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

Introduction to Philosophy PHIL-101

  • Fall 2012

  • Sections 04, 05

  • 3.0 Credits

  • 08/27/2012 to 12/20/2012

  • Modified 10/08/2012

Contact Information

Laura Templeman

Office: 208-769-7888, 

cell 208-660-5477 (9 am - 9 pm daily)

Use the in class email if you are my student;


LeeKildow Hall 218 A

North Idaho College

1000 W Garden Avenue

Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

Meeting Times

Online class- contact me any day from 8 am to 10 pm via call 208-660-5477 (text/call) or use in-class email which goes to my phone. 


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


TEXTBOOKS (both required, and both on reserve at the library)   

  1.  Philosophy: An Introduction to the Art of Wondering , 10th edition, by James L Christian, Thompson/Wadsworth, 2006; isbn:  0-495-50504-8,

 <--  is the link to our textbook in case you want to purchase the e-text or rent it instead of purchasing it. Try and get a used version there of the 10th or 9th edition. 

  1.  The Dream Weaver: One Boy’s Journey Through the Landscape of Reality by Jack Bowen copyright 2008 Pearson Publishing    (not the 1980 edition)

These are the books required for Introduction to Philosophy.  You will need to actually read both to pass class. The textbook  (Philosophy: An Introduction to the Art of Wondering) has a link below it to cengagebrain where you can rent a text or buy an etext (paperless text) if you prefer this option.  Both are cheaper than the bookstore versions.  If you find a 9th edition, page numbers will be different, but you can use that for the textbook, too.


 The second book is a fiction book and you must get the 2008 edition (not the 1980 one) but you can usually find it on amazon used.  Please be sure to get both for class.  Many of my students say the Dream Weaver book is their favorite part of class. 

We also watch I Heart Huckabees, Waking Life, The Matrix, Minority Report, and Contact so if you cannot get to the library to view the ones on reserve, you will have to rent or stream these.  Links to do this are in class. 

Mica Peak Exchange 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.



*  60 points Quizzes: 4 quizzes at 20 points each and I drop your lowest score (or count it as extra credit). These are questions on the readings and class lectures, open book/notes.  These are found in the lessons tab.  They will only be visible when they are actually open.  They are not timed, but will close at the due date.  They open with the section they are in.  Quizzes are 30% of your class grade.  Each quiz covers material from the previous quiz forward.  They are not cumulative.  Use your book, especially the glossary, and the lectures to help you answer these questions.  I am not concerned with you memorizing information.  I would much rather have you understand the "big concepts" so looking in the book/lectures for answers is actually a way to help you learn (and gives you credit on the quiz).   If you do all 4 quizzes, the extra will count as extra credit. 

25 pts for Midterm exam:  The midterm is worth 12.5% of your class grade.  Short answer, cumulative.  No makeup.  If you miss this, you will have to use extra credit points to make it up.  Access via the lessons tab.  It is in section 9 of the lessons tab.  It overlaps with section 8 so be sure to use your syllabus due dates so you do not miss anything during this section. 

*  40 pts for Journals Your journals need to be half on Dream Weaver and half on the assigned movie we see and how they relate to class reading and lecture ideas.  This is your chance to be a philosopher.   Journals are worth 20% of your class grade.  They must be proofread.  More than 4 mistakes in spelling and grammar lowers your credit.  You have 5 Journal opportunities, and you only need to turn in 4 Journals (10 points each).    The extra journal is dropped (not used as extra credit).  Access via lessons tab and BOTH paste it in AND attach in .doc, .docx, or .rtf.  These are the only formats I accept.  If I cannot see your journal because you did not follow these directions, I cannot give you credit.  DIRECTIONS for journals:

Your Name  Journal # ____    Journal should be 750 –1000 words long and must be proofread.  I do check word count.  More than 4 grammar/proofreading mistakes means points are taken off.  These are essay style journals that are supposed to explore, using objective reasoning, some of the subjects we cover in the text or lecture.  Do not merely state your opinions.  Do not give me plot summaries.  Do not use it as a confessional.  J  Unsupported opinions are dogmatic and this is what we are trying to avoid.  You need to use objective reasoning to discuss any opinion you may have on any particular subject.  The idea is not to avoid stating your opinion, but to explore why you have this particular belief and whether, in the light of objective philosophical reasoning, this belief holds water.  This is what philosophy is all about.  Half of the word count needs to be on Dream Weaver, and half on a class movie (this is about 375 minimum for each section to make the minimum of 750 words).  Label these sections clearly for me in the journal.  Use page number references to show me where you are getting the content from (ie page in text: p 76 DW)  No need to fully cite at the bottom.

