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PHIL 1010—Fundamentals of Philosophy

Three Semester Hours

DN 7/17



Course Overview

Survey of selected basic problems, concepts, and methods in philosophy.

Methods of Course Interaction

All material for this course is print-based. Instructor and students communicate and exchange materials through postal mail. 

E-Print Option

In this course, an option exists to use e-mail to submit your lesson assignments. Your assignment will be returned to you either as an e-mail attachment or as a hard copy sent through the postal mail, depending on the preferences of the instructor and/or program. 

Textbooks and Supplies

Stewart, David and H. Gene Blocker. Fundamentals of Philosophy. 8th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2013. [ISBN: 9780205242993]

Number of Lessons

The course has eight lessons, including a midcourse examination and a final examination. These lessons include:

  • Lesson 1: Introducing Philosophy 
  • Lesson 2: Introducing Logic 
  • Lesson 3: Introducing Metaphysics 
  • Lesson 4: Midcourse Examination 
  • Lesson 5: Introducing Epistemology 
  • Lesson 6: Introducing Ethics 
  • Lesson 7: Introducing Philosophy of Religion 
  • Lesson 8: Final Examination Information 

Types of Writing Assignments

The writing assignments at the end of each lesson consist of short-answer questions to check your understanding of the terms and concepts presented in that lesson, and essay questions that ask you to develop and present a fuller analysis or to demonstrate your ability to apply what you have learned to specific problems or situations. 

In your assignments, I will look for the following things: 

  • Is there evidence you have read the text? Using direct quotations and page numbers can help. 
  • Is there evidence you understand the concepts, ideas, and issues in your reading? Restating ideas from the text in your own words using your own examples without distortions, omissions, or misinterpretations will help. 
  • Is there evidence you have read the course guide? 
  • Is there evidence you can see the various sides of the ideas presented? Your primary task is to read and to understand the thoughts and thinkers presented—that you can understand another point of view without agreeing with it. Don’t substitute your personal reaction to a thinker for an explanation of their views. When asked for your personal opinion, make it a minor part of the answer. 
  • Is there evidence you have written thoughtfully? Try to be as clear as possible in your writing. Organize your thoughts before you put them down. Though I’m not a stickler for grammar and punctuation, make your work the highest quality you can.

Grading Criteria

Your final grade for the course will be computed on the basis of 300 points: 

  • Written Assignments — 100 points 
  • Midcourse Examination — 100 points 
  • Final Examination — 100 points 
  • Total — 300 points