Introduction to Philosophy

Course Content from McGraw-Hill
Course Number: PHIL101
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This Introduction to Philosophy course is a critical introduction to the field of philosophical inquiry. After defining philosophy and identifying the major fields of philosophical study, the course examines the history of Western thought, from the famous Greek philosophers up to the cutting-edge intellectuals of today. The course then dives into various thematic topics, including metaphysics, epistemology, free will and determinism, evil and the existence of God, personal identity, ethical values, and political philosophy. The course concludes with an analysis of different perspectives, including Eastern philosophies, and post-colonial thought.

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3
college credits
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Self Paced
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Humanities
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29 Reviews
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  • 12/9/14 by cowgirl98
    while I didn't really enjoy the topic that much. I do like the way that straighterline tests students online.
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  • 10/29/14 by andrewmays85
    Tough course. A lot of information is presented and it can be hard to recall certain information during exams.
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  • 10/29/14 by andrewmays85
    Tough course. A lot of information is presented and it can be hard to recall certain information during exams.
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  • 10/10/14 by tanessajane
    This course was a survey of philosophers and concepts, but did a good job covering a wide range of topics and touching on the many important theories and changes that occurred throughout history.
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  • 10/10/14 by tanessajane
    This course was a survey of philosophers and concepts, but did a good job covering a wide range of topics and touching on the many important theories and changes that occurred throughout history.
    Content Rating
    Overall Rating
  • 9/15/14 by mele4you
    A thorough introduction into general field of Philosophy.
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  • 9/15/14 by mele4you
    A thorough introduction into general field of Philosophy.
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    Overall Rating
  • 9/12/14 by cowgirl98
    while I didn't really enjoy the topic that much. I do like the way that straighterline tests students online.
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    Overall Rating
  • 9/6/14 by andydh
    it was interesting and i enjoyed it.
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  • 8/25/14 by gabby18152003
    I thought this was a very well laid out course. It was interesting to go through and easily understood.
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  • 8/25/14 by gabby18152003
    I thought this was a very well laid out course. It was interesting to go through and easily understood.
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    Overall Rating
  • 6/28/14 by cowgirl98
    videos were not that helpful, studying the book is probably your best bet. Also the review activities will probably not help you know the answers on the test.
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    Overall Rating
  • 6/28/14 by cowgirl98
    videos were not that helpful, studying the book is probably your best bet. Also the review activities will probably not help you know the answers on the test.
    Content Rating
    Overall Rating
  • 6/27/14 by pradeshshrestha
    I found this course to be relatively easy and intersting. Since I am a Christian, this course was like a preparation for an apologetics view for me. As for the material, I used the 8th edition, which was pretty similar. I read through the book once and took notes by going back and reviewing at the end of each chapter. I could not really use the provided flashcards because I have slow internet. The homework quizzes are, by the way, confusing and the answers are wrong many times. However, the tests seemed easy and they were very straightforward and well-versed (unlike the quizzes). I finished this course in approximately 2 weeks (45 hours).
    Content Rating
    Overall Rating
  • 6/27/14 by pradeshshrestha
    I found this course to be relatively easy and intersting. Since I am a Christian, this course was like a preparation for an apologetics view for me. As for the material, I used the 8th edition, which was pretty similar. I read through the book once and took notes by going back and reviewing at the end of each chapter. I could not really use the provided flashcards because I have slow internet. The homework quizzes are, by the way, confusing and the answers are wrong many times. However, the tests seemed easy and they were very straightforward and well-versed (unlike the quizzes). I finished this course in approximately 2 weeks (45 hours).
    Content Rating
    Overall Rating
  • 6/9/14 by andydh
    it was interesting and i enjoyed it.
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    Overall Rating
  • 6/6/14 by mjeffers95
    Lots of reading, but relatively easy
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    Overall Rating
  • 6/6/14 by mjeffers95
    Lots of reading, but relatively easy
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    Overall Rating
  • 9/4/13 by jonathanl
    I was able to complete this course quickly because I am a philosophy major who has covered much of the material already. I was pleased with the breadth of material, albeit limited in depth as the entire course is based on multiple choice understandings, and not a moderated seminar-style discussion, as philosophy should be practiced. I would recommend this course for people in similar situations as mine: the junior philosophy major who needs to take Intro. Phil for a major requirement, but doesn't want to waste tuition money and credit hours during the school year tediously going through material already learned (for the most part).
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  • 8/18/13 by derrick.w
    Well chosen textbook along with good helpful lessons. The ungraded homework is riddled with incorrect answers, however. Luckily, this was not the case for the graded exams. Other than that, just be prepared for memorizing quite a bit of information.
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  • 7/30/13 by jumpingbadger
    This course is great for busy people. I purchased the textbook ahead of time and read it and then completed the class over a couple of weeks.
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  • 7/27/13 by latoya.deon
    Tests questions are multiple choice; though the questions are still difficult, I like that they allow the book and one page of Notes.
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  • 7/23/13 by asafar
    The online material was not that helpful. Very little information for each chapter. Material provided had nothing to do with the exams at the end of each chapter.
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  • 7/17/13 by nico.r
    basic overview
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  • 7/15/13 by Rfarris
    The lessons had no bearing on the tests. Very difficult
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  • 7/4/13 by darcissa
    Horrible homework assignments that did not match he text. I had to spend a lot of extra time clarifying the correct answers with SMEs (who corrected the material following my emails)
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  • 7/4/13 by cindylou944
    This was a difficult course for me. I was lucky, and did not have work, children or any other classes or responsibilities during this course and was able to devote a lot of time to reading and studying. I used an electronic book which was very helpful in finding topics.
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  • 7/1/13 by luv2shoot407
    This course was well organized, and the textbook was pretty good. Some parts were a little confusing, but I think that is just the nature of philosophy. The book did pretty well trying to explain everything.
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  • 5/29/13 by fiondep
    health topics very good info
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Course Objectives

After completing this Introduction to Philosophy course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the major philosophical controversies.
  • Evaluate the Socratic method and the basic principles of logic.
  • Evaluate the contributions of Descartes to the debates on the meaning of knowledge and existence.
  • Analyze the concepts of empiricism with reference to the theories of Locke, Hume, and Berkeley.
  • Analyze Kant's theory that experience is the result of sense data processed by the mind and relate it to modern cognitivism and constructivism.
  • Explore the concepts of structuralism and deconstruction.
  • Understand the main ideas of existentialism as a counter to Hegelian Absolute Idealism.
  • Examine some modern approaches to the debate on the mental-physical divide.
  • Compare the approaches of Kant, Nietzsche, and the pragmatists to the concept of knowledge.
  • Analyze the theories that see mental states as functional states and examine their implications.
  • Critically evaluate the concepts of free will and determinism.
  • Examine the cosmological arguments for the existence of God.
  • Compare theories that insist on universal values with those that argue that values are culture specific.
  • Critically examine theories that see the self as a self-generating process rather than as a static entity.
  • Compare Mill's and Marx's views on the relation between the individual and the state.
  • Examine the teachings of Taoism, Confucianism, Zen Buddhism and other Eastern influences on philosophy.

Topic

Topic

Subtopics

Objectives

1

Introduction to Philosophy and Philosophical Reasoning

  • What Is Philosophy?
  • Philosophic Concerns
  • The Tools of Philosophy
  • Define epistemology, metaphysics, and axiology.
  • Identify the major philosophical controversies.
  • Evaluate the Socratic method and the basic principles of logic.

2

History of Western Thought: The Greeks to the Middle Ages

  • The Pre-Socratics
  • Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
  • Augustine to Aquinas
  • Evaluate the contributions of the early Greek thinkers to epistemological and metaphysical questions.
  • Understand how all explorations of knowledge can be traced back to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
  • Review how St. Augustine's philosophy can be traced to Plato and how Aquinas reconciled Aristotelian thought and Christian belief.

3

Epistemology: The Search for Knowledge

  • Skepticism and Rationalism
  • Empiricism and Phenomenalism
  • Constructivism, Relativism, and Pragmatism
  • Defining Knowledge
  • Compare different forms of skepticism and rationalism.
  • Evaluate theories dealing with knowledge as verifiable.
  • Compare the approaches of Kant, Nietzsche, and the pragmatists to the concept of knowledge.
  • Compare different theories that attempt a definition of knowledge.

4

History of Western Thought: The Renaissance to the Seventeenth Century

  • Erasmus
  • Descartes Skepticism and Dualism
  • Hobbes and Materialism
  • Spinoza and LeibnizVersions of Monadology
  • Evaluate the contributions of Descartes to the debates on the meaning of knowledge and existence.
  • Examine Hobbes's materialism as a counter to dualism.
  • Compare Ancient and Modern conceptions of knowledge.

5

Metaphysics: The Mind-Body Problem

  • Dualism
  • Physicalism
  • Functionalism and Artificial Intelligence

  • Evaluate the theories that argue the existence of both physical and mental states.
  • Compare theories that argue that there are only physical states with dualistic theories.
  • Analyze the theories that see mental states as functional states and examine their implications.

6

History of Western Thought: The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century

  • Locke, Hume, and BerkeleyEmpiricism
  • Kant and the Origins of Constructivism
  • Hegel and Schopemhauer
  • Analyze the concepts of empiricism with reference to the theories of Locke, Hume, and Berkeley.
  • Analyze Kant's theory that experience is the result of sense data processed by the mind and relate it to modern cognitivism and constructivism.
  • Understand the main features of Hegelian Absolute Idealism and Schopenhauer's rejection of it.

7

Personal Identity

  • The Body or the Soul?
  • Memory, Desire, and Reincarnation
  • Self as a Process
  • Critically consider animalism and the soul theories of individual identity.
  • Examine theories that argue that memory determines sense of identity.
  • Critically examine theories that see the self as a self-generating process rather than as a static entity.

