Los Angeles Valley College, Fall 2004 K.L. Ross, DrKelley at AOL.com Philosophy 14, Modern Philosophy Office: Campus Center 224 MW 9:40-11:05 AM (0523), CC 205 Phone: (818) 947-2467 http://www.friesian.com/valley/ SYLLABUS TEXTS: Classics of Western Philosophy, Steven M. Cahn The World as Will and Representation, Volume I, Arthur Schopenhauer The Fatal Conceit, F.A. Hayek Handouts for this class, with some web links and extra graphics, are on the World Wide Web at: http://www.friesian.org/valley/ CONTENTS: The course is intended as a survey of modern Western philosophy, with emphasis on background, fundamental themes, and selected topics. Unit 1: a) the first modern philosophers, the Continental Rationalists--Descartes, Spinoza, & Leibniz. b) the theory of scientific method--Francis Bacon & Karl Popper. Background handouts: the beginnings of modern science--Copernicus and Galileo. Tentative midterm September 29 Unit 2: a) value, meaning, understanding, and interpretation in recent philosophy: Existentialism and deconstruction- -Sartre, Camus, Heidegger, & Richard Rorty. b) the British Empiricists, the "Scottish Enlightenment," Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume; the synthesis of Rationalism and Empiricism--Immanuel Kant. Tentative midterm November 3 Unit 3: a) the Idealist reaction to Kant and its consequences-- Hegel, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, & the Fall of Communism. Liberal Economics: Adam Smith, J.S. Mill, & F.A. Hayek b) philosophy and the unconscious--Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Freud, and Jung. Final: Monday, December 13, 9:30 AM, CC 205. ATTENDANCE: This is primarily a lecture class: tardiness and absences thus will result in missing material that cannot be found in the texts or in other sources. The texts are primary sources which are not self-explanatory; and you will not find what I talk about in encyclopaedia articles or in most other books. Believe me, you will not do well in the class unless you are present for the lectures or arrange to obtain lecture notes, and it is your responsibility to arrange with others to obtain the materials for classes that you miss. You may tape record lectures. Attendance will be taken for each class meeting. Excessive absences (more than 3 weeks) may subject you to exclusion or reduction in grade. It is your own responsibility to drop the class if you wish to do so (final drop date: November 19th). You will not be penalized if absent for religious, work-related, or serious personal reasons, but I will exclude people if in my judgment their absences are so numerous as to preclude a proper understanding of the course. Holidays this semester are Labor Day, September 6th; Veteran's Day, November 12th; and Thanksgiving, November 25-26th. The last day of classes is Friday, December 10th. Note well: Anyone who persistently disrupts my class by talking, arriving late, leaving early, repeatedly leaving & returning, or through any other distracting or inconsiderate behavior may be instructed to leave the class. If you do not want to be here, don't come in the first place. OFFICE HOURS: My office hours are MWF 7:30-8:00 & 11:10-11:45 AM, TuTh 6:30-6:45 PM, and by appointment in CC 224. The phone number is (818) 947-2467. This is a direct line, and no one else will answer the phone. You should call during office hours. If you call at other times, you can leave messages on voicemail. Do not report absences, or your reasons for them, by voicemail. Do not leave messages for me to call you, without the times you can be reached at your number. I will not return calls if all you want is to be brought up to date for classes you have missed. Any inquiries by e-mail can be answered within a couple of days: email@example.com. Identify the class in the subject line of the e-mail. TESTS: There will be two midterm exams and a final. The exams will include multiple choice, short answer identifications, and essay questions. The final exam will be comprehensive. Make-up tests will not given after the original tests are handed back (after about a week). If you miss a test, you must take the make-up the day that you return. Do not ask me for a make-up tests weeks later. If you miss the final and cannot take it at another time I have scheduled, you cannot make it up during the current semester and will be credited with an F unless you request an Incomplete--which you may do simply by leaving a message for me before I turn in the grades. Point values are assigned to grades as follows: F=0, D=3, C=6, B=9, A=12. Minuses subtract one point, and pluses add one. A C+ is thus worth 7. The grade on the final exam will be multiplied by two (Midterm I + Midterm II = Final). The lowest midterm grade (or an F for a missed midterm) will be dropped if the grade is improved by the substitution of the grade of the other midterm or of the final with the penalty of one letter grade (sub-tracting 3 points). For instance, an A+ (13) on the final means that a midterm grade lower than a B+ (10) is replaced with a B+. If the course grade is as much as 10 (B+), without rounding, an A will be awarded. If a 7 (C+), a B; a 4 (D+), a C; and a 1 (F+), a D. In all tests in my classes, you are not expected to agree with me on any issue; but you are expected to know what has been presented in the course, both in the lectures and in the books, and to present reasons or arguments for any views you wish to advocate. Outside materials or opinions are welcome so long as they are not a substitute for awareness or discussion of the materials of the course. You are expected to do your own work, so do not prepare common essays with your study partners. On a test, if I read an essay that I have already read, I will grade it down. Do not simply reproduce the handouts or quote from them without attribution. I reserve the right to exclude or fail anyone who turns in work that they have not done themselves, who plagiarizes, or who cheats in any other way. I apologize in advance for the security measures it has become necessary to take to guard against cheating on examinations. This is irritating and insulting for us all.
Return to Index