Tuesday, December 29, 2015



Osborne: 1-4
Kenny: x-xii, 1-20

Penguin: as appropriate
Robinson: 1-7
Supplemental Reading:
Oxford: v-vi, 363-378
Philosophy Timeline 1


Political Philosophy
Axiology *
Pre-Socratic Philosophy

Course Syllabus:

COURSE NUMBER:              PHL 2120-001
COURSE NAME:                   Philosophy
CREDIT HOURS:                  3                                             
CONTACT HOURS:              3
INSTRUCTOR:                      Dr. Carter Kaplan
OFFICE HOURS:                   M 11:30-12:00 am, 1:30-3:00 pm, 6:00-6:30 pm; T 11:30-12:00 am, 4:00-4:30 pm; W 11:30-12:00 am; R 11:30-12:00 am, 4:00-4:30 pm;
and by appointment.
MAILBOX:                             28
PHONE EXTENSION:           x1152 (preferred method of contact)              
EMAIL ADDRESS:                ckaplan@belmontcollege.edu (use the telephone, please)

I.     COURSE DESCRIPTION: Examination of major problems such as the nature of reality, knowledge, truth, morality, and the relations of philosophy to science, belief, and religion.


III.       COURSE OBJECTIVES:  This course is an introduction to the nature and substance of the discipline of philosophy, as that discipline is defined as the love of, study of, and search for wisdom, truth, and knowledge.  The course also presents philosophy as the systematic, critical examination of the way in which we judge, evaluate, and act, with the aim of making ourselves wiser and more self-reflective men and women.

            The course raises the question of why the study of philosophy is useful and attempts to answer this question by describing the various areas into which philosophical questions fall.  The course also raises the question of what philosophers do and attempts to answer this question through a consideration of the study of human nature, the study of the universe (cosmology), and the combined study of the relationship between human nature and the universe.  Within the preceding framework, students will also be exposed to the various subdivisions and specializations within philosophy—metaphysics, epistemology, logic, moral philosophy, political philosophy, and aesthetics. Students will engage in the active philosophical study of these fields.

            The course concludes with a consideration of the current state and nature of philosophy and the potential current and future usefulness of philosophy.  To promote these considerations, the course examines the history and origins of philosophy as the virtual embodiment of all knowledge, its eventual splitting into many different academic disciplines, and what remains as the systematic reflection of the mind upon the criteria of appropriate thought and appropriate action that philosophy employs in all its activities.

IV.    LEARNING OUTCOMES:   The central focus of this course is for students to learn enough about philosophy to be able to examine critically their personal system of values, ideals, decision-making, and definition and pursuit of the good and meaningful life for themselves.  Students move toward greater wisdom and self-reflection, becoming more whole men and women. This central focus is to be achieved through the accomplishment of the following learning outcomes:

1.    Recognize diverse methods and subjects areas of philosophy.
2.    Demonstrate increased awareness and understanding of complex issues and complex philosophic texts.
3.    Demonstrate an understanding of how to examine questions and issues from diverse perspectives.
4.    Demonstrate exposure to and knowledge of main views and issues addressed by major figures from the history of philosophy.
5.    Demonstrate exposure to and knowledge of different approaches to distinct philosophical problems.
6.    Demonstrate recognition of philosophic arguments encountered in complex philosophical writings within the contexts and traditions that inform those arguments and writings.
7.    Demonstrate the ability to draw links or associations between various arguments and philosophical sources and resources.
8.    Develop the ability to (re)present complex philosophical ideas, theories, and perspectives fairly, objectively, and critically.
9.    Engage in the development of written reflection and response.

V.    BELMONT COLLEGE CORE LEARNING OUTCOMES PHILOSOPHY:  The following general education outcomes are cultivated in all students seeking an Associate Degree and/or Certificate.  When appropriate and applicable to the course content, the faculty will integrate the outcome competencies and goals and emphasize them in course activities and assignments.

