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Introduction to Philosophy

IA101
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Fall 2014

Instructor Information
Daniel Hartner, Ph.D.
Email: hartner@rose-hulman.edu
Office: Moench Hall C 203
Office phone: (812) 877-8747
Office hours: by appointment

Course Information
Course #: IA101 Introduction to Philosophy
Term: September 3 November 13
Day/Time: M/R
11:45-1:30 (Section 1) and T/F 11:45-1:30 (Section 2)
Room: Olin Hall O-105

3 Required Materials
You are required to bring all of these things to all course meetings:
(1) Perry, Bratman, and Fischer (eds). Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and
Contemporary Readings, 6th ed. Oxford University Press.
(2) Printed Articles: All additional required articles are posted to the course website.

4 Course Synopsis
This course is a topical introduction to philosophy focusing primarily on the Western
analytic tradition. We will explore a representative sample of philosophical disputes, both
classic and contemporary. Students will read original philosophical texts and learn to
formulate and analyze arguments.

Learning Objectives
You will learn to assess, and formulate, sophisticated arguments in response to the
following questions:
1. What is philosophy? What makes a question philosophical?
2. What methods do philosophers use to address philosophical problems?
3. How can I tell the difference between a good argument and a bad argument?
4. Does God exist?
5. What does it mean to know something? Where does knowledge come from?
6. What is a mind? How is it different from the brain?
7. What does it mean for an organism to be conscious?
Can science access
consciousness?
8. Are there moral facts?
9. Is the unequal distribution of goods in society morally acceptable?

SYLLABUS: INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY

10. Does the moral worth of an action depend strictly on its consequences? Do intentions
matter?

Course Policies: The Rules


1. You must have printed paper copies of the required readings at each meeting
2. Behave like an educated professional or leave
3. All communication, especially by email, must be professional
(E.g., Dear Dr. Hartner, Hi, Professor Hartner, Sincerely, etc.)

Assignments & Grading

Review Papers (x 4)
80% total
o There are a total of 8 opportunities; the average of your best 4 will constitute
your final grade in the course; Note that papers marked with an asterisk (*) are
required for everyone (i.e., RP1 and RP8 are required for everyone)

Exams (x 2)
20% total
o Exam 1 will be given at roughly the halfway point of the term, covering roughly
weeks 1-5; Exam 2 will be given at the end of the term, covering roughly weeks
6-10; Exams are a mix of multiple choice, short answer, and short written essay
questions

Academic Honesty
Any kind of cheating (e.g., academic dishonesty, plagiarism, cheating on the attendance
roster, etc.) will result in a grade of 0/100 on the compromised assignment and a letter of
academic misconduct. The second case will result in automatic failure of the course and an
additional letter of academic misconduct.
Plagiarism is the act of passing off someone elses work as your own. Any time you use an
idea, even when you paraphrase or summarize that idea, you are required to cite its
author, no matter where you find it (e.g., in a book, the Internet, an article, a Web blog,
Wikipedia, etc.). Failure to cite quotations, paraphrasing without citing sources, or any
other variation on stealing someone elses work constitutes plagiarism and will be
penalized accordingly.

Course Calendar
The weekly schedule of readings and assignments is below. The calendar is subject to
revision. Paper topics are given at the start of the relevant week; the due date for the
paper is given in bold. Papers are always due, typed, printed, stapled, and fully prepared
for submission at the start of the class period.

Wk

Date

Unit

Topic

Reading
Assignment

Assignment

R/F
Sept 4-5

I. Philosophy

What is
philosophy?

PBF pp. 3-8


Russell, The Value
of Philosophy (1821)

M/T
Sept 7-8

II. Critical
Thinking

How to do
philosophy

PBF 9-14
PBF 15-17

Whyte, The Right


to Your Opinion
(PDF)
Anselm, The
Ontological
Argument (42)
Gaunilo, An
Answer to Anselm
(PDF)
Aquinas, The
Existence of God
(42-45)

R/F
Sept 1011
M/T
Sept 1415

III. God &


Religion

Theological
arguments

R/F
Sept 1718

Challenges

M/T
Sept 2122

IV.
Epistemology

Rationalism

R/F
Sept 2425

Empiricism

M/T
Sept 2829
R/F
Oct 1-2

Skepticism
about induction

*RP1: Is
philosophy a
matter of
opinion?

*RP 1 due
RP 2: Has
Gods
existence
been proven
by argument?
Could it be?

Whyte, Thank
you, Lord, for
Making me Likely
(PDF)
Russell, Why I am
Not a Christian
(55-58)
Soccio, Overview
of Modern
Themes (PDF
247-251)
Soccio on
Descartes (PDF
253-268)
Descartes
Meditations: I & II
(136-141)
Soccio on Locke &
Berkeley (PDF 281292)
Soccio on David
Hume (PDF 292305)
Salmon, The
Problem of
Induction (1; II.2;
III)
Introduction to
Philosophy of Mind
(239-46)

RP 2 due
RP3: Is the
foundation of
knowledge
reason or
experience?

RP3 due
RP 4: What is
the mind

SYLLABUS: INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY

Descartes
Meditations I, II,
and VI

made of?

From Dualism
to Behaviorism

Ryle, Descartes
Myth (251-8)

Exam 1

R/F
Oct 8-9

Fall Break

Fall Break

M/T
Oct 1213

Physicalism

R/F
Oct 1516
M/T
Oct 1920

No Meeting

Armstrong, The
Nature of Mind
(259-66)
Churchland,
Eliminative
Materialism (28084)
No Meeting

Consciousness

Nagel, What is it
Like to be a Bat?
(PDF)

Jackson, What
Mary Didnt Know
(320-23)

Ducking Harm
and Sacrificing
Others (838)
Rachels,
Subjectivism in
Ethics (PDF)
Mackie, The
Subjectivity of
Values (708-19)
Rawls, A Theory
of Justice (57285)

M/T
Oct 5-6

R/F
Oct 2223
M/T
Oct 2627

V. The MindBody Problem

VI.
Consciousness

VII. Ethics

Metaethics

R/F
Oct 2930

M/T
Nov 2-3

RP 4 due
RP 5: Can
science
explain
consciousnes
s?

RP 5 due
RP 6: Are
there moral
facts?

RP 6 due
RP 7: Are
inequalities in
the
distribution of
primary
goods morally
acceptable?

10

R/F
Nov 5-6

Justice and
Equality

Nozick, Justice
and Entitlement
(585-592)

M/T
Nov 9-10

Normative
Theories:
Utilitarianism

The Trolley
Problem (837-8)
Bentham, The
Principle of Utility
(457-60)
Carritt, Criticisms
of Utilitarianism
(477-79)

RP 7 due
*RP 8: Are
consequence
s all that
matter in
moral
evaluation?

Velleman, A Brief
Introduction to
Kantian Ethics
(537)

Exam 2

11

R/F
Nov 1213

Deontology

Nov 16

Exam Week:
No Class

Exam Week: No Class

*RP 8 due

SYLLABUS: INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY