Course Outline and Requirements

This is a survey course. You will learn "the basics" - vocabulary, concepts, and the  theories associated with PHILOSOPHY and ETHICS and you will have the opportunity to discuss many topics with other students and with me.  Finally, you will be encouraged to learn a bit about how to DO Philosophy and Ethical Thinking.

This course is designed with a great appreciation for the wisdom of an ancient Chinese expression. 

I hear: I forget.

I see: I remember.

I do : then I understand. 

So, you will be expected to attempt to do a little philosophical thinking so that you will understand what philosophy is really all about, what it involves and what it takes to do this sort of thinking. 

This point or lesson is really quite simple.  If you needed someone to bake a cake for you or repair the carburetor on your automobile, which of the following people would you ask?

 a. someone who said : "I heard a lecture on how to do that once."

b. someone who said: " I saw that done once on a tv show and I recorded it on my vcr."

c. someone who said: " I have done that before successfully and I understand how to do it ." 

I don't know your answer but I would choose person (c).  And so to learn about Philosophy I shall ask you to attempt it yourselves.  It could be a lot of un.  Lots of people I know really like to get into debates and into questions.  Not too many like to give reasons for their positions but that is what Philosophy is about.  

The course is also, however, whatever you make it. As you complete the module assignments you will have many opportunities to make decisions which will influence the nature and scope of your learning activities. The more energy you put into the course, the more benefit you will derive from it. 

Do you want to have a "sneak preview" of how you may do in this course? Rate yourself  on a 1 (low) to 10 (High) scale on these 3 questions: 

1. How interested are you in learning philosophy? _____

2. How important is it for you to learn this material? _____

3. Based on past experience, how well do you expect to do in the course? _____

 Add the three scores together.

If your total is 15 - 19, you will probably do OK.

If you scored 20 - 25, you are likely to do better than average.

If you scored 26 or above, I expect you will do exceptionally well in this course.

If you scored 0 - 15, that doesn't mean you are doomed!

But ask yourself "Why am I taking this course?", and if you can't come up with a pretty good answer, you may find yourself putting in too little effort to achieve well. 

(Rating scale thanks to William Pelz)

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