Core Learning Outcomes:

1.  Communicate Effectively (Written, Oral, Reading)
2.  Think Critically and Creatively
3.  Learn Actively
4.  Accept Accountability
5.  Build Global/Multicultural Diversity Awareness


Kenny, Anthony.  An Illustrated Brief History of Western Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006.
Osborne, Richard.  Philosophy for Beginners. Danbury, CT: For Beginners LLC, 1992.
Mautner, Thomas.  The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy. London: Penguin, 2005.
USB flash drive

VII. SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS AVAILABLE:  Drop-in and individually scheduled writing tutor support is available, both on campus and online, in the Student Success Center.  Enquire in the SSC also about individualized tutoring assistance for all courses.  The Learning Commons (library) offers help and materials to support learning.  Materials include free use of computers and other equipment, as well as books, articles, videos, and multimedia.  Materials are located within the library, accessed online using a library card, or easily requested from colleges and universities throughout Ohio.  Library staff can help students find and learn to use the right materials efficiently. Course notes, syllabus, materials and links available on-line:  www.kaplanphilosophy.blogspot.com

VIII. INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS: The primary instructional method of this class is lecture based upon readings from the textbook, supplemental materials, handouts, and online excursions.  However, class discussion is encouraged.  Film is used to amplify certain issues and topics.


Requirements for the Student:  Students are expected to consult the course schedule, keep up with reading and writing assignments, and come to class each day with any completed assignment(s) and/or prepared to participate in the day’s discussion.  Important Note:  There is no on-line gradebook. If you want to see the gradebook to check your progress, contact the instructor.

Special Class Requirements:  Off-campus access to a computer is highly recommended, to facilitate the timely completion of writing assignments.  But if needed, computers are also available in the Learning Commons (library). Students are also welcome to use the Student Success Center computers.  

Absence Policy:  Attendance and participation are important components of this course.  Attendance records will be kept. Students who miss five classes can expect to have their final grades lowered by one letter. Six or more absences will result in failure. No exceptions. Contact the instructor in advance if you plan to miss class. Coming to class unprepared—without assignments or required text(s)—will be counted as an absence. Excessive tardiness can also lower the final grade. Two incidents of tardiness or leaving early will be counted as an absence. Students should be aware that the Department of Education has certain attendance requirements concerning student eligibility for student aid.

Students are strongly encouraged to attend all classes. Poor attendance will initiate that an “Early Alert” will be sent to administration indicating a concern for your final grade. A conference between the student and the instructor regarding the student’s future progress in this class may be scheduled at the student’s request. This policy is a result of criteria established by student grants requiring attendance verification, and by the efforts of Belmont College to provide academic quality.

The student is to notify the instructor within one week of his/her knowledge that he/she is unable to finish attending classes due to personal reasons, job requirements, etc. It will be determined then, if it is in the best interest of the student to finish or drop the course. No consideration will be afforded students that fail to inform the instructor/professor in advance when a conflict of interest occurs.

Make-Up Policy: Students may make up missed in-class assignments only while the due date is still pending.  Work that takes place entirely in class, such as peer review, cannot be made up. 

College Closure or Instructor Absence: If the college is closed due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances or if an instructor is absent from class, student assignments for the class period will be posted on the course portal or emailed to students.  Contingency plans are also provided in the course syllabus in the Major Areas of Study section if students lack internet access.  Students will be responsible for completing the missed assignments according to the faculty member’s instructions.  Students are encouraged to email the instructor for clarification of any assignments.

Late Assignment Policy:  Due dates are indicated on the schedule; all assignments are due in class. Normally, late assignments will not be accepted except with medical certificate.  With prior permission, an assignment may be accepted up to three calendar days late, but only in compelling circumstances and with a set deduction of 5% per day.  Please discuss any make-up possibilities or late assignments with the instructor prior to the assignment due date.

Classroom/Online Etiquette: Students should demonstrate respect for the learning environment, including their fellow students, and contribute to an atmosphere conducive to productive group discussion and learning. 

