(Fall Term 1999-2000)

(Mondays & Wednesdays 4.00-5.15 in room 130 Cathedral of Learning)

INSTRUCTOR:  Gerald J. Massey, Ph.D., Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy
       1009F CL,  Tel: 412-624-0392 (office), 724-865-9220 (farm)
       E-mail:   gmas+@pitt.edu     or     gmassey733@aol.com

OFFICE HOURS:  MW 2.30-3.30 in 1009F Cathedral of Learning (& at other times by appointment)

REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS (all paperbacks):
 Donald Griffin, ANIMAL MINDS, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1994.
 Jeffrey Masson & Susan McCarthy, WHEN ELEPHANTS WEEP: THE EMOTIONAL LIVES OF ANIMALS, Delta book, Dell Publishing Co., 1996.
 Randolph Nesse & George Williams, WHY WE GET SICK: THE NEW SCIENCE OF DARWINIAN MEDICINE, Vintage Books, Random House, 1996.

 David McFarland, editor, THE OXFORD COMPANION TO ANIMAL BEHAVIOR, Oxford U. Press, 1981
 Charles Darwin, THE EXPRESSION OF THE EMOTIONS IN MAN AND ANIMALS, U. of Chicago Press, Chicago 1965
 Stephen Budiansky, THE NATURE OF HORSES, The Free Press, New York 1997

1. study guide
2. Descartes
3. Reading one
4. Reading two
5. Misc1
6. Misc2
7. Griffin
8. Olfactory Test
9.  Why We Get Sick one
10.  Why We Get Sick two
11.  Why We Get Sick three

Paper plus Essay-Exams Option:
    (1) A 6-8 page paper on an approved topic will be due at 4.00 p.m. on Monday, December 6.
    (2) There will be two 75-minute essay exams, one on Wednesday, October 20, and the other on Wednesday, December 8.  (Essay topics will be drawn from a list of topics distributed electronically at least one week in advance.)
    (3) There will be a final essay examination during the final examination period at 4.00-5.50 on Friday, December 17, in 130 CL. (The essay topics that appear on the final examination will be drawn from topics distributed electronically at least 10 days in advance of the examination.)
Each student will receive three numerical grades (a), (b), and (c) as follows:
     (a) A Paper Grade
     (b) An Exam Grade (which is the average of the grades on the two 75-minute essay exams)
     (c) A Final Examination Grade
The numerical Course Grade will be the average of the Paper Grade (a) and of the better of (b) and (c).  For example, if the Paper Grade were 86, the Essay Exam Grade 94, and the Final Examination Grade 88, the numerical Course Grade would be 90, i.e., the average of 86 and 94 (since 94 is a better grade than 88).  Numerical Course Grades will be converted into Course Letter Grades by means of the table below.  Thus, in the foregoing example, the student would receive a Course Letter Grade of A-minus, which is the letter grade equivalent of the numerical grade 90.  (The Instructor reserves the right to increase the numerical Course Grade by as many as 15 points in cases where students have made exceptional contributions.)
Short-Papers Option:
     A total of three 7-10 page papers on approved topics will be due at 4.00 p.m. on each of the following three dates:  Wednesday, October 6; Wednesday, November 10; and Friday, December 17.
A numerical grade will be assigned to each paper.  The numerical Course Grade will be the average of the three numerical paper grades.  The table below will be used to convert the numerical Course Grade into a Course Letter Grade.  (The Instructor reserves the right to increase the numerical Course Grade by as many as 15 points in cases where students have made exceptional contributions.)

Table for converting Numerical Grades into Letter Grades:
            [Fractions will be rounded to the nearest whole number]
97-100  =  A+       87-89  =  B+       77-79  =  C+       67-69  =  D+       < 60  =  F
93-96   =   A        83-86  =  B         73-76  =  C         63-66  =  D
90-92   =   A-       80-82  =  B-        70-72  =  C-        60-62  =  D+

SPECIAL ALTERNATIVE COURSE REQUIREMENTS:  Students who have a good case for alternative course requirements should meet early in the term with the Instructor who will listen sympathetically to their oral or written arguments.  No reasonable proposal will be turned down.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:  Uncompromising academic integrity is expected of all students.  Anyone who cheats on an exam or on the final examination will receive a failing Course Grade.  Similarly, anyone who commits plagiarism in his/her paper(s) will receive a failing Course Grade.  Any students who are uncertain about what counts as cheating or plagiarism should ask the Instructor to explain these concepts to them.  Ignorance of applicable standards of academic integrity will not be admitted as a defense.  (The Instructor has a reputation for being sympathetic to students -- UNLESS they have violated the canons of academic integrity.)

ELECTRONIC DISTRIBUTION OF COURSE MATERIALS:  From time to time, such course materials as syllabus updates and lists of essay topics or paper topics will be distributed electronically.  Students can download materials by accessing the instructor's website and then going to the relevant materials:    www.pitt.edu/~gmas
Students who do not have easy access to the Internet should make arrangements to acquire hard copies of course materials.  PLEASE BE SURE THAT THE INSTRUCTOR HAS YOUR CURRENT E-MAIL ADDRESS.

Philosophical texts cannot be read and understood like novels or short stories.  They must be worked through slowly, carefully, and reflectively.  In many respects philosophical writings resemble sophisticated legal documents such as Supreme Court opinions.  It is, therefore, no accident that many leading attorneys and judges (e.g., the late Louis Nizer and Judge Learned Hand) have had substantial philosophical training, and that many leading jurists recommend the study of philosophy as an ideal preparation for the law.
One skill you should take away from this course is an enhanced ability to read a text closely, to grasp the concepts employed or introduced, to recognize presuppositions and assumptions, to identify and evaluate the reasoning, to weigh the evidence for and against positions taken, and to ferret out implications of claims or assertions.  These quintessentially philosophical skills are of incalculable value in all walks of life, but especially in such professions as law, medicine, science, and education.

WARNING:  This course may cause students to make major lifestyle changes, e.g., to become strict vegetarians, to work against cruelty to animals, to oppose experimentation on animals, etc.