two, and should be approximately200 words. Replies may be limited to a few sentences but should be approximately 100 words.A detailed grading rubric for the discussion board is provided on the course Blackboard site. TheDiscussion Boards assess Flexible Core Learning Outcomes 3,4,6 and 7, and Discipline-Specific Learning Objectives C,D,E and F.Formal Essays: Each learning module has a short, formal essay that requires students toexplore, articulate and assess views presented in the readings with regard to the underlyingpremises discussed. Students will have to cite evidence to support their arguments, and applyexplicit ethical principles and values when selecting a position. Detailed grading rubrics for eachessay are provided on the course Blackboard site. The Formal Essays assess all Flexible CoreLearning Outcomes, and Discipline-Specific Learning Objectives A,B,C,D and E.Essay Exams: Each learning module has a timed essay exam that requires students toexplore, articulate and assess a selected topic. Detailed grading rubrics for each essay areprovided on the course Blackboard site. The Formal Essays assess Flexible Core LearningOutcomes 2,4,6 and 7, and Discipline-Specific Learning Objectives C,D,E.ACCESSIBILITY AND ACCOMMODATIONSThe CUNY School of Professional Studies is firmly committed to making higher educationaccessible to students with disabilities by removing architectural barriers and providingprograms and support services necessary for them to benefit from the instruction and resourcesof the University. Early planning is essential for many of the resources and accommodationsprovided. Please see: ETIQUETTE AND ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICYThe University strictly prohibits the use of University online resources or facilities, includingBlackboard, for the purpose of harassment of any individual or for the posting of any materialthat is scandalous, libelous, offensive or otherwise against the University’s policies. Please see: INTEGRITYAcademic dishonesty is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Cheating, forgery, plagiarismand collusion in dishonest acts undermine the educational mission of the City University of NewYork and the students personal and intellectual growth. Please see: SUPPORT SERVICESIf you need any additional help, please visit Student Support Services: 101/PAGE-3
  • 4. SCHEDULENOTE: This course is divided into four learning modules, each approximately 4 weeks long.Individual reading assignments and more detailed descriptions of each unit’s objectives areposted to the class Blackboard site.Module 1Lesson 1: IntroductionLesson 2: The Greeks: The Origins of Philosophy in the WestLesson 3: Philosophy of Religion and the Problem of GodQuiz 1Remember to address the Discussion Board promptsFormal Essay 1Exam 1Module 2Lesson 4: MetaphysicsLesson 5: EpistemologyLesson 6: The Mind-Body ProblemQuiz 2Remember to address the Discussion Board promptsFormal Essay 2Exam 2Module 3Lesson 7: Freedom and DeterminismLesson 8: EthicsLesson 9: Social PhilosophyQuiz 3Remember to address the Discussion Board promptsFormal Essay 3Exam 3Module 4Lesson 10: Political PhilosophyLesson 11: Philosophy of ArtLesson 12: ConclusionQuiz 4Remember to address the Discussion Board promptsFormal Essay 4Exam 4PHIL 101/PAGE-4