Belmont College expects students to respect the rights and privileges of others, and to be responsible for self-conduct.  See the College catalog for the Student Code of Conduct.   Students who engage in unacceptable behavior after a warning may be referred to college administration and may receive an “F” for the course.

It is expected that the student will maintain an appropriate level of professionalism as outlined in the College Student Handbook. These rules are "be respectful and be polite to each other" and "be patient and considerate of others". 

In the classroom, please set cellphones to “vibrate”.  If someone calls, please leave the classroom and talk in the corridor. There is no need to excuse yourself. Excessive cellphone activity is disruptive and will result in an Academic Alert, and/or a possible “zero for the day” record in the gradebook.
Withdrawal from Classes: Before withdrawing from classes, students should consult their instructor as well as other appropriate college offices. Withdrawing from classes may negatively impact a student’s financial aid award and his or her semester charges. To discuss financial aid, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid regarding the impact on your financial aid. December 2 is the last day to withdraw with a “W”.
Student Financial Responsibility:  Students assume the responsibility of full payment of tuition and fees generated from their registration and all charges for books and supplies, and other applicable miscellaneous charges. Students are ultimately responsible for any unpaid balance on their account as a result of the Office of Student Financial Aid or their third party sponsor canceling or reducing their award(s).  Please remember that you must attend class or participate in online courses to remain eligible for Federal Student Aid.

Brief Writing Assignments                 5%
            Midterm Examination                         25%
            Term Paper                                         20%
            Brief Presentation of Term Paper       5%
            Final Examination                              40%

There will be two examinations. The Midterm Examination will cover from the first class to the last class before the Midterm Exam.

The Final Examination is comprehensive, and will consist of short identification and essay questions that will ask students to 1) incorporate all of the information they have learned from the entire course into a practical, integrated understanding of the field of Philosophy, and 2) demonstrate the ability to conduct the activity of Philosophy.

The Midterm Examination is worth 25 percent of the student’s final grade for the course.  The Final Examination is worth 40 percent of the student’s final grade for the course.

If a student makes less than a “C” on the mid-term examination, he/she may schedule an appointment with the Instructor to evaluate and consider what might have been done differently to better achieve the objectives of the course at mid-term, and to consider what he/she may do to improve for the final examination. Students are also encouraged to do the optional book reviews in areas of their weaknesses as reflected by the midterm examination. If students makes less than a “C” for the course, they may schedule an appointment with the Instructor in the following semester to evaluate and consider what they might have done differently to achieve the objectives of the course, and will still be given the opportunity to meet those objectives. Otherwise, unless requested, final examinations are not returned to the students, and if the student makes at least a “C” or above for the course, final examinations will not be returned at all.

The course requires the submission of a term paper. Technical details for writing term papers will be given in class. The term paper comprises 20 percent of the student’s final grade for the course. This course requires the completion and submission of a term paper on a topic related to classical or contemporary philosophy. The paper must be written according to MLA writing style requirements. The instructor will discuss potential topics for term papers, as well as further instructions for completing and submitting term papers in class.  Term papers should be a minimum of six pages in length (Times New Roman #12, double-spaced), with a minimum of five sources, those sources ideally being a nearly equal mix of books, periodicals and journals, encyclopedias and dictionary sources, and with not more than two sources from the Internet.  If a student uses more than five sources, he/she may have more than two from the Internet, not to exceed thirty percent of the total sources.  The term paper constitutes 25 percent of the student’s total grade for the course.

Short papers will be announced in class.  They can either be in-class exercises, or “take-home” assignments that will be due within a week after the assignment.

Below is the suggested minimum default scale used by most courses.

