Philosophy 1000, Spring 2013 
Introduction to Philosophy
Room: 211 Tureaud Hall
Time: 9:30-10:20
Professor: Jon Cogburn 
Professor's Office: 214 Coates 
Professor's Office Hours: M,W,F 10:30-11:30
Professor's e-mail: joncogburn@yahoo.com 
Graduate Teaching Assistant: Brad Wood
Graduate Teaching Assistant e-mail: bwood6@tigers.lsu.edu
Graduate Teaching Assistant: 312 Coates
Graduate Teaching Assistant Office Hours: M,W 1:30-3:00
Exam time: Friday, May 10, 12:30-2:30.
Contents of Syllabus 
I. Purpose 
II. Subject Matter 
III. Materials 
IIIa. Textbooks 
IIIb. Online Resources 
IV. Assignments and Grades 
IVa. Exams 
IVb. Papers 
IVc. Participation 
V. Discipline 
Va. Cheating 
Vb. Disruptive Behavior 
VI. Office Hour Policy 
VII. Tentative Schedule 
I. Purpose 
It is hoped that this course helps to inculcate: 
  • an effective command of written and spoken English, 
  • an appreciation of the methods of critical inquiry, 
  • an understanding of other cultures and times, and 
  • a comprehension of how knowledge is acquired and applied. 

This course should not be thought of as a hurdle to be overcome, but rather as a resource to help you develop your abilities to think, describe, interpret, and analyze the world.  Such skills are part of human flourishing and absolutely essential to the success of any kind of endeavor.

To achieve these goals we will think about some classic philosophical issues concerning relationships between people, the world, and our thoughts and language about the world.  Our task, with regards to the texts we will be reading, will be both exegetical and critical.  We will attempt to reconstruct the philosophers' arguments as charitably as possible, as well as evaluate these arguments to the best of our ability.  It is hoped by the instructor that, after this class, the student will be both well equipped and motivated to continue study in philosophy. 
II. Subject Matter 
The subject matter of the course concerns the kinds of things that might exist in the universe (metaphysics). We will consider arguments for and against the conclusions that sense data, matter, non-material minds, God, and platonic forms exist. 

Classes like this are almost always either organized historically or topically.  I have picked a topical organization, which means we will go back and forth through historical epochs, seeing what some of the best and brightest have to say about given topics.  None the less, students should be able to organize this material historically.  Here's an incomplete time-line of the philosophers we will be discussing. 

1. Socrates   (469-399 B.C.E.) 
2. Plato  (427-347 B.C.E.) 
3. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.) 
4. René Descartes (1596-1650 C.E.) 
5.  John Locke (1632-1704 C.E.) 
6. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716 C.E.) 
7. George Berkeley (1685-1753 C.E.) 
8. David Hume (1711-1776 C.E.) 
9. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804 C.E.) 
10. John Stuart Mill  (1806-1873 C.E.) 
11. Karl Marx (1818-1883 C.E.) 
12. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900 C.E.) 
13. Hans Vaihinger (1852-1933 C.E.) 
14. Bertrand Russell (1872-1970 C.E.) 
15. George Edward Moore (1873-1958 C.E.) 
16. Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951 C.E.) 
17. Willard Van Orman Quine (1908-2000 C.E.) 
18. A.J. Ayer (1910-1989 C.E.)
19. J.L. Austin (1911-1960)
All of these philosophers can and should be looked up on the on-line resources listed in section IIc. of this syllabus. 
III. Materials 
IIIa. Textbooks  
All of the course readings are from the following sources. 
    Bertrand Russell The Problems of Philosophy (available free on-line from Project Gutenburg at HERE)
    Jon Cogburn's Notes on the Philosophy of Mind (also just click on "Mind" link to left)
    A.J. Ayer Language, Truth, and Logic (have to order this one)

IIIb. On Line Resources 
Students are required to avail themselves to the course notes presented in this web-page (http://www.artsci.lsu.edu/phil/phil1/cogburn/currentcourses/intro.html).  These notes should not be read as a substitue for coming to class. In class, we will discuss the material in a manner which will illuminate the notes. I will try to have the notes for a given lecture posted prior to the class discussion that day.  Thus, students should be able to be better prepared to contribute to a discussion of the topic at hand.  Sometimes I will change the lecture notes after our discussion.  When this happens it will be announced in the log of changes. Students are again required to follow the log of changes. 

In addition, students are very strongly encouraged to utilize Garth Kemerling's

   Philosophy Pages

Kemerling's Dictionary is good in three ways: (1) it is fairly complete, (2) the information is reliable, and (3) the entries contain lots of hypertext links to other on line resources of high quality.   Many of the terms you will be looking up are technical terms which (like all technical terms) might vary in meaning slightly, depending upon context.  If my definition contradicts a definition you find on line, always use the definition provided in my notes. Kemerling's resources should be used to attain an appreciation of background context, not as substitutes for our notes and texts.

Students should also consult James Fieser and Bradley Dowden's

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy,

and the

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

These are both of very high quality.

