Introduction to Philosophy
Fall 2018

Click here for the syllabus.

Scroll to bottom for newest entry.  Please check this page frequently for announcements, assignments, web links of interest, and so on.

To begin with, here are some sites you ought to get to know.  Our department web site includes this list of student research tools (with some amusements at the bottom).

Why is philosophy important at all?  Socrates offers one answer in the "Apology," or "Defense Speech of Socrates," which is in our textbook.  He explains there that "the unexamined life is not worth living."  Here is another approach to thinking about the value of philosophy: Ayn Rand's essay  "Philosophy: Who Needs It?", based on a speech she made to the senior class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1974.  Note that the answer is "everyone."  This essay isn't so much a plug for her own views as much as a plug for philosophy generally as a vital activity.  And here's one more take on the importance of philosophy.


Prof. Stephen Hicks on the pre-Socratics and the birth of philosophy.

Regarding the academic honesty policy mentioned in the college catalogue: Why it's wrong to cheat

Max Shulman's short story "Love is a Fallacy" is quite funny, and therefore worth reading, but as an added bonus, its treatment of logical fallacies is accurate and helpful (even if the 1953-era gender stereotypes aren't).  Give it a read.

PART ONE --  I have been told that the bookstore had run out of copies of the assigned textbook.  Two workarounds:  1, I have placed on reserve in Maxwell Library a copy of the previous edition, which will do for now.  Also, the publisher has a series of powerpoints covering the key points.  So, here are the slides for Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, and Chapter 4.
PART TWO -- if you're finding the slides a helpful study tool, here are the slides for Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, and Chapter 11.  (In case we do Chapter 12, here's those also.)
PART THREE -- here are the slides for Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17

Your first midterm exam is Tuesday Oct 16.  Study guide here.  Next: start reading Part 6 (we will do part 5 after part 6, per the syllabus).

PART SIX - here are the slides for Chapter 25, Chapter 27, Chapter 28, Chapter 29
PART FIVE - Chapter 19, Chapter 20, Chapter 22, Chapter 23, Chapter 24

Second midterm exam is Thursday Nov 13th.  Study guide here.  EC opportunity for 2nd midterm is in your email.
For Tuesday 11/20, read chapter 30 of your book.

For Nov 27:   The Artist the Art World Couldn't See by Tom Wolfe and Poetics, Book I by Aristotle.
The Wolfe essay mentions some sculptures, pix are here: Hart More Hart Lin Serra Caro Andre Flavin

Political Philosophy unit: some short videos I made that are relevant: What Are Rights?  Where Do Rights Come From?  Positive vs Negative Rights  Democracy, Tyranny, and Liberty  Equality and Respect  

Your final exam is Tuesday, Dec 18, at 8:00am.  Study guide here.  Tuesday 12/11 is our last class day, which will be a comprehensive review.