*       25 pts for Final exam:  Short answer comprehensive exam.  Access it via the "assignment" icon.  Final is worth 12.5 % of your class grade.   If you have enough points accumulated via extra credit and good grades, you may not need to take this.  Use the grade worksheet at the bottom of the syllabus to keep track of your grades.  Access via lessons tab.  There is no makeup for the final if you miss it, so please keep track of the due dates on the syllabus.  The last week of class always has unusual due dates, because it is not a full week of school.  Look at all the sections and due dates on your syllabus.  I will not let you retake the final if you miss it. 

* 0 points but required:  Outline of final paper:  You cannot get an A in class without a C or better paper and you cannot turn in the paper without the outline, and you must contact me if you miss the deadline and still want to turn in a paper.  I will NOT accept a paper unless I have reviewed your outline and sent you feedback.

  • Not optional:  Paper outline due (via lesson tab.  You must attach it in .doc or .rtf or.docx and you must also paste it in for me to see in case I cannot get your attachment open.)  Include your phone number in case I need to get in touch with you.  Papers need to be college level papers with no contractions, no colloquial language, and no Wikipedia or non-scholarly sources used. 
  • Use the my lectures, text, class movies and Dream Weaver for sources.  You do not need to use any outside sources, and I prefer that you do not.  If you can’t help yourself:
  • Acceptable sites for the paper/many links to sites for info bottom right side
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (for paper or definitions of phil terms) 

Paper outline directions ( I suggest reading the full directions for the paper: near the end of the syllabus.  This is where the possible topic questions are listed, too.) 

Turn in a brief/bare bones outline (via the lessons tab link) consisting of:

  • a thesis idea, (this is your chosen question from the list and your opinion about said question)
  • 8 philosophic ideas or philosophers related to your topic- broken down for example:
    • use specific philosophers from the text, lectures, or Dream Weaver which support/oppose your thesis. 
    • You need to turn in a well rounded overview of the topic question.  All sections need to be supported from text or DW (not your opinion) and you should use the main philosophers, not tangential ones.  You are showing me that you understand the main ideas in philosophic history pertaining to the topic you chose.  This is not a journal; your opinion does not enter into these 8 sections.   Choose some supporting and some opposing ideas so you show all sides of the topic.  DW ideas will probably not stand alone as their own sections, but will support main ideas/philosophers from the text or lectures. 
    • You do need to use at least 2 ideas from Dream Weaver in the paper, to support your above ideas which will come from the text, lecture, or other class material.   Do not use Wikipedia, as this is a publically edited forum, not a scholarly site. I prefer you just use the class material, text and Dream Weaver.
    • The paper is worth 30 points (or 15% of your total grade) and no matter how many extra credit points you may have, you cannot score higher than a B+ in class if you do not turn in a “C” grade paper, hence you must turn in this outline.  You need feedback on your outline from me in order to turn in a paper.
    • All those details aside, I assign this paper as something for you to learn from.  The Questions/topics are some of the main philosophic questions from the beginning of time.  I hope that you have some interest in at least one question, and can explain the main perspectives of said question.  The paper is designed to be a well rounded report on some of the main philosophic contributions or answers to this Question.  You will call on some of the great philosophers to back you up and also to oppose you and maybe (if this fits in your topic) explain some of the main terms involved in your question.  You need 8 different ideas/philosophers covered under this topic, and your opinion only comes in at the conclusion (last) and the thesis (first) paragraphs. 
    • You should not use complete sentences for the outline.  You can just put your main topic and bullet or number the other 8 points you are thinking of covering.  I just need to get an idea of your direction, so I can see if you are looking in the right areas.  I will give you feedback. 

*  30 pts for paper: FINAL PAPER = 30 plus 0 points outline (but remember you cannot turn the paper in if you have not received feedback from me on the paper outline)  PAPER DIRECTIONS:

  • The paper should be 1500-2000 words and consist of
    • a thesis paragraph,
    • 8 specifically named philosophic ideas/philosophers related to your topic, and then
    • a conclusion paragraph. 
  • Each section/paragraph is to be between 150-200 words and be clearly labeled as Thesis, section 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Conclusion.  Stay within word count- don’t go under or over- I do check, and take off points for both over and under.
  • The only time your opinion will come in to this paper is in the first and last sections (in the thesis and conclusion).  All the rest of the support paragraphs need to be about specific philosophically named ideas or specific philosophers.  Each one will contribute information for your topic.  Most of these topics have concepts and philosophers on both sides, so you need to show pro and con information when appropriate. 
  • It is a research paper based on the textbook and The Dream Weaver.   I prefer you only use DW and the text.  .  Any other references need my approval.  You may NOT use Wikipedia, but you may use the Stanford philosophy encyclopedia online if you need it:
  • Sum of points in the paper: 
    • proofread, (minus 5 if you do not do this)  (this includes proper full citation of all references at the end of the paper: minus 3 if you do not do this)
    • 8 different philosophic ideas and philosophers, clearly listed and labeled (16 pts)
    • page number references in each paragraph (8 pts- point each) like this (p234 text) or (p54 DW) or (lecture 13) (at least 2 page number references from Dream Weaver), and do a full bibliography at the end of the paper
    • cover the issue coherently and from all main aspects/perspectives.  Be well-rounded. Choose well-known philosophers we have discussed at length in class, don’t choose a marginal quotation from DW and make a whole section around it.  We have more than enough info with the bigwig philosophers, and that is what I am looking for.  (4 pts)
    • start with a clear thesis and conclude with a summary of your stance. (2 pts)
    • Paper within word count (% is off of total score if low word count, same for long papers)
    •  You need to cite page numbers within each section like this (p 235) and then fully cite (bibliography) your resources at the bottom.  Other than that, I do not care about format.  This is a formal paper, though, so write in essay style, full sentences, transitions between paragraphs, no contractions, not first person.  Spell check.  Be sure your name is on there somewhere. 
    • You should have your paper checked by the Writing Center, Lee Kildow Annex (behind LKH) 769-3298.  Here is the writing Center website:


Here are the topic choices:

  • Are we more than just a physical body?  (What is the Self?)
  • Do people have free will? (fyi: free will is not the same as freedom)
  • Is there a God? 
  • Is it possible to know anything with absolute certainty? (time, space, objective world, math, science, others, not in matrix?)
  • Does the universe/life have a purpose?
  • How should I act? (Ethics, Political Philosophy)
  • Any other topics need my approval. 

*Extra Credit available: Extra credit is always available should you want it.  I will always work with you if you are willing to put forth effort in this class.  If you do all the quizzes, this gives you the chance to do 20 extra points, which can add 10% to your total grade.  I also offer review sheets for both the midterm and the final that can add 5 points directly to each of the 25 point exams, and these do not count toward the 20 points extra credit you can accumulate.        

Extra Credit – optional:  These are books that you can read and do a journal on (or a double-length journal (1500 word) on (worth 20 extra credit points) if you want- just label it as such) and there are movies below that you can do (single, not double) journals on below:

  • Siddhartha By Hermann Hesse, (best novel on Buddhism I have ever read)
  • Plato, Not Prozac! By Lou Marinoff (Real world uses of philosophy to have a better life; there is actually a career in philosophic counseling based on what is in this book. )
  • The Story of B, Daniel Quinn (or Ishmael, but this is not as inclusive, author has extensive website; about religion and society)
  • Socrates Café by Christopher Phillips (author hosts meetings where people discuss real world issues in the Socratic method, and you can start your own local group)
  • Sophie’s World, by Jostein Gaarder  (This is probably the best philosophy novel ever, but it is too long to assign for class. It would be great if you are interested in this subject, and would work for a double journal)
  • Candide by Voltaire(spoof of Liebniz’s idea that this is the best of all possible worlds; a classic and very short)
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel, (an amazing story with twists on faith and meaning)
  • The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff (great explanation of what Taoism is; better if you are aquainted with the real Winnie-the-Pooh stories, which are very funny.)
  • I Sold My Soul on eBay by Hemant Mehta (Mehta, a friendly atheist, visits various churches and delves into religion and explains atheism.  Easy read; true story.)
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig (or Lila) both are tough reads, very philosophic, contemplative journey of Pirsig who is now living in England.
  • Other ideas?  Run them by me for approval.
  • Above are all books you can read and turn in a journal assignments on for 10 points, or on the longer books, you can do a double journal for 20 points.  The movie journals (see below) are worth 10 points, but I do not want a synopsis of the movie or book, I want the philosophy contained in it discussed.  You can only score 20 points max for extra credit for the semester. You can do these in lieu of doing the extra quiz.  The midterm and final extra credit points are not included in this.
  • If you want to do extra credit journals on any of these movies, they are all thought provoking (those with asterisks can be viewed instantly via Memento ( identity of self), Vanilla Sky (meaning, time, morality), The Butterfly Effect (time and free will), **Twelve Monkeys (time, meaning, advancement), Donnie Darko (nature of reality, time), **The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (identity, self, free will), **Primer (time dilemmas), Crash (stereotypes and prejudice), Gandhi (Eastern thinking), Garden State (meaning, purpose), Inception (nature of reality and how do we get ideas)  or call me and ask me about a movie you think is philosophy-worthy and I will give you approval.  These are all great movies.
  • 20 minute shorts that are amazing.  You cannot do the ones I assigned in class, but there are other Ted’s that you can do extra credit on.  I posted links to the class ones as well as a few others below:  Dan Gilbert researches happiness, anything by Dan Dennett, Jared Diamond on why societies collapse, Hans Rosling reveals new insights on poverty.  These are not movies, but online presentations by amazing people summarizing great subjects.  You can do a journal on any of these presentations.  Any that we cover in class cannot be used for extra credit journals.
  • CERN (Brian Cox)

  • string theory sum (Brian Greene)

  • dark energy/dark matter (Patricia Burchat)

  • we are confused about choices, things are other than we think they are (Dan Gilbert)


*  20 pts for discussion posts:  At least 20 times during the semester you should post substantial philosophical thoughts in the discussion section of the class as assigned.  These should be about the topic we are discussing, and should use objective philosophic reasoning we have learned in class.  (Please save personal discussions for the “Water Cooler” discussion section.)  To get full credit, you need to post at least 20 of these substantial discussion posts.  You are required to read every post in every section all semester long.  You may post more often than required, but remember your classmates will have to read all of your postings, so keep it relevant.  J Discussion posts are worth 10% of your grade.   Each post is worth 1 point. 

Directions for required posting in the discussion forum:  you must post a substantial entry on our reading.  Substantial means a posting must be a minimum of 4 sentences in length, and must be a well-thought out presentation of a point of interest in our material.  Merely agreeing or stating your opinion will not be enough, you must discuss the point philosophically and not just state your opinion in order to receive full credit.  More than 2 spelling or grammar errors = no credit, so run spellcheck if you need to.

PLEASE: USE THIS Grade Worksheet


Students are always asking about their grades.  You can see exactly where you stand if you fill in this worksheet every time you receive a grade.  I will not figure your grade for you until the end of the semester; you are responsible for knowing where you stand gradewise.  Keep in mind that although I do not allow for any late submissions, I know that “life happens” and so I built in the chance for you to makeup some points.  You are going to send me an email the first week of class that says that you have read, printed and understood the syllabus, and I will assume you are using this worksheet all semester to keep yourself organized.


  • Add any extra credit (up to 20 points), + midterm or final extra credit points
  • 20 pts = Discussion Posts (22 posting opportunities)  10%   
  • 60 pts = Quizzes  ( 4 x 20 pts each, drop low/ex cr)    30%
  • 30 points= paper                                               15%
  • 0 points = paper outline                                  0%
  • 25 pts = Final exam                                                    12.5%
  • 25 pts = Midterm                                                        12.5%
  • 40 pts = Journals (4 x 10 pts each)                             20%
  • 200 pts total                              



185-200 = A

180-184 = A-

173 – 179 = B+

165-172 = B


159 – 164 = B-

153 – 158 = C+

145 – 152 = C

139 – 144 = C-


129 – 138 = D+

120 – 128 = D

110 = 119 = D-

< = 109 = F

Course Policies


·         Check in twice a week minimum (advice, not monitored for attendance).  There is something due in each section.  This helps keep us all together and on task.  There are a few overlapping sections or odd due dates, especially around midterm and finals, so always be sure to read the syllabus and all announcements. 

·         This is not a self-directed course.  I schedule work and you need to complete it by the due dates.  This helps keep us all together and on task. 

·         There are no makeups and no latework is accepted, so you will want to stay on top of the workload.  Please remember that I do not accept late work.  We all have the same amount of time in a week and the due dates are all clearly listed on the syllabus.  It is not fair to those who work hard to get things in on time for me to accept latework.  I allow you to make up or drop some of the points in each section, because I know life happens to get in the way of school.  You can always make up the points with extra credit, too.  I do not accept any latework, no matter what the reason.  I know this is a tough but fair policy, and many people wind up with A's in my classes, so please do not ask me to accept your work late.  I always feel bad saying no.  Please feel free to call my Verizon cell 208-660-5477 any day between 8 am and 10 pm if you ever need help.  


  • You are responsible for any work assigned- even if you are not logging in to receive the assignment.  Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about any assignment or class material.  Read all the lectures, announcements, discussion posts and emails (and, of course, text reading assigned). 
  • Hopefully, this is just for the record: any student caught cheating will receive a zero on the test/quiz/assignment.  When appropriate, the incident will be reported to the school authorities. A note on plagiarism:  Plagiarism is using someone else's words or ideas (written or spoken) without giving them due credit in the form of citation.  This includes, but is not limited to, cutting/pasting anything you find on the internet into your own work without citing (explaining where you got it from).  There are programs that are run to check for plagiarism.  Any student caught plagiarizing or cheating in any manner, will be given a zero for the assignment and may be officially reported to the school, where the indiscretion may remain on your permanent record.  You will be composing original material in your journals, posts & essays.
  • make paper copies of the syllabus (required), lectures, etc. if it makes you feel more comfortable.  Sometimes it is easier to refer to a paper copy than to log back on to check a small detail.  The syllabus is required printing and should be referred to often throughout the semester.  Sometimes there are 2 sections due at once.  Pay special attention to due dates around the midterm and the final.  I try to follow it closely and there is a grade worksheet at the end of it so you can always know where you stand if you fill it out each time you get work "handed" back.  
  • keep a good sense of humor!!!   Expect some technological glitches.  I want you to be able to enjoy this class.  Explore the site- you cannot erase anything I have built, so snoop around.
  • "Netiquette" expectations: I expect you to extend the same courtesies in your emails, threaded discussions, and group work as would in face-to-face contact.  No rude or disruptive comments will be tolerated.  Remember that there are real people with real feelings at the other end of your posting; do not "say" anything you would not say to someone's face. 
  • Our discussion forum should be a place where you can safely exchange ideas without fear of condemnation.  Not everyone holds the same religious or ideological beliefs; to keep discussions respectful for all involved, try to keep your comments objective (as opposed to subjective, which means based on views you, as a personal subject, have developed).  In this class, this is a very challenging request!!  Just try to remember that your strongly held beliefs may be regarded by others as simple prejudice.  I am sure we can all contribute in a positive and healthy manner without causing offense to others if we follow these guidelines.


Philosophy 101:  INTRO TO PHILOSOPHY SYLLABUS (online)

CLASS INFORMATION:  It is important to print this syllabus and refer to it for the entire class

  • Instructor: Laura Templeman                                
  • NIC:  Fall 2012
  • Phil 101 (04.05) Internet
  • Phone:  cell= 208- 660-5477 verizon cell any day 8 am – 10 pm                     
  • Office Hours: by appointment 
  • Email:  Use in-class email***  this or cell phone are the best ways to reach me, emergency is


  • M-R 7:30am – 9 pm,  F 7:30 – 4pm, Sat noon – 4 pm, Sun 1pm – 8pm
  • 769-3355 
  • (Summer hours:  M, T, R=8-5; W=8-7; F= 8-2:30)

 TENTATIVE COURSE SCHEDULE (subject to change)

Section 1 and 2 overlap:  August 27 – Sept 2      

Section 1: Aug 27 - 31

Due by Fri, Aug 31 @ 11:55 pm (note- all assignments are due at 11:55 pm on the day they are listed.  I will not write the time anymore unless they are different that 11:55 pm):

Go to the “lessons” tab and find the syllabus and sections 1 and 2.  Use this syllabus to guide you.  We do not use the in-class calendar.  Most (but not all) sections open on Monday and close on Sunday with things due Fridays and Sundays.  All work will arrive via the lessons tab or via in-class email. 

