1 1 COURSE SYLLABUS PHILOSOPHY 001 CRITICAL THINKING AND WRITING SPRING 2012 All students are required to read and have a thorough understanding of the syllabus. Any questions or concerns need to be addressed to the instructor. Students, please place your initials below to indicate that you have read and understood the requirements outlined in this syllabus. Cut and paste this shaded section and it to your professor the first week of the course. Alternatively, you may the instructor, verifying that you have completed this assignment. Student initials SECTION 1 - OVERVIEW YOUR INSTRUCTOR FOR THIS COURSE: Mr. Peterson Office Hours: By appointment Office Location: TBA Course Website: PERSONAL NOTE FROM MR. PETERSON The critical thinking and writing course begins intentionally, and develops with intention. Each assessment exists as a combination of thought out purposeful objectives. The entire course is a progressive integration of learning on purpose, and is not a series of individual accomplishments, so each assessment merits progressive integration. I anticipate that students will integrate all their reflective learning in the course into their participation. No assessment stands in isolation. Just as a child learns progressively to approach, dialogue, reason, and engage learning interactively, so this course facilitates progressive and integrative learning. POLICY ON CELL PHONES, PAGERS, AND OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES As a matter of courtesy, please keep all electronic devices silent and put away. No electronic devices may be used during the class meetings. Violation of this policy can result in dismissal from the class or a zero for the day s participation. COURSE DESCRIPTION (from the Catalog) PHI 001 CRITICAL THINKING AND WRITING Prerequisites: ENG 1A Develops understanding of informal logic and practical reasoning skills necessary for academic success, including tools needed to analyze information from a variety of sources such as academic essays,
2 2 philosophic literature, news media and advertising. Focus on skills of argumentation including, but not limited to, elements of an argument, deductive and inductive forms of argumentation, the evaluation of arguments and the recognition of a variety of fallacies. Skills developed through a series of written assignments of increasing scope and difficulty culminating in a sophisticated argumentative essay.five hours lecture. Four hours lecture, One hour Etudes Forum participation. Five Units PROGRAM GOALS This course contributes to the fulfillment of the following program goals: 1. Have an understanding of their world view and to have the ability to evaluate and modify it as necessary. 2. Develop the ability to reason fairly about daily issues. 3. To properly handle and respond to philosophical arguments. 4. Develop the ability to properly articulate one s own position in a fair and reasonable way. 5. To grow in the understanding that philosophy is everybody s business. 6. To write a scholarly college level argumentative essay. 7. Development of formal academic writing skills, including mastery of the MLA format. MAJOR CONCEPTS This course will cover the following major course concepts 1. World views and their effects on reasoning. 2. Traits of mind 3. The nature of truth, knowledge, opinions, beliefs, and faith. 4. Evidence (the quality of it, and the ability to analyze it). 5. Errors in reasoning (fallacies and propaganda) 6. Formal reasoning basics (categorical deduction, propositional deduction, and induction). REQUIRED COURSE MATERIALS SECTION 2 COURSE REQUIREMENTS Ruggiero, Vincent. Beyond Feelings. 8th. McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages, Print. (ISBN: ) Course Website features a number of important elements, including the Study Skills Tutorial, Lectures/Lessons, Propaganda, and Writing Argumentative Essays Tutorial (URL listed above.) Additional materials (e.g., PowerPoint files, articles, quizzes, media, and the like) may be distributed in class, or ed to students throughout the course. GENERAL COURSE REQUIREMENTS In order to succeed in this course, you will need to fully understand the following: 1. Attendance and Participation: Your attendance and participation are important means for the instructor to assess your skills, quality of thought, and growth as a student. The attendance policy and procedures are described below. Requirements for your participation in Etudes discussions important both for your learning and for your instructor s evaluation of your progress in the course are described below (see Requirements regarding Etudes Discussions ).
