Department of Philosophy

PHL 110 - Introduction to Philosophy

Semester: Spring, 2015
When: T, Th, F - 8:00,9:00,1:00
Office Hours: T , Th, F, 12pm or by appointment
Instructor: Dr. Christopher Perricone
Office: Spellman Hall, 2nd floor
Phone: 914-637 2765

Course Objectives and Description
Required Text
Grading Criteria
Course Outline

Course Objectives and Description

This course will offer students a general introduction to selected problems of philosophy by examining some of the most important texts in the history of philosophy. Students will gain knowledge of ideas concerning metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion. Students will be encouraged to develop their critical skills, both verbally and in writing, when examining and evaluating philosophical arguments. The class will be conducted both as lecture and discussion.

Required Text & Learning Goals

Philosophical Essays, Christopher Perricone

HANDOUTS: I will provide some material not included in Stumpf.

Minimally, after completing Introduction to Philosophy a student will:
1. understand the nature of philosophy,
2. understand some crucial ideas of critical thinking,
3. understand some major ideas in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, or philosophy of religion.
4. recognize, express, and analyze arguments in philosophical texts.
5. read and interpret philosophical texts.
6. summarize and explain difficult ideas and concepts.
7. write philosophical essays that have coherent theses and reasonable supporting arguments
8. understand different intellectual perspectives and thus be able to understand that different people will define issues in different ways.
9. develop a sense of the value and limits of philosophy.
10. develop a reflective attitude and sensitivity to the subtleties and complexities of metaphysical, epistemological, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion ideas.

Grading Criteria, etc.

Assessment Tools : examinations will have either a muliple choice, short answer, or essay format, or some combination thereof. Students will be notified in advance which format to expect.

College Policy for all courses and students: (full explanations of policy may be found in the College Catalog)

Plagiarism:  Is the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author/person and the representation of them as one's own original work.  Iona College policy stipulates that students may be failed for the assignment or course, with no option for resubmission or re-grading of said assignment.  A second instance of plagiarism may result in dismissal from the College.

Cheating and plagiarism subvert both the purpose of the College and the
experience students derive from being at Iona. They are offenses which harm the
offender and the students who do not cheat.
The Iona community, therefore, pledges itself to do all in its power to prevent
cheating and plagiarism, and to impose impartial sanctions upon those who harm
themselves, their fellow students, and the entire community by academic
Sanction and Appeals: At the beginning of each semester, professors shall state
their policy with regard to intellectual dishonesty on the syllabi and course
requirement forms they distribute. This policy shall include the penalty to be
imposed when cheating or plagiarism is discovered; penalties may include failure
for a given assignment or failure in the course. Students who are given a failing
grade as a result of cheating, plagiarism or academic dishonesty are not
permitted to withdraw from the class. Faculty members will report all incidents
of cheating and plagiarism to the dean. After the first offense the student will
be required to complete an instructional program on intellectual dishonesty.
After the second offense, the student will no longer qualify for a degree with
honors, and the student may be suspended from the college. In any allegation of
intellectual dishonesty, every effort will be made to ensure justice; in all cases,
educational assistance rather than adversarial proceedings will be sought.
If, in conformity with this policy, a sanction is imposed, students may appeal first,
to the professor who discovered the offence; second to the department chair; and
third to the academic dean of the division involved. The decision of the academic
dean is final. A student has the right to appeal the academic dean's decision to
the provost if, and only if, the sanction involves a suspension from class or
dismissal from the College. In such appeals, the decision of the provost is final.


Attendance:  All students are required to attend all classes.  Iona has an attendance policy for which all students are accountable.  While class absence may be explained it is never excused.  Professors may weigh class absence in the class grade as they see fit.  Failure to attend class may result in a failure of the class for attendance(FA), when the student has missed 20% or more of the total class meetings.  The FA grade weighs as an F would in the final official transcript.

Course and Teacher Evaluation(CTE):  Iona College now uses an on-line CTE system.  This system is administered by an outside company and all of the data is collected confidentially.  No student name or information will be linked to any feedback received by the instructor.  The information collected will be compiled in aggregate form by the agency and distributed back to the Iona administration and faculty, with select information made available to students who complete the CTE.  Your feedback in this process is an essential part of improving our course offerings and instructional effectiveness.  We want and value your point of view.*
NOTE* You will receive several emails at your Iona email account about how and when the CTE will be administered with instructions how to proceed.

Course Outline

week 1  Intro. to philosophy

week 2 "Euthyphro" by Plato

week 3 "Euthyphro" cont'd; "Apology" by Plato

week 4 "Apology" cont'd

week 5  "Meditations" by Rene Descartes

week 6  "Meditations" cont'd

week 7  Review and mid-term examination

week 8  "The Mind-Body Problem: a contemporary view" by John Searle

week 9  "The Mind-Body Problem" cont'd; "Personal Identity" by David Hume

week 10  "Personal Identity cont'd

week 11  "Faith and Reason" by St. Thomas Aquinas

week 12  "Faith and Reason" cont'd; "5 Arguments for the Existence of God" by St. Thomas Aquinas

week 13  "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion" by David Hume

week 14  "Dialogues" cont'd; review

week 15  Final exam

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