ü      Email (via in-class email) me that you have “read, printed and understood” the syllabus Due by Aug 31- important deadline for attendance to Registrars

ü      Post your bio into the discussion forum (“section 1 discussion”) so you know how to do that- and so that I know that you know how to do it.  Also, figure out how to “reply” to someone else’s posting.  If you go to the “threaded” view and click the blue plus sign, all posts will open up for you to see.  Keep fiddling around in there until you figure out how to see everything in discussion; the discussion section is not the most user friendly application in class so take the time to understand it.  I am happy to talk you through it on the phone or meet with you to show you sow it works, or call tech help at school.  He number is on the log in page.  Due by Aug 31.  VERY Important.  This is the graded assignment that you must complete on time or you will be auto-dropped from class. 

ü    read the lecture in section 1 (which can be found in the “lessons” tab) 

ü  Advice: Read The Dream Weaver: Chapter 1 Dream Weaver is a fiction book that really explains many of our topics well.  We talk about these in discussion, and you write journals on it, and you need to reference it twice in your final paper, but there is no test, so I give you advice on which chapters to get through each section.  As long as you follow my advice, you will finish the book in time to use it on the final paper.  The book is required reading, and many students say it is their favorite part of class, besides the movies. J 


ü  I am only giving rudimentary advice, I am not a tech-spert, but I am familiar with many tech issues you will encounter in class.  Call tech help for tech issues, and remember if you do not tell me you are having trouble, I assume you are doing fine.  Highlight this tech help number:   NIC tech help (208) 769-3280.  If you have tech issues, call this number.  I am reasonably tech oriented, but these people are trained and paid to help you with tech problems of your exact nature.  They will do a much better job than I can.  If you are having tech difficulties (which happens to all of us, myself included, from time to time), set the “fixing” process in motion by calling one of the above numbers, then drop me an email letting me know about it.  I will deal with each case on its own merits, but you should know that I rarely extend deadlines.


Section 2 August 27 – Sept 2

Sept 3  no school

Read lecture section 2 (Existentialism)

Read ch 8-4  and 1-1 in text, 10th edition

Due Sept 2: Discussion Post #1 (in the Discussion Forum called "Section 2 Discussion" which you can access via the “communication” tab, or link to via the “lessons” tab.  To get full credit, you should reply to one (not all) of my prompt posts OR reply to a classmate's post before the due date. Again- You do not need to reply to every one of my prompts; just one substantial reply per post # for credit. 

Here is the brief posting reminder:  Directions for required posting in the discussion forum:  you must post a substantial entry on our reading.  Substantial means a posting must be a minimum of 4-6 sentences in length, and must be a well-thought out presentation of a point of interest in our material.  Merely agreeing or stating your opinion will not be enough, you must discuss the point philosophically and not just state your opinion in order to receive full credit.  More than 2 spelling or grammar errors = no credit, so run spellcheck if you need to.  There are more explicit directions below in the syllabus- near the very end page. 

Due Sept 2: Discussion Post #2  

Movie:  I Heart Huckabees DVD (All movies are on reserve at the NIC library.  Please contact me if you cannot view these movies for any reason.  You journal on them and may talk about them in discussion.  They are all relevant to the topics we are covering, and can also be found on Netflix or most DVD rental places.  I only choose movies that are both enjoyable and topic related.  This DVD is about existentialism. You can join us in the face to face NIC class sections where we watch them on campus.  Call or email me for these times if you want to know when.)

Advice: Read The Dream Weaver: Chapter 2 and 3


Sept 3 - 9:  Section 3

Read section 3 lecture (Ancient Greeks)

Read part of ch. 1-2 (only 30-34), part of 1-3 (only boxes on pages 37 and 41, and pages 51-54), 1-4 (all) in text

Due Sept 7: Discussion Post #3  

Due Sept 9: Journal 1: on The Dream Weaver and I Heart Huckabees (access via the lesson tab and both paste it in and attach it in .doc format.  Journals are only visible during the time you can submit them.  See directions below in the syllabus.  I cannot grade your journal anywhere else but the submission area in the lessons tab, as that is where it is linked to the gradebook.)

Due Sept 9:Discussion Post #4

Advice: Read The Dream Weaver: Chapter 4 and 5 

Movie: Waking Life


Sept 10 - 16:  Section 4

Read section 4 lecture (What is Self?)