8

The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: The Continental Tradition

  • Kierkegaard and NietzscheExistentialism
  • Literature and Philosophy
  • New Ideas from Other Disciplines
  • Compare the views Camus and Sartre and those of Husserl and Heidegger on the nature of experience.
  • Review analytics philosophys contributions by Wittgenstein, Russell and Habermas.

9

History of Western Thought: The Twentieth Century

  • Pragmatism
  • Logic and Philosophy
  • Language and Philosophy
  • The Philosophy of Mind
  • Review the arguments against fixed absolute truth as presented by Charles Sanders Pierce, William James, John Dewey, and Richard Rorty.
  • Explore the methods by which Bertrand Russell and others related philosophy to an activity based on logical analysis.
  • Examine the importance of studying language to explore experience.
  • Examine some modern approaches to the debate on the mental-physical divide.

10

Ethical Values

  • Absolutism and Relativism
  • Utilitarianism
  • Duty
  • The Definition of Virtue
  • Compare theories that insist on universal values with those that argue that values are culture specific.
  • Investigate the impact of utilitarian philosophies on concepts related to ethics.
  • Examine the theories of Kant, Ross, Rawl, and Nozick with reference to ethics as related to an individual's social commitments.
  • Evaluate the utilitarian and Kantian concepts of virtue.

11

Political Philosophy

  • The Social Contract
  • Justice
  • The State and the Individual
  • Compare, contrast, and evaluate the social contract theories of Hobbes and Locke.
  • Critically evaluate various accounts of justice: Plato's meritocracy, Aquinas's natural law, Mill's utilitarianism.
  • Compare Mill's and Marx's views on the relation between the individual and the state.

12

Evil and Existence of God

  • Cosmological Arguments
  • Teleological Arguments
  • Other Approaches to God
  • Examine the cosmological arguments for the existence of God.
  • Evaluate arguments for the existence of God that are based on a larger design, miracles, and religious experience.
  • Investigate ontology, the problem of evil, the existence of God, and theology.

13

Free Will and Determinism

  • Determinism
  • Libertarianism
  • Compatibilism
  • Critically evaluate the concepts of determinism.
  • Examine and comment on theories that oppose determinism, including libertarianism.
  • Differentiate between traditional and hierarchical compatibilism.

14

Eastern Influences

  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism
  • Chinese Philosophies
  • The Philosophy of Samurai
  • Evaluate the contributions of Hinduism to epistemology and metaphysics.
  • Review Buddhist contributions to epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics.
  • Examine the teachings of Taoism, Confucianism, and Zen Buddhism.
  • Evaluate the martial precepts of the Samurai philosophy and relate them to Taoism and Confucianism.

15

Review Topic

  • Review
  • Review

There are no prerequisites to take Introduction to Philosophy.

Required Textbook: This course has assigned reading.

Title: Philosophy: The Power Of Ideas eTextbook

ISBN: 9781259208690

Our Price: $71.27

Assigned reading material as part of taking this online course.
bookshelfWith every purchase of an eTextbook through StraighterLine, students have access to their texts via the Bookshelf App which syncs to their course, provides offline access for studying on the go, and more.
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book cover

This comprehensive introductory text with readings offers a historical overview of all major subdivisions of Western Philosophy perspectives. Written in an engaging and captivating style, it makes philosophy accessible without oversimplifying the material, and shows that philosophy's powerful ideas affect the lives of real people.

Moore, Brooke Noel and Kenneth Bruder . Philosophy: The Power of Ideas, 7th edition , McGraw-Hill , 2008. ISBN: 978-0-07-353572-2

StraighterLine provides a percentage score and letter grade for each course. A passing percentage is 70% or higher.

If you have chosen a Partner College to award credit for this course, your final grade will be based upon that college's grading scale. Only passing scores will be considered by Partner Colleges for an award of credit.

There are a total of 1000 points in the course:

Topic

Assessment

Points Available

2

Graded Exam #1

75

7

Graded Exam #2

75

Cumulative Graded Midterm Exam

200

10

Graded Exam #3

75

14

Graded Exam #4

75

Cumulative Graded Final Exam

500

Total

1000


You are required to take an online proctored final exam in order to be eligible for transfer credit. You can take your proctored final exam at home or anywhere you have access to a webcam with a microphone and a reliable, high-speed internet connection. For additional questions, please refer to the FAQ on Online Proctoring or contact your student advisors at 877-787-8375.

This Introduction to Philosophy course is a critical introduction to the field of philosophical inquiry. After defining philosophy and identifying the major fields of philosophical study, the course examines the history of Western thought, from the famous Greek philosophers up to the cutting-edge intellectuals of today. The course then dives into various thematic topics, including metaphysics, epistemology, free will and determinism, evil and the existence of God, personal identity, ethical values, and political philosophy. The course concludes with an analysis of different perspectives, including Eastern philosophies, and post-colonial thought.

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