PHIL125 Basic Problems of Philosophy

Department of Social & Behavioral Science: Philosophy

I. Course Number and Title
PHIL125 Basic Problems of Philosophy
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Minimum Number of Instructional Minutes Per Semester
2250 minutes
IV. Prerequisites
None
Corequisites
None
V. Other Pertinent Information
None
VI. Catalog Course Description
Investigation of enduring problems in the area of semantics, epistemology, religion, and ethical theory through presentation of philosophers influential in developing the major historic and contemporary positions. Nature of philosophical analysis and judgment emphasized.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Learning Goals:

    Students will be able to:
    1. isolate and recognize key problems that philosophy attempts to solve
    2. analyze these problems
    3. develop proposed solutions to these problems
    4. develop the ability to think critically about these problems
    5. develop the ability to apply the philosophy in everyday life

    Course Learning Goals and Objectives
    Category I: Cultural Perspectives
    Learning Goals


    Students will be able to:
    1. appreciate diverse cultural views by establishing familiarity with, empathy for, and awareness of cultures.

    Category I: Cultural Perspectives
    Learning Objectives


    The student will be able to:
    1. demonstrate knowledge and awareness of some components of our society's cultural heritage, such as artistic, historical, linguistic, literary, and philosophical foundations.

    Category III: Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
    Learning Objectives


    The student will be able to:
    1. understand and express the meaning and significance of a variety of communications (Interpretation).
    2. communicate and justify clearly the results of their reasoning (Presenting Arguments Skills).
    3. demonstrate an understanding of solving problems by:
      1. recognizing the problem
      2. reviewing information about the problem
      3. developing plausible solutions
      4. evaluating the results

    Category III: International, Gender, And/Or Minority Perspectives

    The student will be able to:
    1. articulate similarities and differences in the various cultures of the world and demonstrate familiarity with the skills necessary to make informed judgments.
    2. identify prejudice, stereotypes, and misuses of power that affect the lives of women and/or minorities in areas, such as education, business, politics, religion, or industry.

    Category III: Responsible Citizenship

    The student will be able to:
    1. demonstrate an understanding of major ethical concerns.
    2. demonstrate familiarity with contemporary environmental issues.

  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities:

    1. Introduction
    2. Socrates
    3. Plato
    4. Anselm and Aquinas
    5. Descartes
    6. Berkley
    7. Mill
    8. Marx
  3. Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals:

    Students in PHIL 125 will be assessed on the following:

      Category I: Cultural Perspectives

    1. A written assignment in which students will identify and describe some components of our society’s cultural heritage, especially philosophical foundations and historical, linguistic, and literary components.


    2. Category III: Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

    3. A written assignment in which students will express their understanding of the meaning and significance of a variety of communications by comparing and contrasting various philosophical views in ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, political and social philosophy, and logic. Students are asked to point out errors of logic as well as information that exhibit fallacious reasoning or contradictory information, as well as clearly justify their conclusions and accurately identify the basic problems of philosophy while also attempting to develop plausible solutions to them and evaluate the results.


    4. Category III: International Gender and/or Minority Perspectives

    5. A written assignment that includes articulation of similarities and differences in various cultures of the world and demonstrates limited ability to make informed judgments. The assignment also asks students to identify prejudice, stereotypes, and misuses of power that affect the lives of women and other minorities in areas like business, politics, religion, or industry.


    6. Category III: Responsible Citizenship

    7. A written assignment and class discussions in which students demonstrate an understanding of major ethical concerns and familiarity with contemporary environmental issues.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Students:

    See course format
VIII. Teaching Methods Employed
Lecture, discussion, projects, writing exercises

Review/Approval Date - 5/04; Core Goals/Objectives added 5/04; Updated 11/06