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Phil 1030-111 & 112: Human Nature and Life Fall 2013

Professor: D. L. Dillard (Don) Phil 1030 (section 111)

Contact: ddillar1@utk.edu > Class Location: ACAD (room # 204)
Supervisor: Dr. Greg Bock > Class Hours: 6:00 pm 9:05 pm
Contact: 423.318.2748 Phil 1030 (section 112)
Office Location: TBA > Class Location: ACAD (room # 204)
Office Hours: TBA > Class Hours: 2:20 pm 5:25 pm

[I.] Introduction
At some point in our lives, we are confronted with the ineffable Why which in turn manifests itself with some
form of the following question: Why am I here? The modern empirical approach moves us to develop certain facts
about ourselves on the assumption that the ineffable is knowable, and through the acquisition of such knowledge
thereby satisfy the Being in question. However, what if we can never know anything in fact? What if the best we can
do is an approximation of Truth? As Friedrich Nietzsche astutely observed, We have no sense organ at all for
knowing Truth. And to compound the matter, it isnt at all clear whether learning all the secrets of existence is
even desirable, since it could be the case that what makes existence worth living is not the acquisition of knowledge,
but rather its pursuit. Therefore, rather than pretend such knowledge is obtainable, we shall instead pursue a richer
understanding of, and thereby develop a greater appreciation for, the ineffable Why through the application of
philosophical theory to those hypothetical cases which most closely approximates the professional and personal
real world environment we imagine ourselves one day existing within.
[ii.] Course Description(s) & Prerequisite(s)
Prerequisite(s): There are no formal prerequisites for this course. However, students who have taken
coursework in expository writing may tend to do better than otherwise.
Catalogue Description(s): A study of philosophical perspectives of human nature and the meaning of life.
Level(s): Undergraduate (3.000 Credit Hours)
Schedule Type(s): Lecture
[iii.] Required Readings / Texts
Louis, Pojman. Who Are We? Theories of Human Nature. Oxford University Press, NY (2006)
Cooper, John M. Plato: Five Dialogues Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo. 2
Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., IN (2002)
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World. HarperCollins Publishers, NY (2006)
[iv.] Course Objectives, Aims & Design
Course Objectives
1. Articulate a basic understanding of the questions and importance of philosophy
2. Explain the theories of human nature of some of historys most influential philosophers
3. Compare and contrast different philosophical viewpoints
4. Recognize strong and weak arguments
5. Describe how philosophical thinking is relevant to everyday life
6. Explain Socrates moral philosophy
7. Explain Platos theory of Forms
8. Explain Aristotles theory of the good life
Course Aims

Phil 1030-111 & 112: Human Nature and Life Fall 2013
1. To articulate a basic theoretical understanding of the questions and importance of philosophy, and
to explain historically influential philosophical theories (notably, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle)
2. To recognize strong and weak arguments, and to develop the former
3. Comparison and Contrast of those theories through sound arguments and the application of theory
to real world cases (see Theoretical vs. Practical below).
Theoretical vs. Practical / Applied Philosophy
o It is very often the case that higher education focuses on theoretical rather than practical knowledge, which,
as a consequence, often leaves students very ill equipped to deal with real world problems.
o As such, the objectives of this course are neatly divided between theory and application such that you will be
learning about the various theories in class, then applying those theories to hypothetical cases which most
closely approximate real world problems (see Relevance below).
o As an educational philosophy, I employ the concept of relevance as an educational tool.
o While epistemic binging and purging (i.e., memorizing for a test then purging it immediately thereafter) is a
standard adaptive strategy for students to make the grade, there is a very real sense in which this
impoverishes rather than enriches students.
o Learning and understanding occurs best when the subject matter is relevant to the student as a person which
is to say, the phenomenological self which includes the background beliefs, perceptions, desires, and goals
of a person as oriented to some future state of Being.
o Thus, the bulk of your applied work will not be on philosophy per se, but on applied philosophy with respect
to the kind of person you are(e.g., if your major is psychology, then philosophy with respect to psychology,
[v.] Classroom Policies & Procedures
1. Enrollment, Financial Assistance, and Financial Obligations
Students should attend the first day of class or contact the instructor prior to the first class. Failure to do this
may result in being dropped from the class (see below).
o Students receiving any type of financial assistance (loans, grants, fellowships, scholarships, etc)
should contact the Financial Aid Office before making any changes to their schedule. Schedule
changes without prior approval may result in the loss of award for the current and future terms.
Students who have not paid fees on time and/or are not correctly registered for this class, and whose names
do not appear on official class rolls generated by the Admissions and Records Office will not receive credit
for this course.
2. Classroom Conduct
WSCC Catalog Notification Statement:
o All students attending Walters State Community College, regardless of the time and location of the
class, must abide by the rules and regulations outlined in the current (2013-14) Walters State
Catalog / Student Handbook and the current Walters State Timetable of Classes.
o A copy of the Catalog / Handbook and the Timetable of Classes may be obtained from the
Admissions Office on the main campus or at any of our off-campus sites. You may also access the
Catalog / Handbook on-line at the following web address: http://www.ws.edu/catalog
o Especially as it regards hypothetical cases which most closely approximate real world issues (e.g.,
the question of abortion, capital punishment, and so forth), there is a predictable tendency for
discussion to become heated. As such, students are expected (indeed, required) to be maximally
respectful during discussion of such topics.
o This is not to discourage passionate beliefs about certain topics, and rather to encourage a
classroom environment conducive to productive, civil dialogue. As Plato and Aristotle insisted,
cultivating our capacity for developing the right kind of emotional states (to Love and Hate Well)
is equally as important as cultivating reason and intellect.
Academic Honesty