3 3 2. Assignments: Pay close and timely attention to reading assignments and other assigned work posted in the syllabus and Etudes. You are responsible for preparing assigned readings carefully by the date listed on the schedule below and to complete tests, projects, and other assignments by the dates listed. Out of fairness to all, late assignments are penalized as described below under Late Assignments. 3. Policies and Procedures: Carefully follow course policies and procedures regarding writing, academic honesty, submission of assignments, formatting, and other matters, as specified below. Since following directions is a crucial skill for college students and since the smooth operation of our course depends on all of us meeting each other s expectations adherence to policies can positively or adversely affect a student s grade. 4. Writing: All papers and essays must follow the MLA writing style format. The following websites will assist you in setting up the proper format for your references: COURSE PROCEDURES Submission of Assignments SECTION 3 POLICIES AND PROCEDURES Certain assignments (as instructed) for this course should be submitted via , unless otherwise noted. Papers should be in MS Word format (.doc). When saving your document, the file name should include your name and assignment, in that order. For example, John_Smith_Major_Project.doc. When sending your document, give your name and assignment. This makes it easy for your instructor to track your work. This is worth five points per assignment. Every assignment must have your name on it, and, if it is more than one page, each page must be numbered. To do that, you will need to know how to use the Header and Footer option under the View button in Microsoft Word. Assignments that are to be ed will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on the due date. After that the assignment will be considered late. Assignments that are due in class must be submitted at the beginning of class. ing Your Instructor The subject line of all messages related to this course should include the course number (e.g., PHIL 001), and the name of the student (For example, PHIL 001, Tom Johnson, Major Project). Following these directions enables the professor to identify quickly the student and course, facilitating a timely response. Students should always include their first and last name at the end of all messages. This is worth five points per assignment. (Note that if you fail to do this on your syllabus submission assignment, you will lose 99 points. This is because it proves the entire syllabus was not read.) Because instructors often need to reach students, all students are required to keep their mailing address, address, and telephone numbers up to date with the professor. ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION POLICY Attendance is part of the participation grade calculation, and will strongly affect borderline grades. a. In Class: This is a hybrid course. Classroom attendance is required. Monday and i. Wednesday 8:00 a.m. to 9:50 a.m., Room 3304
4 4 b. Online: Your participation and completion of the online component to this course is required. You are expected to have an ongoing presence throughout the course. (Separate instructions will be given with readings, assignments, protocol, and expectations.) Discussion forum participation is required for one hour per week. Foothill College is required to maintain accurate attendance records by the U.S. Department of Education. ACADEMIC HONOR CODE Students are on their honor to complete assignments with honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty involves intentionally or unintentionally stealing the intellectual property of others. Students are expected to be familiar with the college s policy on academic integrity found in both the Student Handbook and School of Undergraduate Studies Catalog and to follow it. As an academic community, Foothill College takes seriously the call for integrity and penalizes breaches of of academic integrity. Students should be aware that submitted papers may be checked using software for plagiarism detection. This feature will determine the percentage of the submitted paper that matches other sources and will generate a report. Scores below 15% include quotes and few common phrases or blocks of text that match other documents, these papers indicate no evidence of the possibility of plagiarism. Scores between 15% and 40% include extensive quaoted or paraphrased material or may include plagiarism and will require further review. Scores over 40% indicate a high probability the text in the paper was copied from other sources and should be reviewed for plagiarism. The professor or instructor will contact the student if plagiarism is a concern. COURSE SCHEDULE SECTION 4 SCHEDULE AND EVALUATION The schedule below includes the due dates for all assignments in this course. It is recommended that you place this Course Schedule in a convenient place and refer to it each week of the course. You need to follow it closely, as late assignments are subject to a grade reduction. Students are expected to spend eight to twelve and a half hours per week to include, homework and study time, for a five-credit hour class. Reading assignments for each week should be completed by Monday before class, unless otherwise noted. NOTE that during the full course all students should work on the Major Project. The Major Project takes 11 weeks to complete. Week One: April 9, 11 Read the Study Skills Tutorial and submit the corresponding assignment (4/11). Read the syllabus and submit the corresponding assignment (4/11). Ruggiero, Chapters 1, 2 Week Two: April 16, 18 Ruggiero, Chapters 3, 4, 5 Week Three: April 23, 25 Submit your issue for the Major Project. (Separate instructions will be given.) (Friday 4/27) Ruggiero, Chapters 6, 16
