Sample Syllabus: Introduction to the History of the Philosophy – Plato and Aristotle

1. Method & Course Description -----------------------------Study of the history of philosophy is important both in terms of scholarship and because of its usefulness in understanding current debates in the discipline. In this course, we study, for the most part, the works of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato and his student Aristotle. The works of these figures were obviously products of the intellectual environment of the Hellenic world, but the philosophical method begun by Plato’s teacher Socrates (and preserved in writing by Plato) is what we use today in analytic philosophy, and so an examination of its beginning is of utmost relevance. We will read selected dialogues of Plato (Euthyphro, Theaetetus, Meno and Phaedo) and a selection from Aristotle (selections from the Categories, Metaphysics, Prior Analytics, Nicomachean Ethics and Politics) along with some secondary literature whose targets are Plato and Aristotle. Grades are based on attendance and participation, performance on four papers of 1000 (or 1500) words and performance on an optional final paper. 2. Instructor Information ------------------------Dr. Jesse Butler <dept. info> <contact info> <office hour info> Appointments: Please set up an appointment if you're confused about something, need help getting started on an assignment or would like to receive feedback for what you've written. 3. Course Information --------------------A. Meeting Places & Times ------------------------<MTWRF> B. Texts -------Required -------Plato Collected Works (trans.) (CW) e-Packet including works by Aristotle and secondary readings (CP) [Collected Works is on reserve -- visit the Library circulation desk.] <time> <place>


Sample Syllabus: Introduction to the History of the Philosophy – Plato and Aristotle
C. Grades --------In order to pass this course, students (1) must complete four papers of at least 1000 (or 1500) words each and (2) must accumulate at least 60 ”points”. Points are awarded for each of these four completed papers, attendance and participation and an optional final paper. Letter grades are assigned based on the number of points a student earns during the semester according to the following scheme: 90+ 85 80 75 70 60 Less Points........A 89 Points........B+ 84 Points........B 79 Points........C+ 74 Points........C 69 Points........D that 60 Points...E

Points are awarded according to the following scheme: + + + + Each of the four papers is graded out of 15 points. The optional final paper is graded out of 15 points. For each period a student attends on time, 1 point is awarded. For each period for which a student is late, no points are awarded or subtracted. + For each period during which a student is absent, 1 point is subtracted. i. Written Work --------------To receive any credit for a paper, the student’s response must (a) be written in clear, cohesive and grammatical English. (b) address, in a straightforward way, the issue raised by the prompt. (c) contain a bare minimum of quoted material (* AT MOST 10% * of the total number of words of the assignment can be quotation). (d) be original work (not plagiarized). If a submission fails to satisfy any of (a)-(d) then no credit will be awarded. ii. Example Grade Calculation: Willard -------------------------------------Willard attends 34 class meetings on time, is late twice and is absent six times. He submits each of the four required papers and earns the following scores on them (each is out of 15): 9, 11, 12, 13. He submits the optional final paper and earns a 12 (also out of 15). What is Willard’s final grade? +(34 * 1) +(2 * 0) +(6 * (-1)) +9 +11 (= 34, for attending on time) (= 0, for attending late) (= -6, for not attending) (first paper) (second paper)


Sample Syllabus: Introduction to the History of the Philosophy – Plato and Aristotle
+12 (third paper) +13 (fourth paper) +12 (optional final paper) ----85 points = B+ D. Further Feedback and Comments on Written Work -----------------------------------------------If you'd like further discussion of what you've written, please set up an appointment to talk about your work. E. Classroom Conduct -------------------(1) We'll engage in discussion for much of our class time. In order to have a productive discussion, only one person may speak at a time. (2) Please be on time to class. (3) Please silence your cell phones before class. If your phone rings, don't answer it. (4) Anyone disrupting will be asked to leave. F. E-Mail Policy ---------------Only e-mails that are concise and relevant will receive a response. Don't expect an immediate answer. G. Academic Assistance ---------------------Free tutoring is available. Individual instruction to help improve reading and writing skills is available from the Reading and Writing Center. H. Special Needs ------------Students requesting special accommodations must first register with the Dean of Students Office. I. Tentative Schedule --------------------(Week 1) (Week 2) (Week 3) (Week 4) CW: Euthyphro, CP: “The Socratic Elenchus” G. Vlastos CW: Euthyphro cont’d, CP: “Socrates’ Disavowal of Knowledge” G. Vlastos CW: Theaetetus, CP: “The Theory of Forms” CW: Theaetetus cont’d, CP: “The Logic of the Third Man”


Sample Syllabus: Introduction to the History of the Philosophy – Plato and Aristotle
(Week 5) (Week 6) (Week 7) (Week 8) (Week 9) CW: Meno, CP: “Platonic Recollection” Dominic Scott CW: Phaedo. CP: Aristotle Categories CP: Aristotle Categories cont’d, Metaphysics CP: Aristotle Metaphysics cont’d

(Week 10) CP: Aristotle Prior Analytics (Week 11) CP: Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics (Week 12) CP: Aristotle Nicomachean Ethics cont’d, Politics (Week 13) CP: Aristotle Politics cont’d (Week 14) One Legacy of Plato and Aristotle in Analytic Philosophy: Concepts and Epistemology (Week 15) One Legacy of Plato and Aristotle in Analytic Philosophy: Modality: Platonic Realism versus Truth in Virtue of Meaning


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