Phil 1030-111 & 112: Human Nature and Life Fall 2013
o Each student is responsible for his/her own personal integrity in academic life. While there is no
affirmative duty to report the academic dishonesty of another, each student, given the dictates of
his/her own conscience, may choose to act on any violation of the Honor Statement.
o Students are also responsible for any acts of plagiarism. Plagiarism is using the intellectual property
of someone else without giving proper credit. The undocumented use of someone elses words or
ideas in any medium of communication (unless such information is recognized as common
knowledge) is a serious offense, subject to disciplinary action that may include failure in a course
and/or dismissal from the university.

Specific examples of plagiarism are
i. Copying without proper documentation (quotation marks and a citation) written or
spoken words, phrases, or sentences from any source.
ii. Summarizing without proper documentation (usually a citation) ideas from another
source (unless such information is recognized as common knowledge).
iii. Borrowing facts, statistics, graphs, pictorial representations, or phrases without
acknowledging the source (unless such information is recognized as common
iv. Collaborating on a graded assignment without instructors approval.
v. Submitting work, either in whole or part, created by a professional service and used
without attribution (e.g., paper, speech, bibliography, or photograph).
vi. Plagiarism, cheating, copying and other forms of academic dishonesty (as detailed above)
are prohibited and may result in the assignment of an F.
3. The use of Multimedia Devices
During class you may experience a near overwhelming compulsion to check e-mail, twitter, text message,
facebook, myspace, etc., on a laptop or other multimedia device dont panic! Recent studies have indicated
that while this is a symptom of habitual rudeness, it is a condition that can nevertheless be reversed by simply
resisting the urge. Students who are unableto resist this urge may be asked to leave in order to contemplate
appropriate uses of electronic devices.
o Cellular devices must be turned to the non-audible mode during class unless there is some
extenuating circumstance warranting otherwise (in which case, please inform me prior to class).
o Browsing the internet during class is fully inappropriate and inexcusable.
o If you are uncertain about appropriate usages of such technologies, please see me.
4. Make-Ups
Because life is often unpredictable, and because what happens to us is sometimes beyond our control, missing
vital dates or being unable to finish an assignment on time may warrant a make-up at the discretion of the
o In the event that the instructor judges that a make-up is appropriate, the student should be aware
that the difficulty of said assignment may be greater than otherwise so as to account for
considerations of fairness (e.g., taking a test a week later entails an extra week of study time, which
students who took the test on time did not benefit from, and therefore make-up exams may be
scaled in difficulty appropriate to such considerations).
5. Disability Statement & Other Assistance
Students with disabilities must register with the Department of Services for Individuals with Disabilities in
College Center (CCEN), Room 210 (phone 423-585-6892) if they need any special facilities, services, or
o Furthermore, any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a
disability should contact me privately to discuss your specific needs
Students in need of tutoring assistance are encouraged to contact the Office of Tutoring located in the College
Center (CCEN), Room 221A. The phone number is: 423-585-6920
6. Confidentiality, Communication & Student Responsibility
The student is responsible for Anycommunication and/or instructions provided by the instructor to the
student, whether verbally in class, in the hall ways, or during office consultations, whether written on the
classroom white/black board, whether written electronically via email or posted online, or whether delivered
by archaic means in some possible world such as by carrier pigeon or telegraph.

Phil 1030-111 & 112: Human Nature and Life Fall 2013
o In other words, I will almost always respond to the utterance I didnt know I had to do that! (or
any utterance of the like entailing culpable ignorance) by pointing to the Communication &
Student Responsibility portion of the syllabus.
I will regard communication between myself (the instructor) and you (the student) as confidential, providing
certain conditions are not in place (e.g., conditions where, in my judgment, you pose a risk of harm to
yourself or others, or where rightfully compelled by some suitable authority).
o Note: Due to the sensitive nature of grades, I will not discuss particular grades with you via email
without a signed release form from you (ideally, you would want to speak with me personally
during my office hours).
7. Syllabus Caveat(s)
This syllabus is, in essence, a contract between you (the student) and me (the instructor).
However, while I will make every reasonable effort to provide sufficient notice for changes that
are in my judgment ceteris paribus necessary, I nevertheless reserve the right to change the
syllabus for any reason at any time.
The student is responsible for knowing the content of the syllabus
I will make every reasonable effort to explain your obligations and to leave no requirement
unexplained but even so, sometimes things are lost in translation. In such cases it is ultimately
the responsibility of the student to ask questions of clarification when unclear.
[vi.] Grade Distribution, Grading Scale, Course Requirements & Weighted Totals [400 maximum points]