93 - 100 = A
73 - 76.9 = C
90 - 92.9 = A-
70 - 72.9 = C-
87 - 89.9 = B+
67 - 69.9 = D+
83 - 86.9 = B
60 - 66.9 = D
80 - 82.9 = B-
0 - 59.9 = F
77 - 79.9 = C+


Students are encouraged to contact the instructor and/or advisor before withdrawing from the course.  In any case, the student must follow procedures outlined in the college catalog to withdraw from the course. If any student is concerned about their grade for the class, they should immediately contact the instructor for guidance.  This is not an on-line course.  Please use the telephone.

Important Note:  There is no on-line gradebook. If you want to see the gradebook to check your progress, contact the instructor.


Americans with Disabilities Act:  It is the policy of Belmont College to provide reasonable accommodation to persons with disabilities. If you have a physical, mental or learning disability and wish to request such accommodation, you must contact the Access Advisor or Student Services on the main campus, or the Student Advisor at the Harrison County Center and Monroe County Center.

Academic Misconduct: The responsibility for academic honesty rests with the student. The College expects the student to submit papers, projects, and reports resulting from the student’s own efforts. Work submitted in any form should reflect the exclusive effort of the student. It is assumed that mature learners do not practice cheating on quizzes, tests, or examinations. Plagiarism will not be tolerated at any time. Submitting another’s work as one’s own, in part or in whole, is a dishonest practice. A student may not appropriate another person’s ideas, whether published or not. Consequences for proven cases of dishonest practices may include:
a.       Zero percent being given for the test, examination, report, quiz, paper, project, or any other course requirement on which the cheating has occurred; or
b.       Failure for the course in which the offense occurred; or
c.       Dismissal from the College.

Waiting Policy: If an instructor is detained from a class longer than fifteen minutes for any reason, one student should report the absence to the reception desk. Remaining students will wait in the classroom until the reporting student returns.

Code of Conduct: Belmont College expects students to respect the rights and privileges of others, and to be responsible for self-conduct. The full policy is available in the college catalog at the Belmont College Website.

Other College Policies: See the other policies enumerated in the current college catalog at the Belmont College website.

Cellphones:  While class is in session in this class, students are required to turn their cell phones off or, if the cell phone has this feature, put it on pulse instead of ring. However, ring or pulse, cell phones may not be answered in class. The exception to this rule is that if a student has a child in day care who is sick or who for any reason may become involved in an emergency, he/she may leave the phone on pulse mode. However, the instructor must be notified in advance that the student is in this situation.


Tips for Success: It is most important to keep up with the reading assignments, so that directed reading questions will not become a last-minute ordeal and active class participation will be possible.  Students should come to class prepared to enjoy the discussion. 

Support Services Belmont College has a variety of support services for students including online E-Tutoring (http://etutoring.org), Advising Staff, the Library/Learning Commons and the Charles W. Kocher Student Success Center. Drop-in and individually scheduled tutor support is available, both on campus and online, through the Student Success Center (SSC).  Enquire in the SSC also about individualized tutoring assistance for all courses.  The Learning Commons/Library offers help and materials to support learning.  Materials include free use of computers and other equipment, as well as books, articles, videos, and multimedia resources.  Materials are located within the library, accessed online using a library card, or easily requested from colleges and universities throughout Ohio through OhioLINK.  Technical support is provided by the Support Desk at 740-695-9500 x1137 or by e-mail at: supportdesk@belmontcollege.edu


The study calendar appears on the following pages.

The instructor reserves the right to revise the syllabus and study schedule to accommodate the needs of the class and any exigencies.  Any changes will be announced in class.

Learning Outcome No.


Kenny: Preface, Philosophy in its Infancy
Osborne: 1-4
Penguin: as appropriate
Online: Philosophy Timelines

Course Introduction – What is philosophy?
- Fields and basic terms
- Philosophy inside and outside the university
-History and Philosophy of Ancient Greece
-The Persian Wars, the Peloponnesian Wars



Kenny: The Athens of Socrates, The Philosophy of Plato
Osborne: 4-22
Penguin: as appropriate

-History and Philosophy of Ancient Greece, continued
-Pre-Socratic Philosophy and the Sophists
-Socrates and Plato



