PHILOS 101 - Introduction to Philosophy - Chris Blakey
|Course:||Introduction to Philosophy|
Greetings and hello! My name is Chris Blakey. I have been teaching full-time in the Philosophy Department at COC for about 20 years, and I want to welcome you to PHILOS 101/Introduction to Philosophy! This class will provide you an opportunity to think about some of the most fundamental philosophical questions that have puzzled the greatest minds throughout history. These are questions that are centrally relevant to each of us as human beings and to our place in the world. I think you will find that the questions we discuss are fundamentally relevant to your life, and you will find they are quite fascinating to consider.
Though the sciences have explained much about our world that was previously mysterious, there are some persistent questions that the sciences have been less successful in dealing with. Yet we human beings have found these questions difficult (if not impossible) to ignore. Philosophy grapples with these questions, and most students find such questions to be extremely engaging, and relevant to their lives. These questions include:
- What is philosophy? Is it relevant or useful in today’s world?
- What is knowledge? How do we obtain it?
- Does God exist? Are there reasons for thinking so? If God exists, why is there suffering in the world?
- Do we have free will? Are we responsible for our actions, and for the kind of person we are?
- What is the self? Are we purely physical beings, or is there something more to us?
- What is morality? Can we make moral judgments? Is morality relative?
- What is justice? What does a just society look like?
- What is a good life?
Philosophy seeks reasoned answers to these types of questions. These questions, and others, will be the core of this class, and you will be given the opportunity to wrestle with them and to work out your own reasoned perspective on them.
The questions we focus on will concern the three central branches of philosophy: epistemology (which asks questions about knowledge – what knowledge is and if we can obtain it), metaphysics (which asks questions about the nature of reality), and ethics (which asks questions about the nature of morality). Readings will be from a variety of historical and contemporary sources. Although the bulk of the readings are from the Western philosophical canon, we will have opportunity to discuss touch points with Eastern traditions as well. Thinkers and historical periods in philosophy typically explored in this course include: ancient philosophy (Socrates and Plato), medieval philosophy (Anselm and Thomas Aquinas), modern philosophy (Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Reid, Paley, d’Holbach, and Kant), late modern/nineteenth-century philosophy (Mill, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche), and twentieth-century/contemporary philosophy (James, Stace, Russell, Taylor, Nussbaum, Midgley, Rachels, Nozick, Rawls, and King).
What to Expect in this Course
This course will take place 100% on-line with no face-to-face class meetings. The course will be taught through Canvas. In order take this class, you must have access to a computer, internet services, and COC e-mail. Communications will occur through announcements, e-mail, and other modalities on Canvas . It will be essential that you watch, and take careful notes on, the video lectures that are found in the Modules on Canvas. As with any on-line course, this course will require discipline, organization, reading and participation several days a week (3-4 days a week). Our Canvas course site cannot be accessed until the first day of the semester at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.
Types of Assessments
Online Discussion Forums
Brief Reading Reflections
1 Short Essay
Textbook Information / Link to ZTC Textbook
There is no textbook to purchase for this course. All readings will be available through our Canvas site.
Other Relevant Course Information
Just as in a face-to-face course, you will need to regularly participate in the course by way of doing assigned readings, taking notes, watching video lectures, participating in discussion board activities, etc. It will be essential that you watch, and take careful notes on, the video lectures that are found in the Modules on Canvas. You should count on at least 5-6 hours per week of prep work for this course. Exams will be taken using Canvas and will have the same format as exams in face-to-face courses, and the exams will be timed so you will not be able to look up very much in the process of taking them. You will need to spend time studying and preparing for exams. You will be expected to pay close attention to due dates and instructions for assignments, and to submit assignments on time.
PLEASE NOTE: IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS. In order to avoid being dropped from the class, you must log in to our Canvas site and complete an introductory discussion forum activity by the end of the first day of the semester at 11:59 p.m. I will be sending out an email the week prior to the beginning of the semester with further information.
Note: This is not a complete syllabus, but only an orientation letter. The complete syllabus will be available within Canvas at the start of the semester.
This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at https://coc.instructure.com. Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:
- CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex: email@example.com)
- CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password
Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.
The Learning Center (TLC)
The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!
Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)
College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.
The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.
Management of Stress and Mental Health
College of the Canyons cares about your emotional and physical health. Learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including free counseling and mental health services available during this time by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center website or by calling them at: 661-362-3259.
The National Suicide Lifeline number is 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK). Please call it if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress - it could save someone's life.
You can also use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. It's free, available 24/7, and confidential.
Veterans Resource Center
The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (661) 362-3469.
The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!
Last updated: 06/28/2021 Sub#: 316