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North Idaho College • Coeur d'Alene • Social & Behavioral Sciences • Philosophy

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL-101

  • Fall 2012
  • Section 03
  • 3.0 Credits
  • 08/27/2012 to 12/20/2012
  • Modified 08/25/2012

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Edward Kaitz

Office Hours

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM, LKH 229
  • Monday, Wednesday, 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM, LKH 229
  • Friday, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, LKH 229

Meeting Times


  • Tuesday, Thursday, 9:00 AM to 10:15 AM, LKH 242


This course is the discovery and exploration of major intellectual problems of humankind through methods of questioning, analysis, synthesis, and critique. It emphasizes developing a world view and higher order reasoning skills through consideration of such issues as the nature of time and physical reality, mind and consciousness, free will, evil, truth, ethics, and the nature and existence of God. This course is for students interested in the meaning of life and the implications of modern science for understanding our world. It fulfills an arts and humanities requirement for the A.S. degree. Lecture: 3 hours per week Recommended: ENGL 101


Introduction to World Philosophies

  • Author: Eliot Deutsch
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Availability: Campus Bookstore


PHIL 101 Course Learning Outcomes

1. Recognize and define the primary terms of the philosophic vocabulary.

2. Recognize and identify the major philosophic thinkers in the history of philosophy.

3. Recognize and understand the primary concepts, problems and issues in the history of philosophy.

4. Identify and explain the major philosophical problems and issues
considered in this course, as specified in the Course Outline.

5. Identify and explain the various positions on those problems and
issues, and the arguments and counter-arguments for those positions.

6. Develop an in-depth understanding of some problem, issue, topic, or philosopher in the history of philosophy.

7. Demonstrate the ability to write an interesting, informative, and well-developed analytical and evaluative explanatory essay about themes, topics, issues, or problems in philosophy.



Grading StructureThere will be four multiple choice + short essay type exams during the course – three midterms and a final exam (20% each). The multiple choice exams will consist of about 60 questions.  The two short answer essay questions will be completed after the multiple choice portion of the exam.  There will also be a 6 page paper (20%) due at the end of the course on a topic related to the material covered during the semester (of the student’s choice).

Course Policies

Course Policies

Course Policies:

1) Please arrive to class on time. 2) Please do not carry on conversations with your neighbor during lecture (questions, comments and discussion are normal for a course like this but make sure to listen carefully during lecture).  3) Please turn off cell phones, ipods, blackberries, iphones, laptops, etc. before you enter the classroom - this means no texting!  4) Please do not leave class during lecture.  5) Please use the restroom before class and before exams.  Students who violate these policies (esp. texting) will be asked to leave for the duration of the class.


 8/28-9/18                    Who Am I?

Reading Assignment: Plato, p.4; Vedanta, p.21; Descartes, p.33; Buddhism, p.38; Sartre, p. 72; Delsol/Milosz (handout)

(We will be discussing various philosophical viewpoints on what constitutes human nature.  For example, Plato believed in a tripartite soul, Descartes highlighted the mind over the body, Sartre did not think a soul was real, while Chantal Delsol questioned modern Marxist theories of character formation)

9/20                            Exam #1

9/25-10/11                 What Do I Know? What is Truth? What is Reality?

  Reading Assignment: Plato, p.219/300; Locke, p.232; Hume, p. 47; Kant, p.240/319; Chuang Tzu, p. 303.

(We will be discussing philosophical viewpoints on the nature of reality and the difference between what’s real and true vs. what may be an illusion.  For example, Chuang Tzu argued entire levels of reality were available to us if only we “loosened” up our restrictive mental barriers.  Hume argues that the order and structure we believe exists in reality may simply be something humans themselves impose on reality.  Kant argues that there is a difference between a “real reality” not accessible to humans and a kind of “perceptual reality” that we are stuck within.  This section then focuses on the connection between our minds and the world.)

10/16                           Exam #2

10/18-11/8              What is the Aim of Life? How to be Politically

Reading Assignment: Plato, p.160; Taoism, p.166; Han Fei Tzu, p.174; Locke, p.178; Gandhi, p. 202

(We will be discussing philosophical perspectives on what constitutes the most effective and just system of government.  Plato for example argues for a kind of caste system led by philosopher kings while Locke was wary of authoritarian systems and preferred a divided government where the people ruled.  Han Fei Tzu believed in an extremely strong and powerful ruler while both Gandhi and Lao Tzu favored a more limited government that stressed individual self-mastery)

11/13                          Exam #3

11/15-12/4                  What is the Aim of Life? How to be Ethically

Reading Assignment: Aristotle, p.98; Confucius, p.127; Nietzsche, p. 153

(We will be discussing famous theories on what constitutes moral behavior and good character.  In addition, we will take a look at a criticism of the entire enterprise of philosophical ethics from Friedrich Nietzsche, who believed that typical moral theories were attempts to squash a person’s “will to power.”)

