PHILOS 110 Andrew.Jones-Cathcart@canyons.edu
History of Early Philosophy Office: HSLH 326; Phone: 5378
Dr. Andrew Jones-Cathcart Office Hours: MW 10:55 – 12:25
MW 9:30 – 10:50 a.m. and by appointment
SCOH 201 Web: www.canyons.edu/faculty/jonesa
This course surveys, analyzes, and compares the philosophical traditions of ancient Greece, Rome, and the mediaeval period. As such, it covers a wide range of intellectual history (roughly 700 B.C.E. to 1400 C.E.) as developed in the writings of the Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, the Sceptics, the Epicureans, and influential thinkers in the Middle Ages, including Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Abelard, Scotus, Ockham, and Montaigne. Although these thinkers all disagree to varying degrees about what the right answer to certain philosophical questions might be, they virtually all focus on the same sorts of questions that continue to captivate philosophers even now. Examples of these sorts of questions include
· What is reality? What are the ultimate elements out of which reality is composed? Is everything made out of only one type of being or several? What is the difference between appearance and reality?
· How should I act? What is the difference between right and wrong? Is what is right and wrong defined by culture, reason, God? Something else?
· What is the best form of government? What is justice? What must a just society have in order to be truly just?
· What is the relation between the mind and the body? Is there a "soul"? Does "soul" exist after the body perishes?
· Do divine beings exist? If so, can we know that they exist? Or must faith be blind and irrational?
· If an all-powerful, all good god does exist, then why is there evil and suffering in the world?
· What is happiness? Is it possible to be happy in this life?
· What is truth? What is knowledge? Is it possible to know anything at all?
In this class we'll concentrate mainly on problems of value (ethics and politics), reality (metaphysics), and knowledge (epistemology).
Baird, Forrest and Kaufmann, Walter. Philosophical Classics, Vol. I: Ancient Philosophy. 6th ed.
Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2010. ISBN= 978-0205783854
Other required texts, including those covering the mediaeval period, will be available either online or in the form of class handouts.
At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to:
Analyze and evaluate differing philosophical viewpoints about reality, knowledge, ethics, and political philosophy, understood in the context of their development within the history of ancient and mediaeval Western thought.
1. Define the basic method(s) of inquiry used in philosophy;
2. Describe key philosophical figures and concepts in association with their respective historical eras of Western philosophical thought;
3. Construct important relationships between ideas of different philosophers within the same philosophical era, and between the ideas of philosophers from different philosophical eras; and
4. Compare and contrast values and ideas expressed by philosophers in different epochs to the values and ideas expressed in contemporary times
Course Requirements, Policies, and Grade Calculation
· Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the material assigned for that class meeting. This means that all students should read the day's assignment before coming to class. This does not mean that students are expected to master all the material prior to coming to class. In fact, the best philosophy students are often those who come to class with thoughtful questions or ideas about the readings. So take notes when you read! Read actively, not passively, and come to class ready to explore the material! You should expect to read each assignment at least three times: once before class, once again after we've gone over the material (when it's still fresh in your mind), and once again when writing a paper or preparing for a test.
· Class participation will be a factor in a student’s overall grade (see below). Since students must attend class to participate, frequent lateness and/or absenteeism will result in a lower overall grade. In addition, students who are ill-prepared for class, e.g. have not done the reading, do not bring books to class, etc., will have their final averages docked. Furthermore, students who miss class will often find they miss pop-quizzes on the readings (see below), which cannot be made up. Absenteeism is considered excessive if you miss more than three (3) classes. Use these absences wisely; I do not accept excuses for any absences. In addition, students who arrive late to class and wish to be counted as present should speak to the instructor at the end of the class period. This will help avoid unnecessary interruptions of valuable class time.
· Unless students fail to attend on the first day (in which case, you will be dropped from the class), your instructor will assume that you plan to continue with the course even in cases in which you are absent. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are dropped from the course prior to the last drop date.
· If applicable, late papers will be docked one letter grade for each day of the week they are late, e.g. a “B” paper due on a Monday will become a “C” if handed in on that Tuesday, a “D” on that Wednesday, and so on.
· The grade will be factored in the following manner:
§ Paper #1 – 50 points
§ Paper # 2 – 75 points
§ Paper #3 – 75 points
§ Test – 50 points
§ Midterm – 100 points
§ Final – 150 points
§ Pop-Quizzes, Participation, etc. – approx. 50 points
= approx. 550 points
Students should purchase a package of 3x5, white, lined notecards for pop-quizzes. We’ll have between 20 and 30 such quizzes, so purchase enough for this number of quizzes.
· Students are expected to bring the book(s) and, when applicable, the relevant homework, handouts, and/or other printed materials to class. Students who consistently fail to do this will have their final averages docked. Participation requires interaction, preparation and class materials. Students who are not prepared for class will have their final averages docked.
· Students will need to bring Scantron sheets and blue test booklets to class on exam days.
· The tests will consist of definitions of keywords used in class and at least one essay question on a topic read and discussed in class. It is also possible that there will be some short answer questions. Study guides may be posted online prior to taking the tests.
· All tests, including the final, will be comprehensive.
A verified medical emergency or a verified death in the immediate family are the only circumstances in which a makeup for any assignment will be allowed. Students who know in advance that they cannot make it to an examination or hand in work on time must contact the instructor prior to the time the assignment is due in order to determine whether or not a make-up or extension can be granted. Typical acceptable non-emergency situations include jury duty, religious observances, and military orders. Failure to discuss your circumstances with the instructor will result either in a zero for the assignment (in the case of a test) or a reduction in the grade for the assignment (in the case of a late paper; see the section on requirements above).