Students are also very strongly encouraged to utilize standard dictionaries for looking up non-philosophical terms.  A good index of on-line resources can be found at

   Robert Beard's Web of On-Line Dictionaries (http://www.yourdictionary.com/).

Do not use any of these general dictionaries to attempt to understand a philosophical, or non-philosophical yet still technical, term.  They almost uniformly give bad definitions.  Rather, if there are any words in my notes, in the books, or elsewhere on the web that you do not fully understand, you should look them up and attain lexical mastery.

IV. Assignments and Grades 
The final grade will be a function of the student's performance on four non-final exams, a paper, attendence, and participation. 
IVa. Exams 
Exams 1 and 2 are each worth 15% of the final course grade. 
Exams 3 and 4 are each worth 20% of the final course grade. 
The exams will each consist in a number of matching, multiple choice, definitions and short answer questions drawn from  a set of questions given to the students a week prior to the exam.  Exams may be cumulative. 

Make-up exams will only be given if the student presents a university accepted documented excuse for why she was unable to attend or unable to prepare for the exam.  The student must make every effort to schedule a time to make up the exam with the instructor in a timely manner.  If the student does not reschedule the exam within one week of the day the exam was given, and if she has no university accepted and documented reason for failing to do so, then she will receive a zero on the exam in question.

Do not show up on the day of the exam telling the instructor that you are not sufficiently prepared and asking permission to take a make-up exam.  Heavy course or work load is not an acceptable excuse, and it is grossly unfair to the other students for an instructor to accept such an excuse as the basis for giving a make-up exam.  If you need to take a make-up, do not show up on the day of the exam.  As early as possible, provide written evidence that the reason you could not take the exam was a  university accepted one.  Note: make-up exams are not identical with the exams given in class.

IVb. Paper
The final paper is worth 20% of the final grade. It is due at the beginning of the exam time. The paper must be involve significant research of sources outside of the class. Students must use the electronic version of the philosopher's index, accessible at http://www.lib.lsu.edu/databases/, or material found through JSTOR searches restricted to philosophy, and read and cite relevant background material. The topic of the paper is up to the student, but it must concern issues in the western philosophical tradition and involve exegesis and appraisal of one or more contemporary (twenty or twenty-first century) academic articles. Students are also required to discuss paper topics with the professor and grader ahead of time. Approximately 2/3 through the course, we will have class discussion about possible paper topics. I will also describe how to write an A+ philosophy paper.

Length and citational guidelines are as given by the journal Analysis (http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/analys/for_authors/). In addition, writing must be (1) double spaced, (2) left justified, (3) in Times or Times New Roman 12 pt font, (4) have page numbers in the upper right hand corner (not written but inserted by Word), (5) be stapled, and (6) not have extra space between the paragraphs (in Word go to Paragraph and then click box that says "Don't add space between paragraphs of same style"). All of these formatting guidelines will be explained further in class. If your paper does not follow any of these guidelines I will delete 10 points (which will be four points off your final grade) and have you turn a correct version in late. Finally, I do not accept work over e-mail.

We will have plenty of opportunity to discuss paper topics in class. Please check your choice of article with the professor by around mid-term grade time, and discuss the conclusion you will defend in your response.

IVc. Participation  
Participation is worth 10% of the final grade. This will be determined by attendance and class discussion.
Attendance is mandatory for two reasons.  First, discussion is an essential part of philosophy.  Failure to attend class not only robs the other students and instructor of your insights, it also helps to create an environment less conducive to discussion.  Second, the material we cover in this class is difficult.  Grasping it requires both grappling with it at home by yourself and with friends, but also hearing what the instructor and other students have to say. 

The attendence policy is simple.  For each unexcused absence the student will lose 2 points from her final grade up to 10 points.

Up to 6% extra credit will be awarded to students for making regular contributions to class discussions. Extra credit will only be given for class discussion if the student’s contributions are relevant and show that the student is thinking about (and has been reading) the material. 

V. Discipline  
Va. Plagiarism and Cheating  
The Dean of Students office defines plagiarism in this manner.
Plagiarism-plagiarism is defined as the unacknowledged inclusion, in work submitted for credit, of someone else's words, ideas, or data. When a student submits work for credit that includes the words, ideas, or data of others, the source of this information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate, and specific footnote references, and, if verbatim statements are included, through quotation marks as well. Failure to identify any source, published or unpublished, copyrighted or uncopyrighted, from which information, terms, phrases, or concepts have been taken, constitutes plagiarism. Students should also take special note that failure to acknowledge study aids such as Cliff's Notes, encyclopedias, or other common reference books, also constitutes plagiarism. Only universally available facts, e.g., the date of Abraham Lincoln's death or Washington's birthdate, are excluded from such documentation requirements. By placing his or her name on work submitted for credit, the student certifies the originality of all work not otherwise identified by appropriate acknowledgments;
Note: Cut and pasting off of web sites without proper citation constitutes plagiarism! For guidelines on how to cite material quoted from web pages, go to http://www.library.wwu.edu/ref/Refhome/chicago.html .
I will report any suspected instance of it to the Dean of Student's office. Anyone I suspect of cheating on in-class or at-home assignements will be reported to the Dean of Student's office.
Vb. Disruptive Behavior  
Disruptive behavior includes arriving late to class, inability to sit still, chewing gum in a distracting manner, eating in class, reading newspapers or other  materials during class, passing notes, and talking to one another during lectures.  Disruptive students will be asked to leave and counted as absent for that day.  Any re-occurrence of disruptive behavior will be reported to the Dean of Students' office. 

