Spring 2001

Even if you warn people how much work is involved, more than traditional class they won't believe it until they see it! Iíve been waiting for this opportunity for years; my situation allows little time away from home. Those who appreciate the benefits of attending school this way will hang in there. The course description was also deceiving; I did not have a clue that this is what philosophy was all about.  It is HARD!!

At first I took philosophy because I did think that it would be an easy course.  No tests, which I am bad at taking, and no classroom.  Now, I know things are not always as they seem to be.  Leaving this class, I know things that are not only taught, but that are of feelings and thoughts to other people.  In class, I might just ignore and doodle.  Here, I read and participate, while understanding at the same time.  Some things I didn't ask or need to know because of what I already knew.  After being taught the things in depth of what I though I already knew was something that was very helpful to me, and that will be in a part of every other class that I take.

Honestly, any lack on my behalf is what lead to my stalling in the middle of the semester. I think that the essays come up very quickly but likewise if I would've stayed on target I might not have felt so challenged. I felt the need to quit halfway through but because I am not a quitter I stayed put. I enjoyed the course a lot and the only criticism I have is that at times I felt inferior during the discussions because of how professor responded But in the long run I realized it was to challenge my beliefs and encourage me to work harder. Thank you for the experience and I hope to use Philosophy in my daily life and will always consider this course one of the hardest course I ever taken!!!

This course helped me to articulate many questions, and frustrations, that were rattling around in my head.  For years, I had been dissatisfied with the religious teachings I had been raised with.  I did not have the tools, or the guts, to reach into the matter and face what was wrong.  Mod 3 woke me up.  It rattled my cage and shook my world.  Now I at least have a starting point to figure out what my beliefs are.

    There were some things that were discussed that I had NEVER questioned or thought about before.  It was fun to try to get my 'mind' (read brain) around some of these radical thoughts and theories.  At times, I will admit, it was touch and go.

    These are life's mysteries.  We need to stop and question things.  We race through life without wondering about the truly important issues.  This course enabled me to look at things differently.  We must accept the fact that there could be different and sometimes shocking answers to many basic questions.

    When Professor Pecorino called himself iconoclastic, he wasn't kidding.  Thank you.

The issues that we covered are powerful and deserve to "rock our world".  Many of your questions hit the mark.  They got me to delve into areas that I did not know existed.  Some issues I never thought to question before.  This isn't for the faint of heart, but it is worth it. 


This course was really interesting overall.  We had plenty of reading, plenty of links to grab our information from, and plenty of time to do it all.  I thought this course was really interesting.  I certainly learned a lot of things I never knew before.  I have altered my perspective because of this.  I found some answers but I found that there were even more questions to be sought after.  Ignorance is bliss and with found knowledge comes responsibility.  I gather I better get to it.    Thanks for an enlightening experience!


I found it interesting to know how people think and belief compared to my thinking today. I think it also helped to understand how they felt and believed I did learn a lot about philosophy and others thoughts.  I enjoyed the class very much and I am glad I was able to learn something new.


Taking this course on the Internet was definitely a trip.  At first I thought I was done for, then everything came together.  Participation is the key and trying to understand my fellow students views helped me in more ways then you can imagine.  I always thought I was open minded and willing to listen, but now I am even more so.  You should super stress to the future students to print out the course outline of every mod and look at it everyday and they should be fine.

Also, a warning sign not to get discouraged should be posted at the top of the ancient philosophy mod (MOD 2). 

One of the most important things that I learned in this class was how little I know.  I have always been one to question things, but I never realized how much that I thought I knew may not be true.  Every theory that I thought was reasonable had faults with it.


I really enjoyed this course. I think that a better distribution of time should be allocated to the six "meaty" modules. What I mean is about two weeks each for each module. When the modules were shorter at the end, the intensity level was greater. The first week you should do what you did on April 12th, and convey your ground rules in a stern matter. People want to know what is expected from them. Also, in describing the course, you should explain that it is not for the weak willed and that it might be the most meaningful subject that one will ever take. You will eliminate the lazy, and pickup people who want to be challenged. Maybe, during each module, a live chat for a period of an hour could be arranged. Online courses are the future of education. I think you did a great job!


I agree.  If you fall behind in your reading, it is extremely difficult to catch up.  Some of the theories/concepts were hard to digest.  There were times when I had to read portions of the text 4/5 times.  Stress repeatedly the importance of staying afloat.  Your notes were very appreciated!!!!  I had a better understanding of the material through them.  The material in this course is unlike anything that I have encountered in my life.  I enjoyed it tremendously.  Thank you!


I don't think many people really know what to be ready for when they take this class, so I think the low survivor rate is inevitable.



This course was excellent in the fact that more people will participate on live vs. regular classroom, because no one will be able to criticize them directly. The only thing I would change is that if somethingís due on the 20th, for example, then students should be able to post on that day instead of it being closed. That was a little unclear in the beginning. The book itself was a little challenging for me to understand, but with the help of the online lectures it cleared up any ideas I did not quite understand. The course was definitely worth all the struggling for me to grasp some of the concepts because even though I did not agree with all of them, it did get me to see anotherís point of view and understand their beliefs.

