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Blinn College • Schulenburg Campus • Humanities • Philosophy - PHIL

Intro To Philosophy PHIL-1301

  • Fall 2013
  • Section SECTION_700 CRN-11534
  • 3 Credits
  • 08/26/2013 to 12/13/2013
  • Modified 08/21/2013

Meeting Times

  • Tuesday, Thursday, 11:50 AM to 1:05 PM, LA 121

Contact Information

Professor: Connie Youngblood


Monday & Wednesday 9:00-10:00AM & 12:00-1:00PM  Sealy
Monday Night 5:30-6:00PM Columbus High School
Tuesday 8:00-10:00AM Schulenburg
Wednesday Night 8:00-10:00PM Online
Thursday 1:30-3:00PM Schulenburg
Friday by appointment any campus


A study of major issues in philosophy and/or the work of major philosophical figures in philosophy. Topics in philosophy may include theories of reality, theories of knowledge, theories of value, and their practical applications.


Prerequisites: Students must be “college ready” in reading. (Refer to “Admissions Testing Requirements” in the Blinn College Catalog.)

Corequisites: None

Core Curriculum Statement

This is a Core Course in the 42-Hour Core Curriculum of Blinn College. As such, students will develop proficiency in the appropriate Intellectual Competencies, Exemplary Educational Objectives, and Perspectives.


Students who succeed in this course will:

Read, analyze, and critique philosophical texts.

Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts, major arguments, problems, and terminology in philosophy.

Present logically persuasive arguments both orally and in writing.

Demonstrate critical thinking skills in evaluation and application of philosophical concepts to various aspects of life.

Evaluate the personal and social responsibilities of living in a diverse world.



Melchert, Norman. Philosophical Conversations: A Concise Historical Introduction, 

 New York: Oxford UP, 2009.

Testing Materials

2 AccuScan Advantage #28980 scan sheets for the pre and post-tests

Internet Access

eCampus, Blinn College’s learning management system, will be used as a course supplement.

Course Requirements


Two exams will be administered throughout the semester to test the student’s knowledge of material presented in class.  Exams will be multiple choice, fill in the blank, short answer, and essay.  There is a ten point late penalty for each class day the exam is not taken, and it will not be accepted after two class days.  If you miss an exam, I will place the exam in the testing center after class; therefore, you will be able to take it before the next class.  While I want you to communicate with me, do not wait until the next class to tell me you missed the exam . . . I already know and have placed the exam in the testing center.  If you wait, there will be a 10 point penalty for each class day after the exam day.

Participation Activities

Reading and lecture quizzes will be given unannounced during the semester to assess knowledge of material presented.  Students will also be asked to respond to presented material in various ways, written, oral, and in-class activities.  This is the student’s opportunity to explain his or her opinions and conclusions, and apply various philosophies to real world problems. Some examples include journal entries, discussion notes, philosopher outlines, and various other writing focused assignments.  If a student is not in class or is late when an activity is given, he or she misses the opportunity to complete the assignment.  Additionally, grades may be assessed in certain cases for active, meaningful participation.

Individual Project

Students will present a five to ten minute presentation that highlights a philosophy not extensively covered in this course; a significant visual aid must accompany the presentation and the student must prepare a works cited page for the instructor.  Creativity is essential for the success of this project.

Final Exam

This exam will be given to determine whether or not the student has sufficient knowledge of the skills needed to advance to the next level of college-credit. 

Extra Credit

Extra Credit will be assigned throughout the semester via eCampus.  These assignments will be time sensitive; therefore, students should check eCampus frequently.



Types of evaluations and related weights
Type Weight Topic Notes
Major Assignments 80%

Summative Assessment

Two Exams w/Essay Questions              40%

Individual Project                                    15%

Final Exam w/Essay Questions               25%

Minor Assignments 20%

Formative Assessment

Participation Activities                           20%

Grading System

A             90-100%               Excellent

B             80-89%                 Good

C             70-79%                 Average

D             60-69%                 Poor

F              Below 60%          Failure

I               Incomplete

Q             Dropped

QF          Dropped Failing

W            Dropped For Good Cause or Withdrew from College

Blinn College Policies

Blinn College policies on civility, class attendance; scholastic integrity; students with disabilities; final grade appeals; and electronic devices as stated in the Blinn College Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, Blinn College Catalog and specific technical program handbooks. All policies, guidelines and procedures in the Student and Faculty Handbook and the Board and Administrative Policy Manuals are applicable to this course

Civility Statement

Members of the Blinn College community, which includes faculty, staff and students, are expected to act honestly and responsibly in all aspects of campus life. Blinn College holds all members accountable for their actions and words. Therefore, all members should commit themselves to behave in a manner that recognizes personal respect and demonstrates concern for the personal dignity, rights, and freedoms of every member of the College community, including respect for College property and the physical and intellectual property of others.