5 5 Week Four: April 30, May 2 May 4 COMPLETE FORUM ONE, ROUND ONE May 4 Begin Forum One, Round Two Ruggiero, Chapters 7, 8 Week Five: May 7, 9 Submit sources for the Major Project (Separate instructions given.) (Friday, 5/11) Ruggiero, Chapters 9, 17 Week Six: May 14, 16 MIDTERM EXAM May 16 (tentative) Ruggiero, Chapter 10 Week Seven: May 21, 23 Ruggiero, Chapters 11, 18 Week Eight: May 30 NO CLASS ON MONDAY, MAY 28. MINOR PROJECT (Friday June 1) June 1 COMPLETE FORUM ONE, ROUND TWO June 1 Begin Forum One, Round Three Ruggiero, Chapters 12, 13 Week Nine: June 4, 6 Summarize the essential arguments on both sides of the issue. (Friday, 6/8) Ruggiero, Chapters 14, 15 Week Ten: June 11, 13 Deadline for final draft submissions, (6/15) optional. Ruggiero, Chapter 19 Week Eleven: June 18, 20 MAJOR PROJECT Due Friday, June 22. Week Twelve: June 25, and Final Exam on June 29 Monday June 25 at 11:59 PM, COMPLETE FORUM ONE, ROUND THREE Monday June 25 at 11:59 PM, COMPLETE FORUM TWO Final Exam: Friday, June 29, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
6 6 ASSIGNMENT DETAILS Study Skills Tutorial (4% of total grade) Due April 11. Read the Study Skills Tutorial (found at the course website). Write a short summary of the those things that you think will be most useful in improving your study habits. (1/2 to 1 page, typed, double-spaced). Submit according to the instructions instructions in the syllabus. Syllabus Submission: (1% of total grade) Due April 11 Follow the instructions at the top of this document. Minor Project: Epistemology Paper (CORNERSTONE PROJECT) (15% of total grade) Content: Using concepts from this course, write a scholarly philosophy paper on epistemology (theory of knowledge). Consider especially the characteristics of critical thinkers, and the obstacles to thinking well. Discuss the nature of knowledge, and truth. What theory about truth is correct (relativism, subjectivism, objectivism, absolutism)? Defend your position. Format: The successful paper will: Be 5 to 7 pages plus one title page, body, and references. Be written in MLA format and style Engage with the reading assignments, lecture, and class discussion for this project. Support all observations and conclusions with appropriate and scholarly, philosophical works. Sources beyond assigned course materials (textbooks, handouts, etc.) are necessary. Due Friday, June 1. See Submission of Assignments section above. Online Forum Discussions (20% of total grade) A separate handout will be given with specifics for each forum assignment. Overview: The forums will give you the opportunity to practice and develop a number of course specific skills through dialogue with other students in the class. Purpose: Development of writing skills, research skills, argument skills, and bibilographical skills. Format: Three formats will be used, and detailed in a separate handout The three formats are,1) Point- Counterpoint-Response, 2) Open Forum, and 3) Five-Post 200 Word Style. Evaluation Method: See Grading Rubric. Completion dates: You should evenly space your posts between the start and completion dates. Forum One will consist of three rounds, ending April 4 (Round 1), June 1 (Round 2), June 25 (Round 3). Posts after these deadlines cannot be graded. Forum Two runs the entire quarter. Intermediate deadlines are found in separate instructions found at the Etudes site. Online Forum Continued: Generally you will: Take a position on the issue discussed in the class discussion, or based on a reading. Defend your position, making sure to use techniques and concepts covered up to that point in the course.
7 7 Do your very best to be reasonable and logical, being organized, thoughtful, and omitting all errors in reasoning. Address points made during the class discussion, being fair about opposing views. Use at least the minimum number of citations required for the specific assignment and use proper MLA formatting, including references at the end. Major Project: Argumentative Essay (CULMINATING WORK) (20% of total grade) Content: Write an argumentative essay on a controversial subject. Preliminary work is extremely important. First, choose an issue and get it approved by the instructor very early in the course. Your issue must be approved. Your research must include a balance of reasonable sources from both sides of the issue. Do your research and think carefully before jumping to a conclusion. You probably have a position in mind at the outset of your work. But reasonable people start with the position that they will be open to where the evidence leads them. They will change their mind if necessary. Do not resist this process. It is why you are taking this course. The paper must clearly demonstrate that you completed the Writing Essays Tutorial. Compile your research and write an original paper. This requires doing your research, thinking about it for a while, and then writing. Do not cut and paste others ideas. Generate your own work. Write drafts early and often. Get feedback. Format: The successful paper will: Be 8 to 10 pages plus one title page, body, and references. Be written in MLA format and style Engage with the reading assignments, lecture, and class discussion for this project. Demonstrate fairness to different perspectives. Be free from grammatical errors. Support all observations and conclusions with appropriate sources. Friday, June 22. See Submission of Assignments