Philosophy 7901
Seminar on Metaphysics
310-0430 M W 0038 ALLEN
Exam time: Thursday, Dec 11, 3:00-5:00 P.M.
Instructor: Jon Cogburn
Instructor's Office: 105 Coates
Instructor's Office Hours: M,W 2:00-3:00
Instructor's e-mail: joncogburn@yahoo.com
Course's Purpose:
All of the course readings are from the following sources.
Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction (third edition), Michael Loux
Metaphysics: Contemporary Readings (first edition), Michael Loux
These are available at the LSU bookstore and on-line.
Participation Grade
Students are required to participate constructively in class discussion. Each student will be able to miss two class periods with no effect on the final grade. For each absence after that, one point is deducted from the final grade. Note that no distinction is made between excused or unexcused absences, since this is a participation grade, not an attendence grade.
Presentation Grade- 20%.Students will present a paper from the Readings book; the instructor will assign a day for their presentation from November 17-24. Students will select the article to present on a first come, first serve basis, and must have one proposed no later than November 1st. Presentation and discussion will be around 30 minutes (ideally 20 minutes presentation and 10 discussion). Students must also provide a handout (with enough copies for peers and the instructor) that clearly explicates the main arguments and conclusions from the text in question.
Test Grade- 50% (two take home exams worth 25% each).
Final Paper- 30% Substantial research paper which must discuss arguments from up-to-date work (use Philosopher's Index and J-Stor!!!). In class we will have a chance to discuss your topic and strategies for getting and defending a decent punchline. All papers must fulfill a number of formatting requirements:  (1) They must be justified on the left side only with one inch margins, (2) they must be typed in 12 point Times or 12 point Times-Roman font (including footnotes), (3) page numbers must be at the top-right hand side of hte page (4) papers must be double spaced throughout (including footnotes), (5) papers must be printed out with either an ink jet or laser printer, (6) papers must be stapled together (do not use binders or folders of any sort), (7) student's name, the date, and the time her course meets must be at the top right hand corner of the first page, and (8) Chicago Manual of Style citations style must be adhered to (for quick quidelines, go to http://www.library.wwu.edu/ref/Refhome/chicago.html ).  Any deviation from these requirements will result in a zero on the paper.
Office Hour Policy:
Students are strongly recommended to make use of the instructor's office hours throughout the semester. 
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.
Tentative Schedule:
Note:  This schedule is only tentative.  Any changes will be announced in class, and then updated here on the site.
Week 1
Monday, Aug. 25 
Wednesday, Aug. 27
Chapter 1 (all from the Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction)
Week 2
Monday, Sept. 1
Labor Day holiday; no classes
Wednesday, Sept. 3
no class due to Hurricane Gustav
Week 3
Monday, Sept. 8
Chapter 1
Wednesday, Sept. 10
Chapter 2
Week 4
Monday, Sept. 15
Chapter 2
Wednesday, Sept. 17
Chapter 3
Week 5
Monday, Sept. 22
Chapter 3
Wednesday, Sept. 24
Chapter 4
Week 6
Monday, Sept. 29
Chapter 4
Wednesday, Oct. 1
Chapter 5
Week 7
Monday, Oct. 6
Chapter 5
Test 1 assigned
Wednesday, Oct. 8
Fall holiday; no classes
Week 8
Midsemester examination period
Monday, Oct. 13
open discussion
Wednesday, Oct. 15
Test 1 due
Chapter 6
Week 9
Monday, Oct. 20
Chapter 6
21 Midsemester grades due in Office of the University Registrar
Wednesday, Oct. 22
Chapter 7
Week 10
Monday, Oct. 27
Chapter 7
Wednesday, Oct. 29
Chapter 8
Week 11
Monday, Nov. 3 
Test 2 assigned
Chapter 8
Wednesday, Nov. 5
Chapter 9
Week 12
Monday, Nov. 10
Chapter 9
Wednesday, Nov. 12
Test 2 due
Week 13
Monday, Nov. 17
presentations/discussion of papers
Wednesday, Nov. 19
presentations/discussion of papers
Week 14
Monday, Nov. 24
presentations/discussion of papers
Wednesday, Nov. 26 
Thanksgiving holiday; no classes
Week 15
Monday, Dec. 1
presentations/discussion of papers
Wednesday, Dec. 3
presentations/discussion of papers
Week 16--Final Exam Period
FINAL EXAM: Papers due at beginning Thursday, Dec 11, 3:00-5:00 P.M.