Reading newspapers and non-class related materials in class is rude, disrespectful, disruptive, and something the instructor will not tolerate under any circumstances. Any student who does not understand or agree with this should discuss the policy with the Dean of Students. 

VI. Office Hour Policy 
Students are strongly advised to make use of the instructor's office hours throughout the semester. The instructor will meet students outside of his office hour only if an appointment has been set up at least a day in advance. Students may call the instructor's office or email him to set up appointments. The instructor should not be called at home for any reason. If a student has an emergency he or she may call the philosophy department office and leave a message. 
VII. Tentative Schedule  
Note:  This schedule is only tentative.  Any changes will be announced in class, and then updated here on the site. 
;VII. Tentative Schedule  
Students must bring textbooks to class and have the material for that day read prior to the lecture.;

Week 1................

Monday, Jan 14 
Wednesday, Jan.14.....
Russell, Chapter I, ``Appearance and Reality'' 
Friday, Jan. 16
Handout on arguments for the existence of sense data

Week 2.................

Monday, Jan. 21
Wednesday, Jan. 23
Handout on arguments for the existence of sense data (will focus on soundness and validity too and Austin's demolition of the argument from illusion)
Friday, Jan. 25
Russell, Chapter II, ``The Existence of Matter'' 

Week 3.................

Monday, Jan. 28
Russell, Chapter III, ``The Nature of Matter'' 
Wednesday, Jan. 30
Russell, Chapter IV, ``Idealism'' 
Friday, Feb. 1
Russell, Chapter V, ``Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description''

Week 4.................

Monday, Feb. 4
review for exam I
Wednesday, Feb. 6
Exam I
Friday, Feb. 8
1. Introduction- The Cartesian Tradition

Week 5................

Monday, Feb. 11
Mardi Gras Holiday- NO CLASSES HELD
Wednesday, Feb. 13
Mardi Gras Holiday- NO CLASSES HELD
Friday, Feb. 15
2. Logical Positivism

Week 6.................

Monday, Feb. 18
2. Logical Positivism
Wednesday, Feb. 20
3. Neuroscience (guest lecture)
Friday, Feb. 22
Professor at Central Division meeting of the American Philosophical Society- - NO CLASSES HELD

Week 7.................

Monday, Feb. 25
3. Neuroscience
Wednesday, Feb. 27
4. Computer Science
Friday, March 1
4. Computer Science

Week 8.................

Monday, March 4
Exam II 
Wednesday, March 6
Handout on God
Friday, March 8
Handout on God 

Week 9.................

Monday, March 11
Handout on theological ethics
 (Tuesday, March 12, 9:00 AM Midterm Grades Due)
Wednesday, March 13
Handout on theological ethics
Friday, March 15
Russell, Chapter VI, ``Induction'' 

Week 10.................

Monday, March 18
Russell, Chapter VII, ``On our Knowledge of General Principles''
Wednesday, March 20
Russell, Chapter VIII, ``How A Priori Knowledge is Possible''.
Friday, March 22
Handout on Plato's Theory of Forms
Russell, Chapter IX, ``The World of Universals''

Week 11.................

Monday, March 25 
Handout on some Problems with Plato's Theory of Forms 
Wednesday, March 27
Exam III
Friday, March 29

Week 12.................

Monday, April 1
Wednesday, April 3
Friday, April 5

Week 13.................

Monday, April 8
Ayer, Chapter I, ``The Elimination of Metaphysics'' 
Wednesday, April 10
Ayer, Chapter IV, ``The A priori''
Friday, April 12
Ayer, Chapter V, ``Truth and Probability'' 

Week 14.................

Monday, April 15
Ayer, Chapter V, ``Truth and Probability'' 
Wednesday, April 27
Ayer Chapter VI, ``Critique of Ethics and Theology''
Friday, April 19
Instructor lecture on what went wrong: Meditations on diverse things including Goedel's Theorems and the philosophical misuse of the Analytic Synthetic distinction.

Week 15 .................

Monday, April 22
Exam IV
Wednesday, April 24
Russell, Chapter XII, ``Truth and Falsehood''
Friday, April 26
Handout on Meta-ethics 

Week 16 .................

Monday, April 29
Handout on Meta-ethics
Wednesday, May 1
Handout on Normative Ethics
Friday, May 3
Russell, Chapter XIV, ``The Limits of Philosophical Knowledge'' 
Russell, Chapter XV, ``The Value of Philosophy''
Exam time: Friday, May 10, 12:30-2:30.