I don't think that there is all that much that can be done to improve the course.  We all read the lectures, the textbook, and were able to bring that to the discussion questions.  We were able to interact with each other, and see how each other felt on certain issues.  We got to see how other people thought and interpreted the readings. 

I agree that this class was interesting and I think we all learned a lot.  I now know how to face people and their views and keep a conversation going about things I never would have before.  I learned a lot more from the lectures than I would have ever gotten from the textbook.  I think that the whole thing was set up great, with the exception of the overlapping modules, unlike some of my other online classes.  It took me a while to get used to the whole thing, but I think it was definitely worth it in the end. 


I think that the amount of work actually was adequate.  Since we are not in a classroom, we need to have enough work, which we are given.  The only thing that I would disagree with the work would be the essays.  I am also taking another class online.  We do the same discussions, but instead of the little essays, we have a major report that is due.  This way we have more time to concentrate on the discussions. 


I took this course to learn more about philosophy and how it was done. Both of these things were achieved, but I was still left feeling a little empty. I felt this way because I am a people person who can respond to things, and communicate ideas more openly face to face rather than through a computer. This however has nothing to do with the aspects of the course and is a person preference that i should have realized earlier. Overall this course was exactly as I expected it would be and exactly as you described it in the course outline. I think something that might enhance the course could be creating a chat-room that students would have to participate in live non-directive discussions on certain topics. All students could meet in the chart room at a specific time each week. This could be done in conjunction with less discussion questions. Other wise i thoroughly enjoyed the course and would recommend it to anyone short on time during the day. Thank you for an enjoyable semester.   


This course was exactly what I had expected it taught me to tear things apart as to why things happen the way they do I am doing this process right now with my dads death whereas 2 yrs ago I did not with my Grandmothers death... I have questioned the doctors and the nurses and my uncle as to was everything done the way it needed to be done or was there some thing more that could have been done etc....... these are the types of things I have learned and I did not realize it until this past Friday.  There is a saying that says everything happens for a reason.  I used to believe that 100% now I question things more.. I don't just take things at face value.   If everyone just let this world happen we would all be dead.....have a great summmer



I think this class went very smoothly.  I think that it was enjoyable to think about issues such as religion, life, what goes on in our time and what issues have gone on in the past.  This part of the class was the best learning tool for me.  I enjoyed reading everyoneís thoughts and then looking back at mine and seeing how different people look at the same issues.  It was nice to see how others thought about the same topic.________________________________

I think that I did learn more about the world, God, ethics, truth, etc. I found the lectures to be an anchoring point. The textbook was helpful in clarifying issues. The various web sites were helpful with in depth information. This course was definitely a lot of work, both in reading and writing. I had to put in more effort than I do in my computer and accounting courses, where I usually get A's. I feel that I learned a lot and I'm glad that I am one of the 12 "survivors."

Technically, the course is great. The only thing I think would make it better is to really stress the importance of staying on schedule in the introduction, it requires lots of discipline. Was the labor worth it? For me yes, given my position in life, looking back at where I've been and looking forward to where I would like to go, the issues covered have given me some direction. When I read the course description in the course catalogue, I thought, oh that would be perfect. I got what I was looking for in regards to the existence of God, truth and their respective importance in guiding me. The course was a challenge, far more than I bargained for given my experience with previous college level classes. I am truly humbled, but also empowered and I will value this experience, not just for the college credit that we all (hopefully) earned, but for the fresh perspective it has given me in matters that are most important as I decide what the heck to do with my life anyway. Whatever that may be, I will keep in mind ethics and morals, and probably the most universally important topic we covered here. Well, as Vincent so appropriately said, "WE SURVIVED".


I think this course is very good already there is not much to change.  The workload was more than I expected but not difficult.  I am not used to thinking of how and why something is good.  Most courses are textbook question and answer.  The discussion questions in this course were the best aspect of the online class.  In classroom settings most students don't talk and participate and most don't read the subject matter before class.  This class made everyone get involved and it helped, if I was stuck on something I could read a discussion answer from another student and get help.  Seeing others views help see the whole picture sometimes.  The combination of online lectures and the textbook really helped me out.  I usually start out the module by reading, the philosopherís essays are sometimes a tongue twister and the lecture helped put it into laymenís terms. 

From this course I got more out of it than I expected.  Some of these subjects I never even thought about and now I know about them and I'm able to discuss them and answer someoneís questions about it.  When I'm watching the news or talking to someone now I can fit in the philosophies that we've studied into everyday life.  I liked the online experience so much I am taking two more next semester.  Thank you for a lovely experience Professor Pecorino.

"Hit and run"- that is a great description. Unfortunately, I feel that the choice to participate in an online course is because of the realization that your schedule does not allow for a consistent block of time. Instead, when we hit -we hit hard. The fact that I could log on after everyone in my house was asleep- enabled my thoughts to be uncensored and completely focused on the topic. I found that people who were constantly present in the course- especially in the beginning- seemed distracted and trivial, and often corrected themselves afterwards. I would suggest trying to embrace the depth and quality of their hits and runs.



