Revised 4/28/03

Phil 3217.001 American Philosophy
TR 12:30

Spring 2003
Michael Eldridge
Winningham 114C
(704) 687-3318
email: mleldrid@email.uncc.edu
website: http://www.uncc.edu/mleldrid
Office Hours: M 2-3 and TR 2-3:30
(and by appointment)

Texts:  Bruce Kuklick, A History of Philosophy in America, 1720-2000 (Oxford, 2001)

            H. Standish Thayer, Pragmatism: The Classic Writings (Hackett, 1982)

Course Description:

A history of American philosophy with particular attention to pragmatism, America's distinctive philosophy.

Schedule

Date

Day

Topic

Reading

 

January

 

14

Tues

Introduction to Course

 

 

16

Thur

Santayana & the American Contribution to Philosophy

“The Genteel Tradition in American Philosophy” (handout)

 

21

Tues

Calvinism and Jonathan Edwards

Kuklick 1-25

 

23

Thur

Class cancelled – university closed

assignment moved to next class period

 

28

Tues

Politics, Theology & Philosophy (before the Civil War)

Kuklick 26-94

 

30

Thur

Emerson

“Nature,” “Divinity School Address,” and “The American Scholar” can be found at http://www.rwe.org/ or http://www2.lucidcafe.com/lucidcafe/lucidcafe/library/96may/emerson.html

 

February

 

4

Tues

Post-Civil War Developments

Kuklick 97-128; for an 1885 review of Royce’s “Religious Aspect of Philosophy”: http://moa.cit.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/moa/sgml/moa-idx?notisid=ABK2934-0055-130

 

6

Thur

Peirce's Pragmaticism

Kuklick 129-49 and Thayer 11-26 & 43-7

 

11

Tues

“Some Consequences of Four Incapacities”

http://www.peirce.org/writings/p27.html or http://www.iupui.edu/~peirce/web/writings/v2/w2/w2_22/v2_22x.htm

 

13

Thur

“Definition and Description of Pragmatism”

Thayer 48-60

 

18

Tues

“The Fixation of Belief”

Thayer 61-78

 

20

Thur

“How to Make Our Ideas Clear”

Thayer 79-100

 

25

Tues

“What Pragmatism Is”

Thayer 101-20

 

27

Thur

James’ Pragmatism

Kuklick 150-78 and Thayer 26-34 & 123-30

 

March

 

4

Tues

Principles of Psychology (excerpts)

Thayer 135-85

 

6

Thur

Mid-Term Exam

 

 

10 - 15

Spring Break – No Class

 

 

18

Tues

“The Will to Believe”

Thayer 186-208

 

20

Thur

James on Pragmatism and Truth

Thayer 209-50

 

25

Tues

“The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life”

"The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life"

 

27

Thur

Dewey’s Pragmatism

Kuklick 179-97 and Thayer 34-40 & 253-61

April

1

Tues

Two Early Essays

Thayer 262-89

3

Thurs

No Class

 

8

Tues

“The Construction of Good”

Thayer 290-315

10

Thur

“The Pattern of Inquiry”

Thayer 316-34

15

Tues

“Professional Realism”

Kuklick 201-24 and Thayer 361-74

17

Thur

Europe’s Impact on the U.S., 1928-64”

Kuklick 225-42

22

Tues

“Harvard and Oxford, 1946-75”

Kuklick 243-58; for your information (but not required reading):

http://www.uncc.edu/mleldrid/American/2dog.htm

24

Thur

No Class

 

29

Tues

Philosophy’s Troubles and Kuklick’s Conclusion

Kuklick 259-85

May

1

Thur

Rorty and Neo-Pragmatism

http://www.princeton.edu/~jknobe/rorty.html

8

Thur

Take Home Final Exam: http://www.uncc.edu/mleldrid/American/final.htm

 

Paper/Writing Requirement

Option 1: Students will be expected to report on the readings in writing. Reports submitted at the beginning of the class on the day the reading is assigned can be revised. Revised reports are due within a week of being returned by the instructor. (Returned papers are to be included with new submissions.) The grade will be based on thirty pages of submitted work. Option 1 is the one recommended for most students, particularly those that are not philosophy majors. This activity (interacting with the readings on a weekly basis and revising on the basis of the instructor's feedback) is good preparation for the exams. Option 2: Students may submit a fifteen-page analytical-evaluative paper. Students should consult with the instructor regarding topics prior to the February 27 proposal due date. Final papers are due by April 29 Option 3: Students may submit a combination of reports and analytical-evaluative writing. NOTE: In order to take the mid-term exam students must have either completed one-third of the Option 1 writing requirement or have submitted an Option 2 paper proposal (thesis or question, strategy and preliminary bibliography) by February 27.

 

Grade Composition

Mid-Term Exam

30

Paper(s)

35

Final Exam

35



Grade Scale

90-100 is an A

80-89 is a B

70-79 is a C

60-69 is a D

59 and below is a F



Attendance Policy

Attendance is expected but students will not be directly penalized for failure to attend class or rewarded for attendance.

NOTE

The instructor reserves the right to modify the course and its requirements as conditions warrant. Students will be notified, if posssible, of changes, either in class or online but preferably in both ways.

Academic Integrity

Students have the responsibility to know and observe the requirements of "The UNC Charlotte Code of Student Academic Integrity" (UNC Charlotte Catalog 1999-2001, p. 375f). The most recent edition of the Code is available in the Office of the Dean of Students.

Disability Accomodation

Students with documented disabilities requuiring accommodation in this course should contact Disability Services in Fretwell 230.

 

Philosophy Majors and Others Interested in Philosophy

Students majoring in Philosophy or considering a major in Philosophy are encouraged to retain a copy of their research paper and exams for possible inclusion in the Portfolio required of majors. This information is available on the web at Philosophy Program, and copies are available in the Department of Philosophy (103 Winningham).

Students are invited to participate via email in an electronic philosophy discussion list for students. To join Phil-D, send your email address to mjcroy@email.uncc.edu and request to be added.

 

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Copyright © 2003, Michael Eldridge