      Civility Notification Statement. If a student is asked to leave the classroom because of uncivil behavior, the student may not return to that class until he or she arranges a conference with the instructor; it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for this conference. 

      This statement reflects step one in a possible four step process.  The Incivility Protocol is detailed in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Attendance Policy

The College District believes that class attendance is essential for student success; therefore, students are required to promptly and regularly attend all their classes. A record of attendance will be maintained from the first day of classes and/or the first day the student’s name appears on the roster through final examinations. If a student has one week’s worth of unexcused absences during the semester, he or she will be sent an e-mail by the College District requiring the student to contact his or her instructor and schedule a conference immediately to discuss his/her attendance issues. Should the student accumulate two weeks’ worth of unexcused absences, he or she will be administratively withdrawn from class.

There are four forms of excused absences recognized by the institution:

  1. observance of religious holy days—The student should notify his or her instructor(s) not later than the 15th day of the semester concerning the specific date(s) that the student will be absent for any religious holy day(s);
  2. representing the College District at an official institutional function;
  3. high school dual credit students representing the independent school district at an official institutional function; and
  4. military service.

Other absences may be considered excused at the discretion of the faculty member with appropriate documentation.  A student enrolled in a developmental course is subject to College District-mandated attendance policies. Failure to attend developmental classes shall result in removal from the course as defined by the College District.

It is the student’s responsibility to officially drop a class he or she is no longer attending.  To officially drop a class the student must obtain the class withdrawal form from Enrollment Services, complete the class withdrawal form, secure the required signatures, and return the completed form to Enrollment Services. The last day to drop with a Q is according to the Academic Calendar.

Scholastic Integrity

Blinn College does not tolerate cheating, plagiarism, or any other act of dishonesty with regard to the course in which you are enrolled.  The following text defines the faculty member’s responsibility with regard to the scholastic integrity expectation for this and all courses at Blinn College.

It is the responsibility of faculty members to maintain scholastic integrity at the College District by refusing to tolerate any form of scholastic dishonesty.  Adequate control of test materials, strict supervision during testing, and other preventive measures should be utilized, as necessary, to prevent cheating or plagiarism.  If there is compelling evidence that a student is involved in cheating or plagiarism, the instructor should assume responsibility and address the infraction.  Likewise, any student accused of scholastic dishonesty is entitled to due process as outlined in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).  The Scholastic Integrity Policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook. In a case of scholastic dishonesty, it is critical that written documentation be maintained at each level throughout the process.

Students with Disabilities

Blinn College is dedicated to providing the least restrictive learning environment for all students. Support services for students with documented disabilities are provided on an individual basis, upon request. Requests for services should be made directly to the Office of Special Populations serving the campus of your choice.  For the Bryan campus, the Office of Special Populations (Administration Building) can be reached at (979)209-7251.  The Brenham, Sealy and Schulenburg campuses are served by the Office of Special Populations on the Brenham campus (Administration Building Room 104) and can be reached at (979)830-4157.  Additional information can be found at

Final Grade Appeal

If a student wishes to appeal a final grade in a course, Blinn College Board Policy FLDB (Local), Course Grade Complaints, outlines the timeline for the appeal and the four steps in the appeal.  This policy is located in the Blinn College Student Handbook.

Electronic Devices

All the functions of all personal electronic devices designed for communication and/or entertainment (cell phones, pagers, beepers, iPods, and similar devices) must be turned off and kept out of sight in all College District classrooms and associated laboratories.  Any noncompliance with this policy shall be addressed in accordance with the College District civility policy (administrative policy).  This information is contained in Blinn College Board Policy FLB (Local).

Humanities Division Policies

  Makeup Work. At the instructor’s discretion, makeup exams and other assignments, if allowed, may be different from the original assignments.

 Papers.  Formal papers are to be submitted on time in two ways:  in hard copy and electronically.  Papers not submitted in class will be considered late, and course grade will be affected.  To submit papers electronically, send them to PRIOR TO the start of class on the day each paper is due.  Major essays are not considered turned in until they are submitted to before class AND submitted in hard copy at the beginning of class on the due date. 

The Writing Center, Bryan Campus ACD 119, provides one-on-one tutoring for students in all courses at Blinn College.  The Writing Center is nationally accredited with the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA), and all our tutors are professionals.  While the Writing Center is not an editing service, we will work with writers during any stage of the writing process:

  • understanding an assignment,
  • choosing a topic,
  • brainstorming,
  • planning,
  • revising,
  • editing, and
  • documenting sources.

