PHIL 2101.003(L,W)

Introduction to Philosophy

Spring 2005
MWF 1:00

Room: Winningham 102

Students may contact the instructor by email; his address is: or by phone: 704/687-3318.

Course Information

Students will be introduced to the study of philosophy, initially by means of an overly simplified text--Neil Turnbull, Get a Grip on Philosophy, then by a consideration of various issues that have been selected in response to the expressed wishes of the students

Requirements: There will be an early test, an exam, a paper and a final exam. In addition: 10% of the grade will be determined by the student's participation in the course.

NOTE: This course is Writing Intensive.

Details about the course can be found below and in the online syllabus.


Course Design:

January 10 - 21: Students work on their own reading Turnbull and writing the initial paper, described below.  They will email (by midnight Wednesday, January 19) the paper as a Word attachment or as a .txt file to the instructor, using his UNCC email address, specified above and below.

On Monday, January 24 (or after, as specified below) there will be a test over the material in Turnbull.

Beginning with the class following the exam the instructor will present his understanding of how to do philosophy and work out with the class the philosophical issues to be considered during the bulk of the course. The initial list of issues will be shaped by the instructor based on his reading of the initial paper. There will then be an essay exam on this material. 
Specifically the exam will cover the philosophy of John Dewey and the nature of philosophical method and require each student to identify and describe the philosophical problem s/he will address in her paper.

We will then spend several weeks examining issues and utilizing resources found on the internet or made available electronically by the instructor, perhaps with the aid of members of the class.

Paper 1 is due Jan. 19 and to be submitted electronically.  The paper shall deal with the topics specified below and should be single spaced with the student's name at the top, with the identifier: Intro to Phil Paper 1 (to avoid confusion with the other course that will be submitting papers at the same time).  There is no need to use a student ID number. To avoid problems in transmission and printing, formatting should be kept as simple as possible.  Avoid the use of bold type, italics, bullets, hanging indents, page breaks, headers and footers, etc.  The paper should deal with the following, but not necessarily in this order:

(Examples of philosophical problems or issues, in alphabetical order: evolution, feminism, materialism, naturalism, philosophy, realism, relativism, religion, skepticism, science, theism, technology.  This list is not meant to be exhaustive or definitive; it is only illustrative.)

The instructor will attempt to read and grade all of the papers on his flight back to Charlotte and will return them in class on Monday, Jan. 24.  Grades will be a check, +10 or +20.  A check indicates that the paper is satisfactory and will eventually receive a numerical grade that is the average of the student's later work.  In other words the grade will not adversely affect the student's course grade.  The plus grades are for those papers that are either better than average or excellent.  The +10 indicates that the eventual grade will be the student's course average plus 10 points.  The +20 indicates that the eventual grade will be the student's course average plus 20 points.

Test. The test over the material in Turnbull--key figures, movements, developments and significant dates (or time periods) in western philosophy--will take place on Monday, January 24, or when the instructor determines the class is ready. (If Turnbull is unavailable, consult the excerpted entries from Simon Blackburn's Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy.) The test will consist of multiple choice, true-false, or short answer questions and will accordingly be factual rather than conceptual in nature.  In the Jan. 24 class the instructor will ask if there are questions about the course and questions about the Turnbull reading.  If there are no questions and there is at least 30 minutes left in the period, then he will administer the test.  If there are non-frivolous questions, then he will answer those for as long as it takes.  The test will then take place at the first opportunity, that is a class period in which there are no questions and sufficient time remaining to administer the test.

Make-up test.  If a student misses the test and has notified the instructor of his or her expected absence, then s/he may take the test at a time to be worked out but prior to the next class meeting.  In other words, if the test occurs, say, on Wednesday, 26 January, then the student has until 1:00 on Friday, 28 January, to take the test, but at a time to be worked out with the instructor.  An absence, of course may be unexpected and unavoidable, but then the student must convince the instructor that it was unexpected and unavoidable.


The instructor, Michael Eldridge, is available in Garinger 209 or at 704/687-3318 (after January 23, 2005); or you may email him:

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