Home (click here for the RSU Homepage)
INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY
A historical introduction to philosophy, mainly Western, but including world traditions, which examines the thought of major philosophers and explores the traditional questions of philosophy about the nature of reality, knowledge, values, and humanity. Humanities elective.
We will read and discuss philosophical classics in order to explore enduring philosophical issues, particularly the question "Why philosophize?"
By the end of the course, you will have a thorough understanding of the major ideas of some of the most important Western philosophers. More importantly, however, you will be in a much better position to understand who you are, what you believe, and why—if you take advantage of the opportunity.
Classics of Philosophy, Louis P. Pojman. Oxford Univ. Press.
The book is available at the RSU Bookstore in Claremore
This course will emphasize discussion and writing. I will regularly suggest questions pertaining to the material we will be discussing in the following class. Students should come to class prepared to address these questions. Always bring to class the book we are discussing.
There will be five two-page critical essays, an in-class midterm exam, and a final exam. Papers, midterm, discussion, and final will all count equally in determining the final grade (i.e., each will count for 1/8th of the final grade).
All essays must be typed and double-spaced, with margins of 1.25 inches. Unexcused late work will be penalized 10% per day. All essays are due at the beginning of the class period. In general, each essay is due the first class period after we finish discussing the work or philosopher in question (see below). Further details on the nature of these essays, as well as of the midterm and final exams, will be given in class.
This may seem like a great deal of writing, particularly for an introductory course. The readings, while generally short, are often challenging. Understand, though, that philosophy is something that you as the student must engage in, an activity to be embraced rather than a list of facts to be digested. This requires a good deal of work on your part, but it is well worth it.