PHI 100 Introduction to Philosophy Fall, 2000
MWF 8:30-9:20; 10:30-11:20
Professor Louise Carroll Keeley
Office: Founders 303; Phone: x 7548
Office Hours: T/Th 8:55-11:25, 1-2:45; M 12:35-2:05
Course Goal: The purpose of this class is to introduce the student to three major thinkers in the Western philosophical tradition: Plato, Descartes, and Kierkegaard. Through their study we hope to illuminate various aspects of that tradition of which they are a part. In general, all three thinkers are interested in the fundamental questions of human life--the kind of questions that continue to preoccupy us today. What kind of life is worth living? What is human goodness? What can I know about myself and the world? What happens when I die? Does God exist? What does it mean to have a relationship with God?
This course is designed to encourage the student’s development of three skills: reading, writing, and analysis. This aspect of the class will be discussed in more detail in my introductory remarks. Keep in mind that it is imperative to read each assignment before it is discussed in class and then to read it again, preferably twice, after the lecture.
Plato, The Trial and Death of Socrates, pub. Hackett (includes Euthyphro , Apology , Crito , and the death scene from Phaedo )
Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, pub. Hackett
Kierkegaard, A Kierkegaard Anthology, ed. Bretall (includes selections from Kierkegaard’s aesthetic, ethical, and religious stages)
1. Brief, reflective essay on Plato, 3-4 pages, typed. Due September 11, 2000. (15%)
2. Plato Exam: September 27, 2000 (15%)
3. Descartes: Exam #1: October 16, 2000 (15%)
4. Descartes: Exam #2: November 3, 2000 (15%)
5. Kierkegaard essay, 3-4 pages, typed. Due November 17, 2000 (15%)
6. Kierkegaard Exam: December 4, 2000
7. Cumulative final exam: to be scheduled by Registrar (10%). The final exam will be an essay exam. You will have a choice of two or three topics. It will be graded on a simple letter basis.
Notes on Policy:
1. Students are expected to attend class. Failure to do so (more than three unexcused absences) will be reflected in your final grade.
2. All assignments must be submitted on their due date during class time. Late papers will be marked down one grade for each day they are overdue. Students will not be permitted to make up exams at a later date unless they have an excused absence that has been arranged with me in advance of the exam date.
3. All students are expected to participate actively in class. Mere presence is not
enough--you must be prepared to say something thoughtful about the text.
4. The syllabus clearly indicates what percentage of the final grade correlates to each assignment. Grades will be assigned with these figures in mind but other factors, including attendance and participation (but not limited to them) may also be considered in the determination of the final grade.
8/28: Introduction: Course overview and expectations; What is philosophy?
8/30: Read Plato’s Apology: The Case for the Examined Life
9/1: Apology, cont.
9/4: Apology, cont.
9/6: Apology, cont.
9/8: Read Plato’s Euthyphro
9/11: Euthyphro, cont. Plato paper due
9/13: Euthyphro, cont.
9/15: Euthyphro, cont.
9/18: Euthyphro, cont.
9/20: Euthyphro, cont.
9/22: Euthyphro, cont.
9/25: Read the Death Scene from Phaedo: How true philosophers are “half dead’
9/27: Exam on Plato
9/29: Read Descartes, Meditation I
10/2: Med. I, cont.
10/4: Med. I, cont.
10/6: Read Descartes, Meditation II
10/9: Columbus Day Holiday
10/11: Med. II, cont.
10/13: Med. II, cont.
10/16: Descartes Exam I
10/18: Read Descartes, Meditation III
10/20: Med. III, cont.
10/23: Med. III, cont.
10/25: Med. III, cont.
10/27: Read Descartes, Meditation IV
10/30: Read Descartes, Meditation VI
11/1: Med. VI, cont.
11/3: Descartes Exam II
11/6: From Descartes’ Certainty to Kierkegaard’s Objective Uncertainty: Read “Diary of a Seducer,” pp. 36-80.
11/8: “Diary,” cont.
11/10: “Diary,” cont.
11/13: “Diary,” cont.
11/15: “Diary,” cont.
11/17: Kierkegaard’s Ethical stage: Read “Equilibrium between the Aesthetic and the Ethical in the Composition of the Personality,” pp. 97-108. Kierkegaard paper due.
11/20: “Equilibrium,” cont.
11/22 and 11/24: Thanksgiving Holiday
11/27: Kierkegaard’s Religious Stage: Read selections from Works of Love in Bretall.
11/29: Works of Love, cont.
12/1: Works of Love, cont.
12/4: Kierkegaard Exam
12/6: Final Day of Class; Review for Final Exam.