12/6-12/13 What is Religious Experience? Does God Exist? Why is There Evil?

Reading Assignment: Pascal (handout); Aquinas, p. 469; Hume, p.475; Hick, p. 489

(We will first be discussing the relationship between human nature and religious belief.  For example, French Catholic philosopher Blaise Pascal argued for a more Jesus-inspired view of human nature and he questioned the “pride of the philosophers” which came at the expense of humility and contentment.  Pascal felt that the message and example of Christ was being lost in modernEurope.  We will then take a look at proofs for God’s existence and criticisms of those proofs. Lastly we will take a look at the relationship between human evil and God’s benevolence.)

12/??                           Final Exam (TBA), Paper Due






Additional Items

Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints:

Over the years, the best way I’ve found for students to get the most out of a course like this is to do the following: 1) Come to class and try not to miss any class if possible, 2) Take really good notes on the lectures.  Also, some students find it really effective to write notes in their books next to the passages that we are discussing.  In addition, it is very effective to write short summaries of each philosopher and his or her argument on 3x5 cards 3) Make sure to ask questions in class if there is something you would like me to repeat or explain. 4) Please come to my office hours especially if you are struggling with the material or exams EARLY in the semester.

Division Policies

For a complete explanation of the North Idaho College Statement on Academic Honesty & Academic Integrity please ferfer to Policy 5.06 & Procedure 5.06.01: 

Academic Dishonesty
Violations of academic integrity involve using or attempting to use any method that enables an individual to misrepresent the quality or integrity of his or her work at North Idaho College. These violations include the following:

Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study in any academic exercise.
Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information or citation in an academic exercise.
Plagiarism: knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own in an academic exercise.
Violation of Intellectual Property: stealing, altering, or destroying the academic work of other members of the community or the educational resources,materials, or official documents of the college. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: knowingly helping another to attempt to violate any provisions of this policy.

Student Responsibility
As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, all North Idaho College students have both rights and responsibilities: Please access www.nic.ferpa.StudentCode/index.htm for complete information that pertains to this subject.

North Idaho College, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, provides both services and accommodations to students who meet the guidelines provided in these acts.  For a complete description, please see:

Please contact the North Idaho College Center for Educational Access in Seiter Hall, Room 100 for assistance.  Phone:  208-769-5947

To withdraw from all courses a student must obtain a college withdrawal form from the Registrar's Office, secure the signatures of those persons indicated on the form, and return the form to the Registrar's office. No student may withdraw from the college after the final date of withdrawal from courses except for compelling and extraordinary reasons. In such circumstances a student must petition the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee for late withdrawal from college using the college withdrawal form available in the Registrar's Office.


For complete information regarding student withdrawals, please see the North Idaho College Policy 5.04.01: 

Institutional Policies

Student Code of Conduct

The Student Code of Conduct applies to any student enrolled at North Idaho College.  This includes, but is not limited to, face-to-face classes and Internet classes.

Student Responsibilities

As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the college community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students. In recognition of students’ rights and dignity as members of the college, North Idaho College is committed to the principles found in the NIC Student Handbook.

Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities.  Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access. 

If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor.  Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.


By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You also understand that collection costs and legal fees will be added if the services of a collection agency are utilized.

If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.


Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes:

Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure:

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy: All withdrawals, whether for individual classes, total withdrawal from school, or instructor-initiated are not considered to be satisfactory progress for financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy:

Additional withdrawal information:


An incomplete is assigned only if the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within three weeks of the end of the semester (or proportional length of time for a course of less than a semester in length).  Incompletes are issued only in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as severe illness or injury.  Incompletes are not issued in cases in which the student is simply unable to complete his/her work within the specified semester or session.  If a final grade of "I" is recorded, the instructor will indicate in writing to the Registrar what the student must do to make up the deficiency.  The instructor will indicate in the written statement what permanent grade should be entered if the Incomplete is not removed by the deadline.

All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session.  If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.

Discrimination and Harassment

North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind.  For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, Edminster Student Union Building, (208) 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, (208) 769-3304) for employee issues.

Institutional Statement

DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT:  By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by  5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.

REMOVAL FROM CLASS FOR NON-ATTENDANCE:  Attendance is based on your participation in this class. Failure to attend may result in your being removed from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. You are responsible for confirming the accuracy of your attendance record.