Table of Contents
Intro to Phil
Who Am I?

Introduction to Philosophy:  Syllabus

Syllabus Assignments Readings Notes Resources

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

Introduction to Philosophy

 Bellarmine University, Philosophy 160 E, Spring, 2006

Instructor:  Mr. Fout

Email: tcfout@bellsouth.net  Email is preferred.  Website: www.tfout.com

 (Telephone: 897-5578 (w) or 634-9658 (h))

 Office hours:  Before and after class and by appointment.  

Also most days 11 – 12 – Café and/or library.


1.      To discover objective truth and the role that truth plays in the lives of human beings.

2.      To distinguish truth from opinion.

3.      To examine our opinions regarding human nature, God and the world.

4.      To acquaint the student with various answers to fundamental human questions.

5.      To understand the proper way to answer philosophical questions.

 This course introduces students to philosophical thinking. By reading some of the greatest thinkers in the history of Western philosophy, students will learn about the topics that have engaged philosophers through the ages, as well as learning how to begin to think critically about those topics. Reading others’ reflections on the nature of reality, knowledge, truth, personal identity, and human nature, students will have the opportunity to participate in the wonder that animates philosophers, and to begin to appreciate that learning is not simply a tool to be employed in the conduct of practical affairs, but is at the core of what it is to be a human being.  Students will develop the ability to articulate, critique, and support judgments about the ultimate meaning of being, truth, goodness, and beauty.  Students will develop the ability to incorporate those judgments in their lives and actions. This course will acquaint the beginning philosophy student with the basic forms of critical reasoning and with some of the central issues and thinkers in the history of Western philosophy. (Bellarmine catalog)  This course is intended to begin to address and develop the General Education Core requirements 1, 7, and 8. This course is an examination of various philosophical questions and answers concerning the human person and the world we live in. What is our origin?  What is our nature?  What is the nature of our world and society?  What is culture? Are we really free?  Are some ways of living our human life better than others?  What kinds of answers can we expect to these questions? How does science relate to philosophy? These are a few of the types of questions we will consider in this course.  We will pursue the answers in friendly and civil class discussions.


 God, Second Edition, Edited by Timothy A. Robinson, Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis, 2002, ISBN: 0-87220-641-6

 Plato, The Trial and Death of Socrates, Third Edition, Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis, 2000, ISBN: 0-87220-554-1

 Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, Pocket Books, 1985, ISBN: 0-671-02337-3

 Students must purchase the texts and bring the one currently being used to each class. All students are expected to read and study all the assigned selections and to participate in class discussions. Attendance policy:  Attendance is essential. No unexcused absences are allowed. For each unexcused absence, one point will be deducted from the student’s final average. Coming late or leaving early is not acceptable. Written documentation (doctor’s note, athletic office or other official University office note, note from supervisor at work, note from military superior, etc.) must be presented for an excused absence.  Class lecture and discussion will include material in addition to that found in the texts and handouts.  This additional material will be presented in class throughout the semester and students will be responsible for all of it. Exams and quizzes will include all class lecture material as well as the reading assignments.  Exams and quizzes will include both objective and essay questions. There could be a quiz during any class. Quizzes may be announced or unannounced. Quizzes will include material from the previous classes and the assigned readings. The quiz average will count one-third of the final grade. No make ups for quizzes. Missed quizzes will receive a zero. There will be a mid-term test and a cumulative final exam.  The mid-term test date is Friday March 3, 2006.  The final exam date is Monday May 1, 2006.  The mid-term and the final exam will each count one-third of the final grade. 

 Students are expected to demonstrate a high standard of academic honesty in all aspects of their academic work and university life.  Without intellectual integrity there can be no genuine learning.  Academic dishonesty represents a direct attack on this integrity.  In taking tests and examinations, completing assignments and laboratory work, writing papers, and using information technology, students are expected to perform honestly. I strongly endorse and will follow the academic honesty policy as published in Bellarmine’s Catalog 2005-2007 (pp. 55-56) and in the 2005-2006 Student Handbook (pp. 16-19).  Students must be fully aware of what constitutes academic dishonesty; claims of ignorance cannot be used to justify or rationalize dishonest acts.  Academic dishonesty can take a number of forms, including but not limited to cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, aiding and abetting, multiple submissions, obtaining unfair advantage, and unauthorized access to academic or administrative systems or information.  Definitions of each of these forms of academic dishonesty are provided in the academic honesty section of the 2005-2006 Student Handbook.  All detected instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Provost, and sanctions will be imposed as dictated by the policy.  Penalties range from failing an assignment or test to dismissal from the University, depending, in part, on the student’s previous record of academic dishonesty.  Students with disabilities who require accommodations for this course must contact the Disability Services Coordinator. 

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