Theoretical Components Practical Components

In-class Attendance 25 points 1
Assignment 50 points
In-class Participation 25 points Electronic Board Participation 50 points
In-class Daily Quizzes 50 points Group Discussion Project 50 points
In-Class Final Exam 100 points Individual Research Project 50 points

Requirement Weighted Total To earn full credit, the student must:
Class Attendance &
25% of the final grade
(see handout #1)
(i.) attend all classes [for a maximum of 6.25% of the final grade] ,
(ii.) participate in a lively but civil manner to all class discussions &
presentations [for a maximum 6.25% of the final grade], and
(iii.) respond to the discussion board weekly as either a responder or a
moderator [for a maximum of 12.5% of the final grade]
Individual & Group
37.5% of the final grade
(see handout #2)
[complete per the guidelines]
(i.) the 1
assignment [12.5% of the final grade],
(ii.) an individual research project [12.5% of the final grade], and
(iii.) a group presentation project [12.5% of the final grade]

37.5% of the final grade
(see handout #3)
(i.) be present to take all 10 daily quizzes, receiving 10 out of 10 correct
answers for each quiz [for a maximum of 12.5% of the final grade, or
1.25% per quiz], and
(ii.) be present to take the final examination, receiving an exemplary score for
all 10 short-essay questions [25% of the final grade].

A = 360-400 B = 320-359 C = 270-319 D = 240-320 F = 00-239

Phil 1030-111 & 112: Human Nature and Life Fall 2013
[vii.] Class Schedule
Session Date Daily
1 Aug. 26 None None Components of
an argument
Analysis of
An Argument
for the Self
Text Ch. 2

Sep. 2 Essay Due
via Email
by 2pm
No Class Labor Day No Class Read:
3 Sep. 9 Quiz #1 None Socrates & the
Ancient Greek
Philosophy pt. 1
Text Ch. 3
Group A
4 Sep. 16 Quiz #2 By: Group A Plato Ancient Greek
Philosophy pt. 2
Text Ch. 4
Group B
5 Sep. 23 Quiz #3 By: Group B Aristotle Ancient Greek
Philosophy pt. 3
Text Ch. 1, 5
Group C
6 Sep. 30 Quiz #4 By: Group C St. Augustine &
Biblical Views
Philosophy of
Religion pt. 1
Text Ch. 6
BNW Ch. 1, 2
Group D
7 Oct. 7 Quiz #5 By: Group D Hindu &
Buddhist views
Philosophy of
Religion pt. 2
Text Ch. 7
BNW Ch. 3
Group E
8 Oct. 14 None No Class Fall Break No Class Read:
Text Ch. 8
BNW Ch. 4,5
Group F
9 Oct. 21 Quiz #6 By: Group F Hobbes &
Philosophy pt. 1
Text Ch. 9
BNW Ch. 6,7
Group G
10 Oct. 28 Quiz #7 By: Group G Kant &
Philosophy pt. 2
Text Ch. 10, 12
BNW Ch. 8
Group H
11 Nov. 4 Quiz #8 By: Group H Marx, Sartre,
Kierkegaard, &
Text Ch. 11, 13
BNW Ch. 11,
Group I
12 Nov. 11 Quiz #9 By: Group I Freud & Darwin Philosophy of
Text Ch. 14, 15
BNW Ch. 13,14
Group J
13 Nov. 18 Quiz # 10 By: Group J Contemporary
Philosophy of
Mind & Human
Text Ch. 16
BNW Ch. 15,16
Group K
14 Nov. 25 none By: Group K Comprehensive
BNW Ch. 17,
15 Dec. 2 Research
None Philosophy of
Brave New World
Reflections upon
Brave New World
None None
16 TBA F I N A L E X A M P E R I O D

Phil 1030-111 & 112: Human Nature and Life Fall 2013
[viii.] Opportunities in Philosophy
At Walter State Community College

At the University of Tennessee at Knoxville

For Career Development

Walter State Community College offers an Associate of Arts in Philosophy, and an
Associate of Arts in Philosophy & Religious Studies, which involves reasoning and
thinking critically about all areas of life; science, religion, art, politics, and morality.
Its purpose is to understand and evaluate our most basic beliefs and values, and to
integrate them into a coherent view of ourselves and the world. Please contact your
philosophy professor, or Dr. Greg Bock (#423.318.2748, or #423.585.2748; email:
Greg.Bock@ws.edu), for more information about opportunities in this exciting career.
For continuing education, please visit the University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Philosophy Department website (philosophy.utk.edu) for a variety of resources helpful
to those studying Philosophy as well as information about UTKs BA, MA and PhD
degree programs (including two new major concentrations: Legal & Political
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science & Medicine) and other opportunities for continuing
educationincluding scholarships, annual essay contest, and a Philosophy Club.
For interest in a community outreach opportunity, please contact Don Dillard (Ethics
Bowl Coordinator; email: ddillar1@utk.edu) for information about how you may
become involved with UTKs Regional Ethics Bowl Program from helping set up
events, to assisting with fundraising and various technical operations. For more info.
on the National Ethics Bowl Program, please visit the Squire Foundations website.