section above Participation (Class Discussion) (10% of total grade) Those engaged in proper participation will be engaged in agreeing or disagreeing, arguing when they disagree, and giving reasons for disagreements. They will be making and defending generalizations, or challenging generalizations made by others. They will be judging by weighing evidence pro and con, or by examining the validity of reasons for making one claim or another concerning what is true or false, more or less probable. They will be asking and answering questions about the consistency or inconsistency of things asserted or denied, about their presuppositions and their implications, and about the inferences involved therein. (Dr. Mortimer Adler) Additionally several short assignments designed to facilitate discussion and understanding of lecture material may be given. Some additional assignments beyond those listed may be added during the course if they will help students better understand material. These will be counted in the Participation category. Common courtesy is expected. Students are expected to arrive five minutes early. They should stay seated during the entire lecture period. They should not engage in distracting activities. Failure to comply will result in score reductions up to 100% for the day. METHOD OF EVALUATION AND COURSE ASSESSMENTS All work will be evaluated based on the assessment criteria in the Grading Rubric. Download a copy of it from the course website, and use it in preparation of all coursework. Program Goals Course Learning Objectives Corresponding Assignments
8 8 Demonstrate careful, open-minded, systematic and logical reasoning in various Reason carefully and thoughtfully in a live, group environment. Class discussions settings Communicate in written form. Forum Minor Project Major Project Demonstrate the ability to analyze information in a fair way, drawing proper conclusions. Understand and identify fallacies and propaganda. Understand proper logical constructions. Forums Class Discussions Major Project Midterm Exam Final Exam Argumentative Essay Tutorial Demonstrate integrity, fairness, and ethical behavior in research, writing, and collegial service. Apply the call to ethical behavior in conducting and reporting research and in presenting arguments. All assignments CATEGORIES AND WEIGHTINGS Syllabus Response = 1% Study Skills Tutorial = 4% Minor Project = 15% Forums = 20% Participation = 10% Midterm Exam = 15% Major Project = 20% Final Exam = 15% Total = 100% LATE ASSIGNMENTS In Class Assignments, Etudes Forums, and Exams, may not be turned in late. Also, nothing may be turned in after the Final Exam is complete. All others: One minute up to 7 days late, - 10% No work is accepted after seven days without a conference with the professor. Further grade deductions will be explained at that time. GRADING Grade Percentage Quality Points Meaning of Grade A Superior A B
9 9 B Good B C C Satisfactory C D D Poor D F Failing Letter grades indicate the following: A A- Work of superior quality in all areas. Work displays a mastery of course content at the highest level of attainment appropriate for the undergraduate level: outstanding quality of thought; excellent understanding of the course content and demonstration of skills associated with the course; a creative and critical engagement with the material; and an ability to analyze and evaluate the knowledge and ideas that shows talent for undergraduate work. Work shows practical or personal application of course content in specific assignments, as appropriate. The grade for such work will vary from A to A- according to the quality and quantity of the work. B+ B B- Strong performance demonstrating a high level of attainment appropriate for the undergraduate level: high quality of thought; solid understanding of the course content and demonstration of skills associated with the course; an engagement with the material that shows good comprehension of the subject; and an ability to analyze and evaluate the knowledge and ideas in the course. Work shows practical or personal application of course content in specific assignments, as appropriate. The grade for such work will vary from B+ to B- according to the quality and quantity of the work. C+ C C- Satisfactory performance demonstrating an adequate level of attainment appropriate for the undergraduate level: competent quality of thought; acceptable understanding of the course content and demonstration of skills associated with the course; an engagement with the course that shows adequate ability to analyze and evaluate; and adequate comprehension of the subject. Work shows practical or personal application of course content in specific assignments, as appropriate The grade will vary from C+ to C- according to the quality and quantity of the work. D+ D D- Marginal performance demonstrating a minimal passing level of attainment appropriate for the undergraduate level. The student s work indicates poor quality of thought and poor comprehension of course content. Work shows practical or personal application of course content in specific assignments, as appropriate. F Unacceptable performance. The student s work indicates major deficiencies in learning and reveals little or no understanding of course content. This grade denotes either unacceptable performance in spite of some effort, or failure to complete the assigned work. DISABILITY STATEMENT: The student is responsible for requesting accommodations, provide necessary documentation, and make arrangements with the instructor.
10 10 This syllabus is subject to change without notice. Last updated: April 9, 2012