Read ch 2-2 and 2-4 in text

Due Sept 14: Discussion Post #5

Due Sept 16: Quiz 1 (quiz is open all week and can be accessed via the lessons tab; quizzes are only visible while they are open)   

Due Sept 16: Discussion Post #6

Advice: Read The Dream Weaver: Chapter 6 and 7


Sept 17 - 23:  Section 5

Read section 5 lecture (Context and Meaning)

Read ch 2-1 and 3-2 (and 519-523 Einstein bio at end of 7-2) in text

Due Sept 21:  Discussion Post # 7

Due Sept 23:  Discussion Post #8

Due Sept 23:  Journal 2 on The Dream Weaver and Waking Life

Advice: Read The Dream Weaver: Chapter 8 and 9

Movie: The Matrix (first one)


Sept 24-30 : Section 6

Read section 6 lecture  (Epistemology, Logic)

Read ch 3-3 and 3-1 (also:  323 box, 338-340 box, 487-489: sub-section 4 about the egg, 203: sub-section 7 about pragmatic test and check out the glossary for terms used to date)

Due Sept 28:  Discussion Post #9

Due Sept 30:  Discussion post #10

Due Sept 30:   Quiz 2 (covers material from class sections 5 and 6.  This is the info from the last quiz on through this section.)

Advice: Read The Dream Weaver: catch up through Ch 10


Oct 1 - 7 :  Section 7

Read section 7 lecture (Science)

Read ch 7-1 and 7-2 in text

Due Oct 5:  Discussion Post #11 (discuss videos below, approx 20 min each, you may need to open these in a fresh browser outside of class for them to work)

  • Watch videos: CERN (Brian Cox)

  • string theory sum (Brian Greene)

  • dark energy/dark matter (Patricia Burchat)  

Due Oct 7:  Discussion Post #12    

Due Oct 7:  Journal 3 on The Dream Weaver and The Matrix

Advice: Read The Dream Weaver: Chapter 11


Oct 8 - 14: Section 8 (review) and Section 9 (midterm)

Section 8:  Read section 8 lecture (review)

Oct 12: Review Sheet due if you want to apply 5 points extra credit toward your midterm (optional but highly recommended, access via the lessons tab)

Advice: Read The Dream Weaver: catch up to ch 11

SECTION 9  MIDTERM:  (open as soon as section 8 opens)

Due Oct 14:  Midterm due short answer, cumulative, available as soon as section 8 and 9 are available; access via the lessons tab.  There is NO makeup if you miss this. 


Oct 15 - 21:  Section 10

Read section 10 lecture (What is the Universe? Decentralizations)

Read Ch 7-3 and 7-4  in text

Due Oct 19:  Discussion Post #13 (post on The Elegant Universe, Part 3, link below)

Watch PBS’s “The Elegant Universe: part 3,” all 8 chapters, which can be found on the right column of the below link.  Approx 60 minutes total, but you need to keep linking to the new chapters.  You may need to do this in a fresh browser window outside of class.

If you computer cannot see these, you are required to read the full transcript of part 3 at this link below (but the video is SO much better, so please try to get somewhere that you can see it).

Or, another student found this:

instead of the yucky Quicktime format, and the even yuckier RealVideo format, I found the series on YouTube. It can be viewed fullscreen here, and is a lot easier to watch. Here's the link.  It's parts 14- 19 on YouTube, by the way.

  • Watch the Brian Cox video 54 minutes which explains The Universe:
  • Quantum Theory explains the fundamental building blocks of the universe and explains the structure of the universe. It describes (mathematically) how every proton, neutron and electron interact and come together to created everything. 

Due Oct 21:  Discussion post #14 

Advice: Read The Dream Weaver: Chapter 12


Oct 22 - 28:     Section 11

Read section 11 lecture (Proofs for the existence of God, Psychology of religion)

Read ch 8-1  (skip pages 572-576: sub-sections 11-17, but be sure to read sub-section 18-21 on page 577-579) and 8-2  in text

Advice: Read The Dream Weaver: Chapter 13 and 14

Extra Credit opens (see below for details), link to submit will remain open in sec 11 until section 13

Movie: Contact

Due Oct 26: Discussion Post #15

Due Oct 28: Discussion Post #16

Due Oct 28: Quiz 3


Oct 29 – Nov 4 Section 12

Read section 12 lecture  (Death, Immortality, Eastern Philosophy)

Watch (2 minutes) Google I Heart Huckabees Blanket Truth to watch the 2 minute clip and be reminded of this section of the movie.         

