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Course Information

Instructor Info:Jonathan Westphal
Office Extension x6848
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
09:00 AM - 10:20 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 221
09:00 AM - 10:20 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 221

CS 0108-1 Introduction to Philosophy is an introduction to philosophy, just as you might suppose, oriented towards the Mind, Brain and Information distribution area. Topics will be chosen from the following: minds, brains and information, language, sentences, and logic; meaning, reference and thought; theories of truth; personal identity, the self and the brain; knowledge and belief; consciousness and the neural correlates of consciousness; dreaming, brains in-a-vat and skepticism; materialism and the mind-body problem; freewill, neurological determinism and alternative possibilities; ethics. Students will be invited to complete two short (6 pages) Papers, two Exams (not unseen) and Question Sets on the reading. The Question Sets are posted on this site, and will be completed at the end of the last day of each block or topic.

Course Objectives:

The course objectives include: an understanding of the way in which philosophy works, and an insight into philosophical arguments; a practical understanding of the logic of arguments and the anticipation of counterarguments; a formulation of the student's own philosophy, and the ability to formulate and carry through an original philosophical project; and an understanding of some basic literature in the area. 

Evaluation Criteria:

Students will be invited to complete two short (6 pages) Papers, two Exams (not unseen) and Question Sets on the Reading. Each of these five elements counts equally in the Evaluation. No Evaluation will be given without all elements.

Additional Info:


"PP " refers to the course textbook: Jonathan Westphal, Philosophical Propositions, (London: Routledge, 1998). 

You should print out a copy of the day's reading on the Moodle site and bring it to class for discussion. You should buy the textbook and bring it to every class meeting.


Papers, Exams and Question Sets must be submitted on the due dates in hard copy, not online.

Portfolios, due on the last day of class, the same day as the Final, must include the two 6pp Papers, two Exams, and all Question Sets, so be sure to keep all these in a safe place through the semester - or you won't have a Portfolio.  


Papers using internet sources and resources will not be accepted in this course. All quotations and references in the paper must be to published hard copy in an academic journal or book. 


The Hampshire College Task Plagiarism Force has written that 'Plagiarism is the representation of someone else’s work as ones own. Both deliberate and inadvertent misrepresentations of another’s work as your own are considered plagiarism and are serious breaches of academic honesty and integrity. All sources used or consulted in the process of writing papers, examinations, preparing oral presentations, course assignments, artistic productions, and so on, must be cited. Sources include material from books, journals or any other printed source, the work of other students, faculty, or staff, information from the Internet, software programs and other electronic material, designs and ideas.' In addition, 'All cases of suspected plagiarism or academic dishonesty will be referred to the Dean of Advising who will review documentation and meet with student and faculty member. Individual faculty, in consultation with the Dean of Advising, will decide the most appropriate consequence in the context of the class. This can range from revising and resubmitting an assignment to failing the course. Beyond the consequence in the course, CASA considers first offenses as opportunities for education and official warning. Multiple or egregious offenses will have more serious consequences. Suspected instances of other breaches of the ethics of academic integrity, such as the falsification of data, will be treated with the same seriousness as plagiarism and will follow the same process.'

These policies will be rigidly enforced in Introduction to Philosophy CS-0114-1.