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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: PHIL 201
Course Title: Introduction to Philosophy
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

An introduction to the matter and method of philosophy. Topics include the purpose of human existence, the nature of the good life, the existence of God, the purpose of government, the conditions and extent of knowledge, and the relationship between human existence and reality. G.E. Fall and Spring semesters.

Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall and Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Any set of readings from primary sources that expose students to the common questions and answers of philosophy. These kinds of textbooks are numerous:

Philosophical Problems: Selected Readings
By Stumpf & Fieser (McGraw-Hill)
Category/Comments - Historical Approach Text
Twenty Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy
By Bowie, Michaels, and Solomon (Wadsworth)
Category/Comments - Topical Approach Text
Philosophical Questions: Classic and Contemporary Readings
By Lawhead (McGraw-Hill)
The Truth about the World: Basic Readings in Philosophy
By Rachels, James & Rachels, Stuart
Course Objectives

  • To be familiar with the matter and method of
  • To understand fundamental questions in philosophy,
    some classic answers, and reasons for believing
    these answers.

    Measurable Learning

  • Read classic philosophical prose for critical understanding.
  •  Describe the classic issues and problems in philosophy.
  • Formalize sophisticated philosophical arguments.
  • Analyze and provide criticisms of sophisticated philosophical arguments .
  • Describe the method of philosophy.

    Topical Outline:

  • The field of philosophy: its point and method; existence of God; mind and body; nature and scope of knowledge; appearance and reality; purpose of
    government; meaning of life.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Mark Price Date: October 7, 2013
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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