USD Phil 110 F11: Schedule and Syllabus

PHILOSOPHY 110: Introduction to Philosophy
Fall 2011    Section 6
CRN 2434 T 6:00-8:50    Location: Camino Hall 154

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Ian Duckles
          Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 PM or by appointment
          Office: Founder's Hall 168A

TEXTBOOKVoices of Wisdom. Ed. Gary E. Kessler. Wadsworth, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-495-60153-1. The 7th edition of the text is available in the bookstore. You are welcome to use the 6th edition which can be found online for much less money.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: “A basic orientation course treating the principal problems of philosophy, such as knowledge, human nature, values, nature, God, etc. A historical approach may also be used as a means of further clarification of the topics being discussed.” (USD Course Catalog).


COURSE CALENDAR (topics and important dates included):
(Homework will be due daily and assignments will be announced in class. Do not be concerned if we fall ahead or behind on this schedule. The most important goal is that everyone understand the concepts and problems. THIS SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. All changes will be announced in class and posted on the course website). All page numbers refer to the 7th edition of the text.

Week 1: No Class. Classes start on Wednesday, so no class this week.

Week 2: Introduction (Tuesday, September 6)
Introduction; What is Philosophy?; Begin Plato
Week 3: What is Philosophy? (S
eptember 13)
Read Plato, "The Apology" (pp. 50-63) A PDF can be downloaded here
Week 4: Epistemology (
September 20)
Read Al-Ghazali, "Deliverance from Error" (pp. 311-318) PDF; Descartes, "Meditations I and II" (pp. 320-326) PDF

Week 5: Epistemology 
(September 27)
Read Hume, "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding" (pp. 328-334) 
Week 6: Epistemology 
(October 4)
Read Clifford, "The Ethics of Belief" (pp. 335-337); Watch Film in Class 12 Angry Men (1957); discuss film

Week 7: EXAM (October 11)
Review for exam; First Exam

Week 8: Metaphysics (October 18)
Read Laozi, "Dao De Jing" (pp. 414-421); Plato "Republic" (pp. 423-430)

Week 9: Metaphysics 
(October 25)
Read Berkeley, "The Principles of Human Knowledge" (pp. 441-444); Jorge Valadez, "Pre-Columbian Philosophical Perspectives" (pp. 446-451)

Week 10: Metaphysics 
(November 1)
Watch Film in Class: eXistenZ (1999); Discuss Film; Review for Exam

Week 11: Exam 
(November 8)
Second Exam

Week 12: Ethics (November 15)
Read Kant, "Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals" (pp. 82-87); Mill, "Utilitarianism" (pp. 89-93)

Week 13: Ethics 
(November 22)
Read Aristotle, "Nichomachean Ethics" (pp. 64-72)

Week 14: Ethics (November 29)
Read Nietzsche, "Beyond Good and Evil" and "On the Genealogy of Morals" (pp. 97-106); Noddings, "Caring" (pp. 107-117)

Week 15: Ethics (December 6)
Paper Due. Watch Film in Class: Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989); Discuss Film; Review for Final 

The Final Exam for this course will be on Tuesday, December 20 from 8 - 10:00 PM in Camino Hall 154

20% Examination 1
20% Examination 2
20% Final Examination
10% Essay (This will be due on the last day of class. More details will be forthcoming. Though this is only worth 10% of your grade, failure to complete this assignment will result in an F in the course)
10% Attendance and Participation
20% Quizzes (These will be given weekly at the start of class, they cannot be made up if missed. I will drop at least one quiz score)

A: 90-100 %
B: 80-89 %
C: 70-79 %
D: 60-69 %
F:  <60 %

Student Responsibility to Drop/Withdraw: It is the student’s responsibility to officially add, drop, or withdraw from the course stated in the class schedule. Failure to do so can result in a failing grade.

Class Attendance: A student may be disenrolled from the course after two absences; however, a student will be disenrolled from the course after three absences without exception. (This count will begin on teh first day of class) ATTENDANCE IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR THIS PARTICULAR COURSE.

Tardiness/Early Departure: If a student arrives unreasonably late or leaves early without notifying the instructor before the event, then that student will be considered absent for that class session.

Professionalism: It is assumed that students will conduct themselves in a professional manner with a positive attitude. An open mind is one of the most important tools required for success in academia. If a student is negative and feels as is there is nothing of value to be gained by the college experience or this course, he or she will not do well in this course.

Academic Integrity and Conduct: Plagiarism, cheating and poor student conduct will not be tolerated. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the USD Integrity Policy. This can be found at

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities who may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to notify the instructor and Disability Services. Information can be found at