Kenny: The Philosophy of Plato, The System of Aristotle
Osborne: 4-22
Penguin: as appropriate

-Plato and Aristotle
-Philosophy in the Hellenistic World
and the Roman Empire
Practice Test (extra credit)



Kenny: Greek Philosophy after Aristotle, Early Christian Philosophy
Osborne: 22-57
Penguin: as appropriate

            -Philosophy in the Hellenistic World
              and the Roman Empire
-Medieval Philosophy and Scholasticism



Kenny: Philosophy in the Thirteenth Century, Oxford Philosophers
Osborne: 33-57
Penguin: as appropriate
Film: The Name of the Rose

-Medieval Philosophy and Scholasticism
-The Name of the Rose



Kenny: Renaissance Philosophy
Osborne: 57-68
Penguin: as appropriate

-Reformation and Renaissance



Kenny: The Age of Descartes
Osborne: 66-86
Penguin: as appropriate
Handout:  Bacon: Aphorisms 39-45 from Book I of the New Organum

-Reformation and Renaissance
-Rationalism and Science

First Short Paper Due

-Review for Midterm

Midterm Examination



Kenny: The Age of Descartes,
English Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century, Continental Philosophy
In the Age of Louis XIV,
British Philosophy in the
Eighteenth Century
Osborne: 66-97
Penguin: as appropriate
Handout: Locke: “Selections”
Handout: Jefferson: Declaration of Independence, Virginia Act of Religious Freedom, Letter to the Danbury Baptists

-The English Reformation, Early Modern Philosophy      and Colonial America
-Locke, American Philosophy and Modernism



Kenny: The Enlightenment, The Critical Philosophy of Kant
Osborne: 66-97, 98-130, 153-161
Penguin: as appropriate
Handout: selections from Emerson’s works; Allan Bloom, from The Closing of the American Mind, from Part II, “Rousseau’s Radicalization and the German University”

             -American Philosophy, continued
             -Rousseau and Kant
-Romanticism, Idealism and Existentialism



Kenny: German Idealism and Materialism, The Utilitarians, Three Nineteenth-Century Philosophers,
Three Modern Masters
Osborne: 114-117, 131-152,
Penguin: as appropriate
Handout: G.E.M. Anscombe, from “Modern Moral Philosophy”

            -Philosophy: 19th and 20th Centuries

Second Short Paper Due

            -Term Paper Discussion



Kenny: Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics, The Philosophy of Wittgenstein
Osborne: 149-152
Penguin: as appropriate
Handout: Wittgenstein
Duncan Richter: Introduction to Wittgenstein from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/w/wittgens.htm
Wittgenstein Links: http://www.helsinki.fi/~tuschano/lw/links/
Stanford Online Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Analytic Philosophy, Wittgenstein
Handout: Hacker, Kenny

-Prelude to Analytic Philosophy

Practice Test (extra credit)

-Analytic Philosophy: Logic, Metaphysics, and the               Philosophy of Psychology



Kenny: The Philosophy of Wittgenstein
Osborne: 161-182
Penguin: as appropriate
Stanford Online Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Postmodernism and Nietzsche
Handout: Charles Jencks: “What is Postmodernism?” From Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy: “Postmodernism”

             -Analytic Philosophy, continued
             -What is Postmodernism?



Osborne: 87-97.
Online exploration
Penguin: as appropriate
Handout: From Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Online exploration

   -Political Philosophy
            -Term Paper—final review
Term Paper Due: Discussion and
informal presentations



Handouts: from Wittgenstein’s notes on the family
home in Vienna
Articles on Aesthetics from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Online exploration
Handouts and slides, TBA

             -Aesthetics: Architecture and Poetry
       -Aesthetics and Anthropology:  Poetry, Painting,
Music, and Film



Film: 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey



Kenny, Osborne, Penguin

Third short Paper Due

-Review for Final

Final Examination


The instructor reserves the right to revise the syllabus and study schedule to accommodate course needs and adjustments.