Philosophy 201: Introduction to Philosophy
Hardman/Jacob UG Learning Center 230
Jean-Paul Vessel email@example.com
J-P's Office: Breland 324
J-P's Office Hours: Tuesday 2:45-4:15 PM, and by appt.
David's Office Hours: Wednesday 2:00-3:30 PM on the Second Floor of the Corbett Center, and by appt.
What the heck is philosophy anyway? And what role--if any--does logic play in responsible philosophical inquiry?
This is the official PHIL 201 web site. Here you will
find the syllabus, handouts, study guides, reading assignments, written
homework assignments, news, and other relevant information. I'll try to
keep this thing up to date, but no guarantees! Suggestions and comments
are most welcome, whether you are a PHIL 201 student or a visitor. Please
News and Assignments (The "Living"
- Interview Our Assistant Mini-Quiz: Introduce yourself to David in person. Interview him a bit. Ask him three to five questions. Let him know about any concerns you might have regarding your prospects for success in the course. Type up the questions and responses, print out a hard copy of them, and deliver them to me. Make sure that the spelling, punctuation, style, usage, and syntax are clean. This mini-quiz must be submitted to me no later than 10:20 AM on Tuesday, January 30. No late mini-quizzes will be accepted.
- Here's access to your Take Home Plagiarism Mini-Quiz. Go to this site: https://www.indiana.edu/~academy/firstPrinciples/index.html. (Or you can go to the old site: https://www.indiana.edu/~istd/plagiarism_test.html.) Take one of the tests. Keep taking the test until you earn a certificate of completion. Print out the certificate and deliver it to me by 10:20 AM on Tuesday, January 30. You will receive a pass on your plagiarism mini-quiz if I receive your certificate by the due date. You will receive a fail if I do not. If you don't have a complete grasp of the nature of plagiarism, take advantages of the resources in the menu on the side of the plagiarism test page and learn all about it. I will not accept any take-home assignments from people who fail to deliver a plagiarism certificate to me.
- First Reading Assignments: A few
selections from your text Ultimate Questions (3rd Ed.): (ii) the sections on
logical consistency, logical possibility, definitions, and counterexamples
from p. 15-24 (2nd Ed. 16-26), (ii) the bit on deductive logic from p. 30-35 (2nd. Ed. 32-38), and (iii) the
short commentary on abductive argumentation, Ockham's Razor, and the Principle
of Conservation from the very bottom of p. 37-39 (2nd Ed. 40-42).
- Please memorize the definition of 'validity' as stated
in the Baby Logic handout. You will be quizzed and tested on this concept
(perhaps even multiple times).
- Tues., Jan. 23: Logic is on the way. You must master the
logic to succeed in (or even pass) this course. Please bring a hard copy of
the Baby Logic handout to class. Be able to write down the definition of the term valid. You can find the definition in the Baby Logic handout.
- Welcome Students! Please obtain copies of Ultimate Questions: Thinking About Philosophy by
N. Ch. Rauhut, Meditations on First Philosophy by R. Descartes, and
Introduction to Philosophy edited by Fred Feldman. The texts should be available at the NMSU Bookstore. Feel free to use either the second or third edition of Ultimate Questions: Thinking About Philosophy by
N. Ch. Rauhut. Used second edition copies are reasonably priced at amazon.com.
- Please take a look at the Baby Logic
handout below; in fact, please print out the handout and bring it to class.
Try to get a grasp of the concepts of validity and soundness. Become familiar
with the basic forms of valid inference. Give "A Note on Conditionals"
a close read. Please bring a hard copy of the Baby
Logic handout to class for at least the first two weeks.
- Consider reading through Improving Academic Writing (especially in Philosophy) and Bruce
Aune's "Punctuation and Syntax". (You should probably print
out a copy of it.) Contained within the document are style constraints to
which you must adhere if you hope to write in an acceptable, professional
manner. It's long, dry, and not all that philosophical--but I know you can
get through it.
J-P's Philosophy Pages
Critical Thinking By Example
NMSU Philosophy Department
Improving Academic Writing (especially in Philosophy)
Astronomy Picture of the Day