I agree, most of us only have a certain block of time allotted for homework and logging on.  Most of us couldn't be present all the time due to other responsibilities.  In a classroom setting, there are even days when a certain person doesn't always participate as strongly as they usually do.  This was definitely more participant oriented than a classroom setting.


I confess that I spent a lot more time here that it appeared. Reading the replies, lectures and trying to come up with a good reply of my own took lots of time, more than it appears. I could spend 2 hours absorbing everything and post a reply that looks like a hit and run. If you asked or commented on something I contributed, it encouraged me to log on to see what happened next. Questions from you the instructor were motivating, and I hoped for more from the class but oh well.

After reading the material, the writings of the greatest thinkers of our times, my words suddenly paled in comparison. I would over think my words and hesitate in putting my thoughts on the big screen. Aileen, when I would read your comments, your thoughts were always so clear and precise that I found nothing to question you on - that's a good thing!

I don't think there is any thing you can do to change the class.  The topics are so large and detailed and that you can't change.  As for the workload I think you have to give the assignments or students would not be forced to read them, the assignments also help understand each topic.

You are so right about the participation involved with the online format. I found that I was able to consider ( not just learn) views that I would have otherwise dismissed in a classroom setting. For example, Nietzsche- to inquire about him in a classroom would imply that you are a Nazi or insane. I felt like a snake shedding my skin each time I forced myself to examine my postmodernist beliefs. It is liberating to unload those embedded weights. What I would have liked to have discussed was a clearer link between the theories discussed and their effect and part in our world today. Certain ideas really appealed to me and I plan on further exploring them. But, I was unclear as to how these theories are applied in a practical everyday sense.


When taking this course I was really unsure what it was going to be all about and that interested me a lot. As far as what should be changed to make this course better I think nothing. I feel this course is a great way to interact and see who others feel about subjects such as the mind, god, the govt. and so on. What could be better then a class where your opinion counts and where no one is left out. Though I haven't met anyone in this class I feel I have gotten to know everyone and how they think about everyday life and that's just great at least that's what I think. Well it was great growing smarter with everyone and I hope everyone enjoys his or her summer.


To those of you who said this was an easy class, I want to study with you next time.  Out of the five classes I took this semester, I found this the most difficult and the hardest to find myself completing. But we finally did it!  This was my first on-line class and because of that I didn't really know what to expect from it.  Obviously not as much work as there was, I guess.  This was a good course, I can't think of anything to improve upon.  It's a shame that so many dropped out because I'm sure it would have improved upon our discussions with each other a little more.  All in all, this class taught me a lot and helped me to look at new situations in a different way.



I found this class to be extremely interesting.  The mandatory class participation discussions were extremely helpful.  In other online classes, although class participation is considered to be part of the final class grade, it doesn't seem as though this area of these courses are as heavily stressed.  I found the structure of this class kept everyone participating. Your format was very helpful, as it can be difficult for many to initiate a discussion, even though grades could be affected negatively if there is lack of participation.   The questions that started off the discussions caused me to review the reading for the module a second time (which gave my mind the chance to process the material), and therefore I was able to attain a better understanding of the readings, and had the opportunity to develop and express personal views. It is unfortunate that there were people who did not continue with the class, however, I do not find that it was the structure of the course that should be to blame.  This course was mentally stimulating and very challenging. The course content dealt with areas that may have been too difficult for one who is set in their ways, and beliefs, to realize that certain thoughts firmly "planted" in their minds now were being challenged, and in some instances disproved. It also could be frustrating for one who has set out for answers to complex questions, to only have those questions evolve into more perplexing questions.  This however would show that the course is effective because " thinking" was occurring!  I think that the course was a wonderful example for future classes to follow.  I would not suggest any changes to be made to improve the course. Thank you for the enlightening learning experience!

Lets' first off say that I didnít even need this class to graduate. I just thought that it would be interesting. I really had no idea what to expect from this online class. I like the way that it was set up. I think that all of your discussion notes were very good. The one thing that I think would have helped me a lot more with the papers were if we able to make corrections. Also the text I feel could have been a little better. Well I have enjoyed my say. Thank you for broadening my mind to the very unique world of philosophy!!



Philosophy seems like such a hard subject to teach online. I noticed that on many of the questions for discussion- I was completely stumped. They seemed liked such complicated questions to answer-yet they where phrased so simply.  In a classroom environment-a in depth discussion could have helped- your thoughts flow so much freer and you do not fear committing something to paper.  I guess a lot of time I felt -how can I intelligently answer a question- that hundreds of years of philosopher's could not answer:)  So everything to me was amazingly time consuming-but by then we were on to another topic.  So maybe I would say that it was a lot of material to cover-and sometimes the discussion questions overlapped the essay questions- and I felt I was repeating myself.  As a full time online student- this course really knocked me out- but I would never choose not to have taken it. Thank you for your passion as teacher-it showed.