No form of academic dishonesty, e.g. cheating, plagiarism, etc., will be tolerated. Here is the COC statement on academic dishonesty:
If you do not understand what constitutes dishonesty in an academic setting, please consult your instructor. Here is a recommended internet link resource about one form of academic dishonesty, plagiarism: www.glendale.cc.ca.us/library/research/plagiarism.html.
This link is included here because every student is expected to understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. According to C.O.C. policy, it does not matter whether or not a student commits plagiarism or cheats knowingly; if you are a student at the college-level, you are responsible for insuring that your work is really your work, and not someone else’s. Although completely unnecessary and avoidable, academic dishonesty is a sad reality for some students. All cases of academic dishonesty will be reported to the philosophy department chair, as well as the appropriate C.O.C. dean(s) who will determine what consequences will follow. Plagiarism and/or cheating of any kind typically results in a failing grade for the assignment or course, probation, or even explulsion from the school.
Note: All papers you submit for this class must be properly cited according to a recognized and accepted style. The most common styles for humanities courses are the M.L.A. format, the Chicago style, or the Turabian style. A good online resource for styles can be found at:
No offensive or inappropriate behavior is allowed in class. An atmosphere of mutual respect shall be accorded to all persons in the class at all times. Consistent lateness, absenteeism, talking, eating, sleeping, reading, using electronic devices, and other distracting behavior are all examples of inappropriate and disrespectful conduct. If you have a cell-phone, please either turn it off for the duration of the class or do not bring it to class. Students not observing these rules will be asked to leave class.
What about electronic devices, e.g. mobile phones, iPods, and so on?
If you have a cell-phone, please either turn it off for the duration of the class or do not bring it to class. If I catch a student texting, surfing or using any electronic device in class, that student will need to leave class for the remainder of the class period. If this occurs, any work done in that class, including pop-quizzes, will not be counted. Students may use a computer to take notes with two provisos: 1) you may not sit in the back row with a computer, and 2) you may only use the computer to take notes, not to surf. Again, a warning will be issued to students not following these rules. Students not observing any of these rules will be asked to leave class. On days on which there is a pop-quiz, a student who violates these rules and who is asked to leave class will receive a zero for the day.
Students with Disabilities
Any student with a disability or any other special condition should immediately contact the
appropriate person in Disabled Student Programs and Services (D.S.P.S.) in C-103 in order
to obtain a letter of accommodation to be presented to the instructor. Please do this at the
beginning of the semester. D.S.P.S. can also be reached via phone at (661) 362-3341. Other
information may be obtained at http://www.canyons.edu/offices/dsps/.
Although I encourage students to contact me via email (by far the easiest way of reaching me), I do not accept assignments via email, nor do I accept anything via attachment.
All papers must be stapled and typed. On each page of your papers, your first and last name should appear.
Philosophy is a difficult subject to learn, and these readings require very careful reading (and re-reading). Although some of the assignments may appear short or easy, students are forewarned that simply passively reading assignments without taking notes, coming to class, asking questions, and reflecting on the content is not sufficient for doing well in the class.
Should change become necessary, this syllabus, including the course schedule, is subject to change in order to reflect the specific needs, pacing, and circumstances of this class. Any changes will be announced in class prior to going into effect.
COURSE SCHEDULE, FALL 2011
Monday, August 22:
Topic: Introduction to the Course and Syllabus
-Read Baird's Introduction (1-3) and the chapter on the Milesians (Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes, 8-13) for Wednesday.
Note: Since the textbook may not arrive until early this week, some of the main material from the chapter on Milesian philosophy will be available here:
Topic: Myth and Logos; the search for a unifying theory of the world; some possible initial answers
-Read Baird, pages 12-13 (Anaximenes) and 14-16 (Pythagoras) for Monday.
Some of this material is also available here (in case the textbook has not arrived): Anaximenes: http://www.iep.utm.edu/anaximen/
Topic: Pythagorean philosophy
-Read the chapter on Heraclitus for Wednesday
Topic: Heraclitean Flux
- Read the Parmenides chapter for Wednesday.
Monday 09/05: NO CLASS: LABOR DAY
- Read Zeno, Empedocles and Anaxagoras for Monday.
Topic: Zeno; Pluralism
Wednesday, 09/14: T.B.A.
Monday, 09/19: Democritus and Leucippus;
Wednesday, 9/21: Plato's Euthyphro; PAPER ONE DUE
Monday, 09/26: Democritus and Leucippus
Wednesday, 9/28: Plato's Euthyphro
Monday, 10/3: T.B.A.
Wednesday, 10/5: TEST
Monday, 10/10: Republic Bk I
Wednesday, 10/12: Republic Bk II
Monday, 10/17: Republic, Bks III-V
Wednesday, 10/19: Republic, Bk VI
Monday, 10/24: Plato’s Phaedo.
Wednesday, 10/26: Aristotle, Politics, Bks I, III, and IV
Monday, 10/31: Nichomachean Ethics, Bk I.
Wednesday, 11/2: MIDTERM
Monday, 11/7: Nichomachean Ethics, Bk II and III; PAPER 2 DUE
Wednesday, 11/9: Aristotle on Logic (Categories and On Interpretation)
Monday, 11/14: Finish Aristotle
Wednesday, 11/16: Epicureanism (reading in the Epicurus chapter of the Baird text.)
Monday, 11/21: Stoicism: Marcus Aurelius
Wednesday, 11/23: Scepticism: Pyrhho and Sextus Empiricus
Monday, 11/28: Augustine
Wednesday, 11/30: PAPER 3 DUE; Thomas Aquinas
Monday, 12/5: Concluding remarks on mediaeval philosophy
Wednesday, 12/7: FINAL