The course is divided into 8 Modules, and each module contains 2 or more chapters from the textbook. Modules may last from one to three weeks.

The following learning activities apply to each module:

1. Read the assigned textbook material.

2. Respond to discussion questions submitted by the instructor. At least to each  question in each module. Participate in the discussions (3 separate days each week in the Fall and Spring)

3. Create and submit a discussion question about the material. At least one in each module.

4. Respond publicly to some or all of the questions submitted by other students.

5. Reply to students who respond to your question and responses.

6. Complete and submit the written assignments on time. 

Virtual Seminars/Discussions

In every module you will find a "Virtual Seminar." A virtual seminar is like a class discussion. Here, for each module and topic, you are expected to reply to questions from the instructor, you will ask a "critical thinking" question about some topic in the chapter, get responses from other students, and reply to those responses. Here too, you will answer the questions posed by other students, and they will reply to your answers. You are welcome to keep up this "virtual discussion" as long as you wish. The idea here is for each student to join in and to lead a discussion with the other students about some important issue introduced in the chapter.

This is the heart of this course as far as your instructor is concerned. It is here that the process of philosophy will be in evidence. It is here that you get an opportunity to DO PHILOSOPHY. This is the component of this online course that fosters the dialectical process of inquiry that is the heart of Philosophy.  

Written Assignments:

Upon completion of each module there is a written assignment. These questions are my way of testing your understanding of the texts and Virtual Seminar/Discussions for that module. You will know what the questions or topics are at the start of each module. You should post your assignments during the 2-day "window" that is established for submissions, not before. Unlike your responses to the discussion questions posed by me and the other students, you will submit your assignments just to me, not to the whole class. You need to consider these assignments as "take-home, open-book exams", which require well-organized, thorough responses.  You may revise assignments after submission and assessments according to the instructions of the professor..

Questions and Suggestions for the Professor

There is an area where I will ask questions which each student should respond to. Also, you may ask me questions, which I will respond to. Most often, I expect these questions (mine and yours) will be related to the discussions or the textbook - but nothing related to the course is "off-limits."  


1. Class Participation & Discussion: 32%

2. Critical Analysis Essays (Papers) : 56%

3. The Quality of Your Discussion Threads: 16%  


In a fifteen-week semester (Spring and Fall) the workload for this course would be 9 to 12 hours per week.  This includes all the reading, writing, and dialogue with your instructor and fellow students.  

In the SUMMER SESSION with only 7 weeks (.eg., from May 28th to July 11th) the workload in effect is double that of the regular 15-week semester.  Therefore, it requires 18 to 24 hours per week to successfully complete this online course.  

This requires a serious commitment on the part of the learner.  You can access the course at any time from any computer with an Internet connection.  However, you must put in the effort, the labor, the work needed to meet the course requirements and obtain a passing grade.  

The course can prove to be a lot of fun for those who take it seriously and keep up with the workload.  For those who are unable to put in the time and fall behind the course could prove to be quite horrible.  


You may ask me a private question at any time using my email. Treat E-mail as a private office visit. I welcome your comments and feedback, too.  

LINKS:  There are external links supplied to dictionaries and encyclopedias.  If you want or need to get a better definition or understanding of terms, concepts and philosophers, use these links!  

READINGS: There are a variety of readings.  In this online course you are basically reading and writing with lots of thinking in between. They include        (1) through (5):

 1.   There is a  required ONLINE Textbook for this course provided FREE.  There is also a suggested textbook for this course:

  Louis P. Pojman. Philosophical Traditions: A Text with Readings. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Publishing, 1998.

  It is suggested that you read ALL of the online text and most of the chapters of this text. It is available at the college bookstore.  Most of the material covered in the textbook will also be made available to you in the online textbook and through links to sites that have the material.  These sites will be linked and the link will have the message READ in front of it in the online textbook, e.g., READ Dialogue ION

You may attempt to do this course without the printed textbook if you are accustomed to and comfortable with reading a great deal of material over the Internet.  For most students having the textbook will be an advantage.  

2.  Selected Dialogues of Plato (see course schedule for the list).

We will be using and mentioning a number of Plato's Dialogues.  You can   obtain them in a variety of ways.

1.These dialogues will be provided to you in English, through a series of Internet links to sites that contain the dialogues.  e.g., READ Dialogue ION

     2. You may elect to borrow another translation from the college library or any public library.

3.  You may also elect to purchase a copy for yourself.

                 An inexpensive paperback that contains the dialogues we shall be covering is:

H. D. Rouse, Great Dialogues of Plato.  Mentor Books.

                It is available at the college bookstore.  

3.   The Discussion Topics (in COMMUNICATIONS, Discussion Board)

4.   Student Submissions-Discussion Posts and Threads

5.   Internet Resources- those that required are marked with READ

       as in e.g., READ Dialogue ION

   SUGGESTED readings are simply offered as links.    

  return to outline topics index