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Introduction to Philosophy – PHIL 1100-02

Fall 2017: MWF 9:20AM-10:27AM

Location: Mathematics and Science Center 120
Instructor: Professor John Park
Phone: (248) 370-2163
Office: 646 Mathematics and Science Center
Office Hours: MWF 10:45AM-1145AM and by appointment

Course Description

This class will be a general survey of Philosophy. We will examine whether there is
objective morality or not, how we should live our lives, the existence of God, the nature
of the mind, the appearance and reality distinction, what makes us the same person across
time, and whether or not there is free will. It will be run as a "Philosophy & Film" class
where we will be watching numerous popular films in class to help introduce and learn
about fundamental philosophical issues.

Goals for students enrolled in this course

 Comprehend the ideas of philosophers from history and contemporary times.
 Learn how to critically assess philosophical issues.
 Learn how to clearly articulate one’s ideas orally.

Summary of Requirements

Group Discussion Participation 15%

Group Presentation 10%
3 Tests 25% each

- Informed and Consistent Participation will raise a student’s final grade.

Grading Scale

3.6-4.0 — A
3.0-3.5 — B
2.0-2.9 — C
1.0-1.9 — D
0.0 — no credit


- Reason and Responsibility, 13th edition, Ed. By Joel Feinberg and Russ Shafer-Landau.
- Pdf’s in Moodle.
Classroom policies and procedures
1. Please be on time for class as tardiness is distracting for the teacher and your
2. Students with disabilities who may require special considerations should make an
appointment with campus Disability Support Services. Students should also bring
their needs to my attention immediately. Students who are athletes and who will
miss classes due to athletic competitions must come speak with me immediately.
3. Academic misconduct (e.g., cheating and plagiarism) will not be tolerated.
Oakland University Policy on academic conduct will be strictly followed with
absolutely no exceptions. For clarification, see the catalog under Academic
Policies and Procedures.
4. You are expected to be present for every class unless you have an excused
absence. Every unexcused absence after the first one will result in a 5% grade
deduction from the group discussion participation grade. An absence from a
movie carries a 10% grade deduction from the group discussion participation
grade. An excused absence is when you send me an email before the start of class
regarding an illness or family emergency. Any notification of such an absence
after the start of class will require official documentations such as a doctor’s note.
Continued absences in which you notify me by email before class will require a
doctor’s note for later missed classes. You may email me at any time to find out
your total absences.
5. You are expected to be mentally present in class. Therefore, cell phone use,
texting, sleeping, internet surfing, talking to your classmates outside of group
work, emailing, etc. is incompatible with full participation in class. Laptops are
not allowed in class. Each violation of any behavioral expectation automatically
will result in a 5% grade deduction from the last semester test. You may email me
at any time to find out your total number of violations.
6. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to get class notes from a fellow
classmate, find out about homework, and find out about anything else that was
discussed in your missed class.
7. Any exam that was scheduled at the time of a class cancellation due to inclement
weather will be given at the next class meeting unless contacted by the instructor.
8. If I am late for class, you are expected to wait for 15 minutes after the start of
class time, after which you may leave.

Schedule – Subject to Revision

Week of 9/6: - Introduction & Logic Primer

- Reason & Religious Belief. Anselm of Canterbury; Gaunilo of

Week of 9/11: - Saint Thomas Aquinas, William Paley

- David Hume – Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Part II-Part V
- David Hume – Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Part VI-Part XI
Week of 9/18: - J. L. Mackie
- Morality and Its Critics. Plato – The Immoralist’s Challenge
- Nietzsche

Week of 9/25: - Aristotle

- Kant
- John Stuart Mill

Week of 10/2: - Martha Nussbaum

- Movie
- Movie

Week of 10/9: - Test 1

- Determinism, Free Will, and Responsibility. Ayer, Chisolm.
- Pereboom

Week of 10/16: - Kane

- Nahmias “Scientific Challenges to Free Will” Pdf in Moodle
- Movie

Week of 10/23: - Movie

- Human Knowledge. Roderick Chisolm – The Problem of the
- Bertrand Russell; Rene Descartes (Meditations I and II).

Week of 10/30: - John Locke – The Causal Theory of Perception; G. E. Moore

- George Berkeley; Thomas Reid – Of the Existence of a Material World
- David Hume – An Inquiry concerning Human Understanding (Section

Week of 11/6: - Movie

- Movie
- Mind and Its Place in Nature. Gertler

Week of 11/13: - Test 2

- Jackson
- Carruthers – The Mind is the Brain

Week of 11/20: - Churchland

- Turing
- Thanksgiving Break

Week of 11/27: - Searle

- Movie
- Movie
Week of 12/4: - Locke – The Prince and the Cobbler; Reid – Of Mr. Locke’s Account of
Our Personal Identity
- Hume – The Self; Parfit
- Catch up day & Review

Final Exam or Exam #3 is on December 13, Wednesday 9:20AM