Los Angeles Valley College, Fall 2006           K.L. Ross, DrKelley@AOL.com
Philosophy 1 & 1H, Introduction to Philosophy    Office:  Campus Center 224
MW 8:00-9:25 (8174 & H 8175), CC 207                 Phone:  (818) 947-2467


TEXTS:         Five Dialogues, by Plato
               The Bhagavad Gita, Penguin Edition
               The Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu, Penguin Edition
               Zen in the Art of Archery, by Eugen Herrigel

       Handouts for this class can be purchased in booklets at the
       Campus Bookstore, or they can be examined and downloaded from the
       World Wide Web, with some web links and extra graphics, at:

CONTENTS:  This course is intended to familiarize students with the origins
    and some of the basic perspectives and continuing issues and questions
    found in Western philosophy and in the philosophical traditions of
    India and China.  Emphasis is placed on how each of these traditions is
    an example of philosophy and how each deals with fundamental questions
    of being and value.  Background lectures will be followed by the close
    examination of selected texts.

  Unit 1:  Pre-Philosophic thought; the beginning of Greek philosophy--the
           Presocratics:  tentative quiz October 9

  Unit 2:  Greek philosophy--Socrates and Plato:  tentative midterm
           November 13

  Unit 3:  The transition from ancient to modern philosophy, and the origin
           of modern science and philosophy, focusing on René Descartes.
           The material of this unit will be covered by handouts and tested
           on the final

  Unit 4:  Indian Philosophy, focusing on the Bhagavad Gita:
           tentative quiz December 11

  Unit 5:  Chinese philosophy and Zen Buddhism, focusing on the Tao Te
           Ching and Zen in the Art of Archery.
           Final:  Wednesday, December 20, 8 AM

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 say 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 is no longer taken for each class meeting.  No student
    will be excluded for non-attendance after the first three weeks.  Do
    not report absences to me.  It is your own responsibility to drop the
    class if you wish to do so (final drop date:  November 26th).  Anyone on
    the roster at the end of the semester who has not been present for the
    tests will receive an F.  It is your responsibility to obtain from other
    students any material or assignments you miss when absent.  If you miss
    any examinations, including the due date for take home exams, and you
    return within the period when a makeup is allowed, you must be prepared
    to take the test, or hand in any materials, promptly at the beginning
    of the class on the day you return.

    Holidays this semester are Veteran's Day, November 10; and
    Thanksgiving, November 23-24.  The last day of classes is December 14.

    Note well:  Anyone who persistently disrupts my class by talking,
    arriving late, 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 MW 7:30-8:00 & 11:10-11:45 AM,
    TuWTh 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.  You do not
    need to 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.  Just return
    to class.  Any inquiries by e-mail can be answered within a couple
    of days:  DrKelley@AOL.com.  Identify the class in the subject line
    of the e-mail.

TESTS:  There will be one midterm exam, two quizzes, and a final.  The
    major exams will include multiple choice, short answer identifications,
    and essay questions.  The two quizzes will be all multiple choice.  The
    final will be comprehensive.  The Honors class will also have a term
    paper required--see separate handout.  Make-up tests and quizzes will
    only be given until the exams are handed back.  If you miss a test, you
    must take the make-up the day that you return.  Do not ask to make up a
    test weeks after it has been given.  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 midterm grade will be multiplied by two and the grade of
    the final exam by four for the course grade = {[(Quiz I) + (Quiz II) +
    2x(Midterm) + 4x(Final)]/8}.  Missed tests or quizzes will count as F's
    unless made up.  For the purpose of the following rule, the grades of
    the two quizzes will be combined:  If that grade or the Midterm grade
    are more than one letter grade lower than the other, or than the Final,
    they will be replaced with the highest grade with the penalty of one
    letter grade.  For instance, an A+ (13) on the final means that a
    Midterm grade, or a combined quiz 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 the work you do 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, in the lectures, books, and handouts (unless I
    instruct you otherwise), 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.  I must warn students from India especially,
    that although you may feel that you know all about the The Bhagavad
    Gita from a religious point of view, it is possible that you do not
    know all about Indian philosophy and the philosophical origin or
    analysis of the Gita.  That is what you are responsible for in this
    course.  This is not a class in religion or the history of religion,
    despite some overlap in different areas.

    You are expected to do your own work, so do not prepare common essays
    with your study partners.  You must state things in your own words and
    in your own way.  On a test, if I read an essay that I have already
    read, I will grade it down, regardless of how the original essay may be
    have been graded.  Also, while you may quote from the handouts in your
    essays, it is not acceptable to write an essay that simply reproduces
    the handouts or uses long passages without quotation marks or
    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.

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