J. Massey, Ph.D., Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy
1009F Cathedral of Learning; Tel: 624-0392 e-mail: email@example.com
Office Hours: MW 1.00-2.30 in 1009F Cathedral of Learning & by appointment
|Jukka Keranen||MW 3.00; MW firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Lionel Shapiro||T 9.00; T 10.00; MW email@example.com|
|Matt Shockey||M 9.00; M 10.00; M 3.00; T firstname.lastname@example.org|
Course Requirements for students
enrolled in 4-credit writing course:
There will be four announced 45-minute quizzes, one each on Descartes's Discourse on Method, Descartes's Meditations, Hume's Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, and Hume's Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals.
There will be a two-hour final examination during the final examination
Each student will receive three grades (a), (b), and (c), as follows:
(a) A quiz-and-recitation grade determined as in (a) above;
(b) The final examination grade;
(c) A writing grade based on assigned papers and revisions (details will be distributed in
the writing sections);
The Course Grade will be determined as follows: 75% of the better of (a) and (b); 25% of the writing grade. For example: If the quiz grade were 92, the final exam grade 85, and the writing grade 88, the numerical Course Grade would be 91, i.e., 69 (75% of 92) + 22 (25% of 88), which converts (see table below) into a Course Letter Grade of A-.
Table for converting Numerical Course Grades into Course
[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-|
Absolute academic integrity is expected of all students. Anyone who cheats on a quiz or examination will receive a failing Course Grade. Similarly, anyone who submits a paper that exhibits plagiarism will receive a failing Course Grade. Any students who are uncertain about what counts as cheating or plagiarism should ask their recitation leader 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 -- except when they violate the canons of academic integrity.)
and Examination Questions:
The questions that appear on quizzes and the final examination will be drawn from lists of questions distributed (electronically) in advance of any given quiz or examination.
Electronic Distribution of Course
From time to time, such course materials as lists of possible quiz questions, lists of possible final exam questions, and installments of the Study Guide will be distributed electronically. Students can download materials by accessing the following electronic address 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 through their recitation leader.
1 Discourse on Method
2 Meditations on First Philosophy
3 Inquiry concerning Human Understanding
4 Inquiry concerning the Principles of Morals
The Instructor will prepare Study Guides, which are designed to help the student understand the writings of Descartes and Hume, and to get the most out of them. Installments of the Study Guides will be distributed electronically from time to time. Students are urged to refer frequently to the relevant Study Guide when they are reading the texts of Descartes and Hume.
A Word or Two about Philosophy and Philosophical Texts:
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 virtually all walks of life, but especially in such professions as law, medicine, science, and education. (See Manual for Courts-Martial.)