USD Phil 110 S13 W: Schedule and Syllabus

The Date of the First and Second Exams have Been Changed

Philosophy 110: Introduction to Philosophy
Spring 2013    Section 11
CRN 3819 W 6:00-8:50    Location: Camino Hall 108

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Ian Duckles
          Office Hours: Wednesday 5-6:00 PM
          Office: Founder's Hall 167C

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: Introduction
Wednesday, January 30: Introduction; What is Philosophy?; Begin Plato
Week 2: What is Philosophy
February 6: Read Plato, "The Apology" (pp. 50-63) A PDF can be downloaded here
Week 3: Epistemology
February 13: Read Al-Ghazali, "Deliverance from Error" (pp. 311-318) PDF; Descartes, "Meditations I and II" (pp. 320-326) PDF

Week 4: Epistemology
February 20: Read Hume, "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding" (pp. 328-334), 
Week 5: 
February 27: Watch Film in Class 12 Angry Men (1957); discuss film

Week 6:
March 6: Review for exam; First Exam

Week 7: Metaphysics
March 13: Read Laozi, "Dao De Jing" (pp. 414-421); Plato "Republic" (pp. 423-430)

Week 8: Metaphysics
March 20: Read Berkeley, "The Principles of Human Knowledge" (pp. 441-444); Introduction of Essay Topic

Week 9: Spring Break!! No Class. (March 25)

Week 10: Metaphysics
April 3: Thesis workshop (bring a copy of your thesis to class); Jorge Valadez, "Pre-Columbian Philosophical Perspectives" (pp. 446-451)

Week 11:
April 10: In-Class Peer Editing: Bring two copies of a draft of your paper to class; Watch Film in Class: eXistenZ (1999)

Week 12:
April 17: Review for Exam; Second Exam

Week 13: Ethics
April 24: Essay Due; Read Kant, "Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals" (pp. 82-87); Mill, "Utilitarianism" (pp. 89-93), Aristotle, "Nichomachean Ethics" (pp. 64-72); Rawls, "A Theory of Justice" (pp. 149-160)

Week 14: Ethics
May 1Read Nietzsche, "Beyond Good and Evil" and "On the Genealogy of Morals" (pp. 97-106)

Week 15: Ethics
May 8: Watch Film in Class: Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989); Discuss Film; Review for Final 

The Final Exam for this course will be on Wednesday, May 22 from 8 - 10:00 PM in Camino Hall 108

20% Examination 1
20% Examination 2
20% Final Examination
10% Essay (Due April 24. 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% Weekly Reading Questions
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 the 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

TIPS FOR SUCCESS IN THIS COURSE (Thanks to Professor June Yang):
  1. Be optimistic about your ability to learn from the textbook, the instructor, and each other.
  2. Do all homework. It will be collected every time, and spot-checked.
  3. Do all assigned reading.
  4. If you find you fall behind in your understanding, contact the instructor.
  5. Be prepared to spend time outside of class working on class material, doing readings, homework, preparing for quizzes and exams, etc.
  6. Have confidence in your ability to do the work.
  7. Ask questions if you don't understand something.
  8. Remember that you are gifted with more education and intelligence than many persons on this planet. If you try, you are sure to get it, or at least most of it!
  9. Remember that we are all here to learn.