|Schedules||Textbooks||Course Description||Course Rationale|
|Student Objectives||Grades-How & Why||Course Values||Assignments|
This course meets Thursday evenings from 6:30 until 9:30. We normally meet in computer room OZU 119.
My office is located in the new Ozuna LRC building, room 201b. My office phone number is 210/921-5069. My office hours are Mondays and Wednesdays 1:00 to 5:00. If you need to see me at another time, please call for an appointment.
Roots of Wisdom, by Helen Buss Mitchell.
In addition to the textbook (Mitchell), we shall also read a variety of book excerpts, articles, and materials on the Internet. All readings not in the textbook or on the Internet will be available in the library, on reserve at the circulation desk. Feel free to use them in the library, or make copies and take home.
Catalog Description of This Course:
"A study of fundamental questions of human existence from theoretically diverse perspectives. Topics may include the nature of reality, truth, morality, freedom, God, and social and political theory."
Catalog Description of This Course:
The purpose of this course is "to teach students how to think well, to introduce them to the significance and pervasiveness of values, and to give them the opportunity to study some of the great texts created by the human mind. The development of critical and analytical thinking skills will prepare students for success in almost any field, but especially in industry, business, government, or entrance into graduate programs in law, business, computer science, theology, and philosophy" (UTSA Application to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for BA in Philosophy).
At the end of the semester, you (the student) will...
1. understand what makes something a philosophical question, issue, or conversation;
2. be familiar with the history of philosophy, the great philosophers and the issues with which they were concerned;
3. be able to question, analyze and evaluate philosophical ideas and positions in an educated manner;
4. be able to differentiate between deductive and inductive reasoning;
5. know those factors which differentiate critical thinking;
6. be able to identify the common fallacies in others' arguments and lines of reasoning.
Your work will be evaluated, and a grade assigned for the semester, based on the following elements:
|Weekly quizzes on reading assignments & lectures||40%|
|Group project, presentation of research||15%|
|Group decision-making activities reported to listserv||10%|
|Two oral group debates||15%|
|Class participation (speaking up, involvement w/ group)||10%|
|Final comprehensive exam||10%|
Progress--success--in this course will require a grasp--and practice--of the basic values of the field of philosophy. They are:
COURAGE-- Do you dare to question ideas you have always believed? Do you dare to venture into ways of thinking you have never done before?
CLARITY -- Can you express ideas, whether your own or someone else's, in a clear and simple way? Do you choose words, construct sentences and paragraphs in ways that convey your meaning easily?
ACCURACY -- Are you willing to work at correctly understanding what someone else is saying and their reasons for saying it? Are you willing to demand of others that they give viable reasons for their statements?
CONSISTENCY -- Do your ideas hang together? Do you realize when you are contradicting yourself? Are you able to find your way out of such a contradiction?
CREATIVITY -- Do you express the ideas of others in your own words? Do you go beyond the ideas of others to those of your own? Do you make a connection you have never made before?
DEPTH -- Do you dive beneath the surface of initial questions and ideas to find the assumptions and further questions underneath? Do you refuse to settle for the first answer that comes along? Do you ask why?
INTEGRITY--The writing and speaking you do in this class must be your own. Do not copy what you write directly from the textbook, another book, or another person unless you give them proper credit. If caught plagiarizing, you will receive an F for the course. In this and every class you take, you are being asked to learn to WRITE AND SPEAK YOUR OWN MIND. The most worthwhile thing you gain from this class should be a deeper understanding of yourself--who you are, and the values you consider important--and a greater appreciation of your own significance as an individual. Do not cheat yourself of this experience by taking shortcuts.
Course assignments are detailed by week in the Web- enhanced Course section of the homepage. Please go there to track what needs to be done. Be sure to look at the questions; they will give you good guidance in preparing for the weekly quizzes.
Hopefully, you will find one to three other classmates who are also interested in your chosen topic. You will research the topic, as discussed in the page on DEBUNKING and DISSENT, and will then give a presentation in class. The purpose of the presentation is to enlighten the rest of us about our mistaken ideas. The presentation, therefore, should be convincing, as well as carefully documented.
If you have comments, please send me a note. Thanks!