PHIL 101: Great Western Philosophers

Online Syllabus




(Please note that the notes on this web page may differ from the lectures and PowerPoint. You are responsible for what is on the Sakai page. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.)

Greetings Online Students!  A few words from your professor before you get going.  Please read the information below on the text and requirements very carefully.  The crucial thing in succeeding in this course is paying close attention to the lectures and taking good notes on them.   You will not be able to pass the course simply by memorizing the outline of information on the Power Point.  You will need to understand the issues and for that you’ll need to listen and take good notes. 

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail or call or, if you’re in town, stop by my office, 204 in the main Philosophy Department building, 24 Kent Way.  Regarding e-mail, the e-mail I check regularly is  Please include PHIL 101 in the subject so I don’t accidentally delete you as junk!

Text: Philosophy: A Historical Survey with Essential Readings,  James Fieser and Samuel Enoch Stumpf, eds.  This is the title for the Ninth edition of what was previously called, Philosophy: History and Readings. I believe that copies of the Eighth edition are still available, and may be cheaper, so I have included page numbers to both editions in the syllabus.  8 refers to the 8th edition and 9 to the 9th.

Do the readings before class.  Note that the book is divided into a primary section about the philosophers under discussion, and a secondary section of material by the philosophers.  The page numbers start over at the beginning of the second section.

Requirements: Four multiple choice tests, one after each section, to be weighted equally in figuring final grade.  93-100=A, 90-92=A-, 87-89=B+, 83-86=B, 80-82=B-, 77-79=C+, 73-76=C, 70-72=C-, 67-69=D+, 63-66=D, 55-62=D-, below 55 = F

Tests are not returnable, but I will be happy to respond to any questions you have.  If you want to look over your test, and are local, it can be arranged.

TESTING INFORMATION: You will be taking your tests either at the testing center, if you are local to Newark, or with a proctor. You should receive testing information from the Online office in with your course materials. Please refer to this for dates and times.  I do not have anything to do with the mechanics of the testing, so if there is a problem with pulling up your test on the computer, or that sort of thing, you will need to get in touch with the Online office. If you have to take a makeup, you will need my permission, and you will have to make arrangements with the online office and, if you are testing with a proctor, with your proctor.








1        Introduction


2        The Pre-Socratics: 8: pp.3-19, 11-15 (from  Fragments); 9: pp.3-19, 5-9.


3        The Pre-Socratics continued: 8: pp.19-25, 15-16 (from Fragments); 9: pp.19-26, 9-10.


4        The Sophists and Socrates: 8: pp.26-40, pp.16-17 (from Fragments), pp. 32-37 (from Apology, just the beginning.); 9: pp.28-42, 10-11, 26-31.      


5        Plato: 8:pp. 41-67, pp. 60-66 (from the Republic); 9: pp.45-72, 54-60.


6          Plato continued


7          Aristotle: 8: pp.68-89 (You can skip the part on art.), pp.70-75 (from Physics, Metaphysics, and On the Soul); 9: pp.74-95, 64-69.


                        8          Aristotle continued:8: pp. 75-89 (from Nichomachean Ethics and Politics); 9: pp.69-83.



            TEST #1 (Tests include questions on all the material we have covered up to the test.)            







9          Introduction to God (no readings).


10        St. Augustine: 8: pp.114 – 129; 9:  pp.124-140.        


11        Augustine continued,:8: pp. 117-119 (from Of the Morals of the Catholic Church.); 9:pp. 111- 113.


            12        St. Thomas Aquinas: 8: pp. 149-168, Proving God  pp.124-127 (from Summa Theologica. Note that AObjections@ are the views with which Aquinas disagrees!); 9: pp.163-182, 118-123.


13       Aquinas’ proofs for God continued. (no readings).


            14       Aquinas, Ethics and Law: 8: pp.129-133 (from Summa Theologica); 9: pp.123-127



            TEST #2





             15         Descartes: 8: pp.204-215, pp.150-163 (from Meditations and The Passions of the Soul);

                          9: pp.222-233, 153-166.


            16        Locke's epistemology: 8: pp.229-236, 167-173 (from Essay concerning Human Understanding); 9: pp.249-256, 195-201 and Berkeley: 8: pp.239-244, 174 -183(from Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous); 9: pp.259-264, 202-211.


17        Hobbes and Locke on government: 8: pp.199-203, 236-239; 9: pp. 215-219, 256-259.


18        Hume: 8: pp.244-253, pp.183-196 (from Treatise of Human Nature); 9: pp.264-273, 211-224.


19        Hume continued: 8:  pp. 210-216 (from  Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion; 9:pp. 238-245  











20         Kant: 8: pp.271-284 (With a nod to Fichte); 9: pp.295-306.


21        Kant:8: pp.284-290 (skip the part on art), pp.252-258 (from Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals); 9: pp. 308-314, 280-286.


22        Mill: 8: pp.327-333, 281-291 (from On Liberty and Utilitarianism); 9: pp.355-361, 309-319.



23        Marx: 8: pp.346-360, pp.291-298(from "The Communist Manifesto") (With a little introduction to Hegel); 9:pp.377-390, 319-326.



TEST #4 during finals period. This test covers only section IV.  It is not cumulative.