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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science 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:

Exploration of problems and methods of philosophical inquiry, including such topics as belief systems, values, and meaning; theories of nature, god and humankind; the nature of knowledge and its acquisition. G.E. Fall and Spring semesters.

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

Introduction to Philosophy can be taught from either a topical or an historical approach. Both approaches, however, should emphasize analytic method along with content, and should include at least one assessment that involves students presenting and analyzing arguments.

Here are two possible texts, though there are, of course, many from which to choose.

From Plato to Derrida
By Baird, Forrest and Kaufmann, Walter (Pearson)
Category/Comments - Historical Approach Text
Twenty Questions
By Bowie, Michaels, and Solomon (Cengage )
Category/Comments - Topical Approach
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Student critically analyzes philosophical arguments, issues, and problems at the introductory level.
  2. Student formulates sound and valid philosophical arguments appropriate for the introductory level.
  3. Student cogently expresses both philosophical problems and plausible solutions in accord with the best philosophical practices that could be expected from a beginning student.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:

There are any number of possible topics in an introduction to philosophy class.  The only topic that is necessary is that of philosophical method and argumentation. Relatedly, covering the nature of philosophical inquiry and discourse is also crucial, but which texts best accomplish this can be left to the instructor. Other major topics obviously include metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of religion, political philosophy, etc.


Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Mark Price Date: March 17, 2015
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 learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. 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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