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Ethics and Politics, East and West: An Introduction to Philosophy

Time: Tue 10:30–12:20 Location: KB223 Dr. Chris Fraser January – April 2013

PHIL1034 Basic Information
• Instructor: Chris Fraser, Department of Philosophy - Office: 1006 Shaw Tower; office hours by appointment - Email: - Web: • Tutors: Tim Li (, Frank Chong ( • Discussion forum: • Course download page: (password: PHIL1034HKU2013) - Lecture notes and readings - Assignments and tutorial questions • All readings available online


Course Objectives
• Introduce field of philosophy - Major subfields - Selected philosophical issues - Methods and techniques • Basic training in norms of philosophical discourse - Logic and critical thinking - Interpretation and evaluation of others’ views - Spoken and written expression • Compare Chinese and Western traditions - Introduce selected important philosophers from each - Compare similarities and differences in issues and solutions • Broaden horizons, critical thinking - Stimulate thinking about issues - Consider range of viewpoints - Critical, fair evaluation


Introduction: 3 weeks . Introduction: What is philosophy? 2.Do assigned reading before each lecture ! Lectures overlap partly but not completely with reading • 5 tutorials (begin in week 5) ..Describe central issues in ethical and political philosophy and major approaches to these issues from the Chinese and Western philosophical traditions .Student Outcomes • Comprehension . and argumentative skills in oral presentation and writing by discussing these issues and theories in written assignments and tutorials • Values . Right and wrong 6.. prepare assigned questions before tutorial . Basic concepts and methods 3. Political authority 7. Why be moral? 4.Questions and discussion in lecture welcome .Demonstrate interpretive.Critically examine a range of positions on and approaches to these issues and identify their strengths and weaknesses • Skills .Describe major fields of philosophy and central concepts in philosophical method .Tutorials focus on discussing assigned questions (each student assigned a question) 6 . The good life 5. • Compare the ideas of selected Chinese and Western philosophers .Important: Do reading. The individual and the state In each unit. we will. analytical.Demonstrate appreciation of the complexity of basic questions in ethical and political philosophy and their relation to individual and social life 4 Course Plan Seven main topics 1.5 major topics ! 2 weeks each .Time for only a small selection • Evaluate these ideas and think about your own views • Examine how our topics are interrelated 5 Course Structure • 13 weeks of class .

5: Strong grasp of issues and texts with clear. etc.5: Shows familiarity with lecture and reading material.Homework and exam questions may be challenging. 20% participation) .Raise questions about points you find unclear • If you don’t understand something. persuasive argument.Do yourself and other students a favor . express well-justified view of your own when appropriate Assignments marked on scale of 0–10: • 9–10: Strong grasp of issues. one per unit) 8 Grading Aim of assignments.) • Course discussion forum . state arguments cogently. or reading • <4 : No sign of having understood the question or done the reading 9 . clear. Tutorial participation (30%: 10% attendance. texts. • 8–8.5: Unclear whether really understood assignment. ask about it .Course Structure (cont. identify strengths/ weaknesses.5 tutorials . lecture. creative formulation.5: Largely accurate understanding of issues and texts • 6–6. persuasive argument • 7–7. and professor . consideration of objections. Online discussion via Google Groups (10%: 2 marks x 5 contributions.Discuss course content with classmates. 3 x 500-word homework assignments (60%) (about one week for each) 2. but missing some important points • 4–5. tutor. extra insight. tutorials: • Explain issues clearly. but you are welcome to ask detailed questions about them 7 Assignments and Weighting Three components: 1.Prepare to discuss assigned questions 3. plus especially effective explanation.

0 line spacing) . classmates.5 pages) (no cover page) • A4 paper size.Include name. • Why is plagiarism wrong? . • But your papers must be your work.It’s unjust (#$%) to use others’ work without giving them credit. rather than by fulfilling the requirements. expressed in your own words.Late Papers • Assignments: Deduct 1 point for each day late 10 Format for Homework Papers • 500 words (1–1.1013 Run Run Shaw Tower .It’s a form of fraud (&') to try to get the benefits of a course or a degree by deception. who trust you to follow the rules. student ID. course name. student ID. assignment # (in top right corner) • Submit printed copy to PHIL1034 box in Philosophy Office(see Ms. . . Li) . 12 . other members of the university. 1-inch margins on all sides • 12-point regular Times New Roman font • Double-spaced lines (2.No extra space or line between paragraphs • Indent first line of each paragraph by 0.It’s disrespectful (#()) to teachers. and assignment # 11 Plagiarism • You are encouraged to discuss assignments with others and to read widely about related topics. Doing so is theft of intellectual property. .5 inches • No footnotes or citations (not a research paper) • Include name.It violates your integrity (#*+) to represent yourself as having achieved something you have not. • Plagiarism (!") is presenting others’ work as if it were yours.

Citation .) • Plagiarism defeats the aims of university education.purdue.Ability to think critically and originally .Plagiarism (cont.http://owl.No need for citations . not research papers .Using others’ exact words or changing them only slightly . conversation • What counts as “using other people’s work”? .html 14 Avoiding Plagiarism (cont. give them credit. classmates. do not borrow phrasing directly from lecture notes. webpage. see these web resources: .Book.Formulate arguments in your own words or use your own examples 15 . . readings.http://www3. and creatively 13 Avoiding Plagiarism • If you use other people’s work. websites.Cite your source using proper citation format . etc.http://writing. .edu/Handbook/DocMLAWorksCited_Book. .Ability to express ideas clearly.Using their original or creative ideas or research results • For information on proper citation format. precisely. article.php?n=Main.) • This course: One-page assignments.

Questions? • Organization? • Objectives? • Assignments? • Grading? • Other organizational issues? . with readings etc.Tutorial arrangements: Sign up next week of the course 16 Syllabus • Detailed syllabus. 17 .