Read ch 8-3 and 4-1  in text

Due Nov 2:   Discussion Post # 17  

Due Nov 4:  Discussion Post #18

 Due Nov 4:  Journal 4 on The Dream Weaver and Contact

Extra Credit (see below for details), link to submit will remain open in sec 11 until sec 15

Advice: Read The Dream Weaver: Chapter 15 (finished!)


Nov 5 - 11   : Section 13

Read section 13 lecture (Philosophy of History, free will)

Read ch 5-1 and 4-3  in text

Due nov 9:  Discussion post # 19

Due Nov 11Discussion Post #20

Due Nov 11Quiz 4     

Last chance for Extra Credit (see below for details), link to submit will remain open in sec 11 until due sec 15   

Movie: The Minority Report


Nov 12 - 18 : Section 14

Read section 14 lecture (Philosophy of time)

Read ch 4-2 and 6-2  in text

Due Nov 16:  Discussion Post #21

Due Nov 18:  Discussion Post #22

Due Nov 18:  Journal 5 on The Dream Weaver and The Minority Report (remember if you already did 4 journals, you do not need to complete this last one)


Nov 21 – 25 Thanksgiving Break    

Enjoy! And relax.  Try not to come online.  I will be offline, but call my cell if you need me.  If you have not finished DW, please do so this week.  Great free-time reading! J


Nov 26 – Dec 2      PAPER OUTLINE DUE

  • Dec 2: Paper outline due (see extensive directions below)
  • I will give you feedback over the weekend so you can work on your paper right away.
  • Dec 2:  Capstone due one paragraph (250 – 350 words) telling me what you learned from class, still wanted to know about, wish we spent more time covering, did or did not like, and generally bringing your philosophy ideas to a close- please email this to me from within class.  You can add it right at the bottom of your outline so you just turn in one thing. 
  • Both of these need to be turned in for me to accept a paper from you, and you need to receive feedback on your outline from me in order to turn in a paper.  You can only get an A in class if you turn in a paper, no matter how many points you have in class.  No points for either assignment.  These are review/organization of thought assignments.  They will help you write a better paper and receive a better score than if I did not require these.


Section 15: Dec 3 - 9: How should I act? (Political Philosophy)

  • read 5-4 text
  • read lecture

Section 15: Dec 3 - 9: How should I act? (Ethics)

  • read 5-3 and 5-5 text
  • read lecture
  • watch Extreme Measures (movie) if you want to do an extra credit journal on ethics


Sec 16:  Dec 10 – 17 (MONDAY!!) (open Dec 3):  Paper due  & Final (last section of class) 

Read ch 8-4 again in text

Read review lecture and see links in these sections

LOOK CAREFULLY AT DUE DATES as these are unusual days:

Due Dec 13:  review sheet for 5 points extra credit toward the final (optional but highly recommended).  Access it via the lessons tab. 

Due Dec 17:  FINAL due.  Final is cumulative, short answer- covering everything from class. Access it via the lessons tab.   

Due Dec 17:  Paper Due.  See full paper directions below in syllabus. Post it in the lessons tab as an attachment (in .doc, .docx, or .rtf) AND paste it in the textbox so I can see it even if I cannot get your attachment open.  If you do not follow these direction and I cannot see your paper, I cannot give you credit.  Include phone # in case I need to contact you.                       

Additional Items

Grade worksheet


  • #1 ____/10 DW and I Heart Huckabees
  • #2 ____/10 DW and Waking Life
  • #3____/10  DW and The Matrix
  • #4____/10  DW and Contact
  • #5____/10  DW and The Minority Report          Total ______/40 (4 required)


  • #1 ___/20 PTS
  • #2___/20
  • #3___/20
  • #4___/20   drop the lowest score , Total:  _____/60 points (put extra quiz points in extra credit points if you do it)

 DISCUSSION POSTS:   20+ available; make tally marks up to 20___________/ total _____/20pts

PAPER: _______/30 points         Paper outline 0 points but must complete

Midterm, _______/25  (plus ___/5 pt review?  This does not count toward your possible 20 extra credit points.)

Final, _______/25 (plus ___/5 pt review?  This does not count toward your possible 20 extra credit points.) 

EXTRA CREDIT? +____/20 maximum possible points  (plus the possible midterm and final extra credit points)



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.