PHIL2317: History of Philosophy II

Matthew Daude Laurents, Ph.D. Synonym: 36232

Synonym: 35001

MW, 10:35-11:50 AM, RGC 336
Spring, 2006

Contact Information

Office Rio Grande Campus
Peach Street Office Building, Room 2-I
ACC email
Instructional email
Instructional Web

Instructional Office Hours

Monday 9:00 to 10:30 AM RGC, Peach Street, 2-I
Tuesday 9:00 to 11:00 AM online (Windows Messenger or Blackboard)
Wednesday 9:00 to 10:30 AM RGC, Peach Street, 2-I

Other times by appointment

Course Description

Students will be introduced to the history of early modern Western Philosophy focusing on the attempt to understand the source, nature, and limits of human knowledge as pursued by the rationalists, the empiricists, and Kant.

History of Philosophy is intended for philosophy majors. Introduction to Philosophy (PHIL1301) is required for registration in History of Philosophy II. A passing score or the equivalent on the reading and writing portions of the college assessment is required.

Required Texts/Materials

Ariew and Watkins, Modern Philosophy: An Anthology of Primary Sources (ISBN 0872204405)

The texts will be available in the ACC bookstore. Handouts and additional readings will be posted to the instructional web.

Instructional Methodology

This class is a combined section that includes both an "in-class" and an online section, and consequently it has been designed to provide opportunities for these distinct groups of students to collaborate. We will make extensive use of online collaboration tools and the Blackboard classroom.

The class will consist predominantly of discussion of the readings, led by me and by class members, both in class and online. I will use a variety of media in my presentations, including web material, etc. There may also be group work and group presentations to the class, which will be posted online.

The major forms of individual assessment will be quizzes and writing assignments (essays, etc.). The quizzes will be online. I may also use online forms to gather information about your progress in the coursework. Course assignments must be submitted by email or via the Blackboard classroom.

Course Rationale

Philosophy is one of the principal forces that have shaped Western civilization and history, so a deeper understanding of the methods, subjectmatter, and history of philosophy affords a deeper understanding of ourselves and an informed grasp of the present. In addition, critical thinking skills are so central to the methods of philosophy that the study of philosophy provides an excellent opportunity to learn and practice those skills in a focused way.

Course Objectives

Departmental Course Objectives

  1. Students will demonstrate improved critical reading, thinking, and writing skills.
  2. Students will be able to reason philosophically about issues of both personal and universal significance.
  3. Students will be able to identify major divisions and concepts in the history of philosophy.

Coursework and Grading Policy

Your grade for this course will be based on quizzes and written work demonstrating pursuit of the objectives of the course. (See the Coursework Guide for a more detailed explanation of the written work.)  The components of the course grade are as follows:

Component Weight
Class work 25
Argument Summaries 25
Analytical Essays 40
Course Participation 10

The Grading and Evaluation page gives a detailed exposition of how I evaluate assignments. Additional guidelines for assignments and for due dates may be found on the instructional website.

Due dates for written work and exam dates will be posted online on the calendar page for our course. Please note that I will not accept work after the stated due date, except by prior agreement. All written work done outside of class must be submitted by email. Please see the orientation for further instructions.

I expect everyone to participate in class discussion. Class participation should be informed. By this I mean that everyone should come to class having read and thought about the assignment.

Course Outline

This is a very brief overview of the course content:

  1. Introduction: Why study the history of philosophy?
  2. Descartes and the rationalists
  3. Reactions against rationalism: The Empiricists
  4. Hume
  5. Kant
  6. Philosophy after Kant
  7. Conclusions

Refer to the course calendar on Blackboard for a more detailed list of topics, reading assignments, and exercises. Check the course calendar frequently for due dates and other announcements.

Proceed to the Orientation.

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This page was last updated 08/23/2009 08:16:55 PM by mdaude.