Writing Center tutors help students learn about writing so they can:

  • feel confident in their abilities;
  • avoid repeating the same mistakes;
  • get the most from all their classes;
  • work toward career goals; and
  • avoid staying up all night before an assignment is due.

In short, the mission of the Writing Center is to help students become better writers. 

Visit             or call (979)-209-7591

  • to learn more about the online tutoring option for Distance Ed students,
  • to locate a wide variety of helpful handouts, and
  • to make appointments for tutoring.

 The Writing Room, Brenham Campus ACD14, is a writing center and computer lab available to all current Blinn College students.  In The Writing Room, students can meet one-on-one with trained writing consultants.  The Writing Room is also a quiet place where students may think and study.  For more information, please stop in or telephone (979) 830-4403.

 Grading Standards for Philosophy Papers and In/Out of Class Essays (this includes exam essays)

Note: To receive a grade of A-C, the paper must meet all requirements of the assignment.

 The A paper (90-100%) represents original, outstanding work.  It shows consistently careful philosophical thought, fresh insights, sophisticated analysis, and stylistic maturity.

  • The reader moves through the A paper effortlessly because of its effective transitions, strong organization, and thorough, purposeful development. 
  • An A paper has a controlling idea that is complete and well-formulated.
  • An A paper is not marred by distracting mechanical errors.
  • Directly quoted passages are gracefully integrated into the text with appropriate attribution.
  • Word choice reflects a superior grasp of philosophical concepts and terminology, is marked by a precise, varied, advanced vocabulary, and includes precise supporting examples.  It is free of jargon, clichés, and other empty language.

 The B paper (80-89%) represents clearly good, above average college level work.  It demonstrates philosophical insight, correct, complete, and thoughtful analysis, and a varied vocabulary.    

  • Its specific points are logically ordered, with appropriate transitions; ideas are well developed and supported with evidence.
  • The B paper has a clear controlling idea.
  • It is mostly free of distracting mechanical errors.
  • Directly quoted passages are smoothly integrated into the text with appropriate attribution.
  • In summary, the language of the B paper is clear, with correct usage of philosophical terminology, and is often thoughtful, with relevant supporting examples, but it lacks the originality and precision of the most memorable writing. 

 The C paper (70-79%) represents average college-level work. It is a competent expression of philosophical ideas and exhibits a writing style that is basically correct.

  • A C paper’s analysis is correct and mostly complete, but is superficial and/or inconsistent.
  • A C paper has an organizational pattern containing information that is relevant to the assignment.  However, it often lacks varied transitions, developed thought, and other information needed to guide the reader.
  • The C paper has a controlling idea, but it lacks specificity and focus because it is insubstantial, vague, or simply too broad or general.
  • A paper earning a C has relatively few major syntactic, usage, and mechanical errors.
  • Directly quoted passages are integrated into the text with attribution.
  • In summary, the language of the C paper is characterized by generalities rather than precise, illustrative details.

 The D paper (60-69%) represents below average college work. It often demonstrates one or more of the following characteristics:

  • A D paper’s analysis is incorrect and/or incomplete as well as superficial and/or inconsistent.
  • It has only skeletal development and organization;
  • A D paper’s controlling idea is often unclear and/or non-existent;
  • It has frequent major mechanical errors which are distracting and interfere with the readability of the document.
  • Sentence structure is awkward, non-standard, and ambiguous.

 Note: A paper exhibiting major weaknesses in any specific area—content, development, organization, writing style—or, indeed, a failure to address the assignment is usually considered, at best, a D paper.

 The F paper (59% and below) is characterized by writing that falls below minimal standards for college-level literacy. It often demonstrates one or more of the following characteristics:

  • analysis is completely incorrect or is entirely missing
  • little or no organization;
  • an unclear or missing controlling idea;
  • lack of thought and purpose;
  • numerous and pervasive mechanical errors which are distracting and interfere with the readability of the document.

The No-Credit Paper (0%) demonstrates one or more of the following serious errors

  • plagiarized content in any form, including the failure to acknowledge the source of any borrowed material (summarized, paraphrased, and directly quoted) and unmarked exact wording (directly quoted from either any primary or any secondary source, including dictionaries and class notes), whether a specific well-chosen word, a phrase (two or more words), a clause, or full sentence(s);
  • complete failure to address the assigned topic;
  • complete failure to meet the requirements of the assignment;
  • complete failure to follow directions.

Course Policies



for Philosophy 1301:  Introduction to Philosophy

Fall 2013 TTH 11:50AM – 1:05PM


text = Philosophical Conversations


8/27       Class:     Journal -

                             introduction to class and pretest

                HW:       read text chapter 1 pp. 1-9 and eCampus reading


8/29       Class:     discuss mythos, logos, and logical fallacies

                HW:       read text chapter 2 pp. 10-38 (skip The Tao pp. 22-24)


9/3         Class:     Journal -

                            discuss pre-Socratics and Sophists

                HW:       read text chapter 3 pp. 39-54 and chapter 4 Apology with commentary and questions pp.71-89


9/5         Class:     Journal -

                             discuss Socrates and the Apology

                HW:       read Euthyphro via eCampus link and text chapter 4 pp.66-70


9/10       Class:     discuss the Euthyphro and the Socratic Method

                HW:       read text chapter 5 pp. 94-129 (skip “Problems with the Forms” pp. 127-128)


9/11       DAY OF RECORD


9/12       Class:     Journal -

                            discuss Plato: Politics, Epistemology, and Ethics

                HW:       read text chapter 6 pp. 130-168


9/17       Class:     discuss Aristotle: from Being to Becoming

                HW:       complete assigned readings


9/19       Class:     Journal -

                                Complete Athenian discussion and review for Exam I

                HW:       prepare for exam 1


9/24       Class:     Exam I

                HW:       eCampus reading


9/26       Class:     Journal -

                             Applying Philosophy to Modern Issues:  Scholastic Dishonesty and Plagiarism     

                HW:       read text Interlude 1 & 2 pp. 169-180     


10/1       Class:     Skeptics, Christians, and other Cultish Movements         

                HW:       read text chapter 7 pp. 181-211 (skip “Time” pp. 195-197 & “The Two Cities” pp. 207-209)


10/3       Class:     Journal -

                             discuss Augustine and Grace

                HW:       read text chapter 8 pp. 212-227 (skip highlighted boxes “Avicenna”, “Averroes”, & “Maimonides”)


10/8       Class:     discuss Anselm and Aquinas:  God’s Existence Proven??

                HW:       read text Interlude 3 pp. 228-247


10/10     Class:     Journal -

                                discuss Medieval to Modern Interlude

                HW:       read text chapter 9 pp. 248-276 (try to read Meditations on First Philosophy but do not stress over it J)


10/15     Class:     discuss Descartes and Pascal:  God’s Existence Proven . . . Again?

                HW:       complete assigned readings


10/17     Class:     Journal -

                            complete discussion and review for Exam II

                HW:       prepare for exam II


10/22     Class:     Exam II

                HW:       eCampus reading


10/24     Class:     Journal -

                            Applying Philosophy to Modern Issues:  Death . . . Abortion, Capital Punishment, and War           

                HW:       eCampus reading


10/29     Class:     discuss Individual Project

                HW:       prepare presentation


10/31     Class:     Journal -

                             Individual Project work day

                HW:       prepare presentation


11/5       Class:     Group Activity with Individual Projects

                HW:       prepare presentation


11/7       Class:     Journal -

                             Project Presentations

              HW:       read text chapter 10 pp. 277-294 (skip highlighted boxes “Francis Bacon”, “George Berkeley”, “Thomas Hobbes”)            


11/12     Class:     discuss Locke and Political Theories (including Marx)                      

                HW:       read text chapter 11 pp. 295-321


11/14     Class:     Journal -

                            discuss Hume:  Ending this Questioning Stuff . . .                              

              HW:       read text chapter 12 pp. 323-356 (skip highlighted boxes, “critique” pp. 325-326, “Common Sense, Science, and A Priori Categories” pp. 331-335, “The Ontological Argument” pp. 343-345)




11/19     Class:     Journal -

                             Kant:  Developing a Deontological System           

                HW:       read text chapter 14 pp. 374-393 (skip highlighted box “Iris Murdoch”)


11/21     Class:     discuss Kierkegaard:  Facing our Authentic Selves and Developing Faith

                HW:       read text chapter 14 pp. 393-420 (skip highlighted box “Iris Murdoch”)


11/26     Class:     Journal -

                           discuss Nietzsche:  Society’s need for an Ubermensch

                HW:       read text chapter 18 pp. 501, highlighted box “Jean-Paul Sartre” pp. 526-527, and eCampus reading


11/28     Holiday!


12/3       Class:     discuss Existentialism and Sartre

                HW:       eCampus reading            


12/5       Class:     Journal -

                            review for final exam    

                HW:       prepare for final exam


Final:  Thursday, December 12, 2013, 11AM – 1PM