102:Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry
Table of Contents
The specific purposes of Introduction to Philosophic Inquiry are:
The general purpose of Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry is to introduce some of the main problems of philosophy, including
w Are ethical principles relative?
In this Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry you will learn how to inquire into complex problems and begin to formulate your own philosophy. You will learn effective methods of inquiry, analysis, and criticism.
Philosophy 102: Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry has no prerequisite. This course complements Philosophy 103: Introduction to Logic but you need not have taken that course to do well in the Introduction to Logic course. They are entirely independent courses.
Philosophy 102: Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry meets the Humanities General Elective Requirement for many majors.
Several schools and divisions of the University have recently required Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry to fulfill course requirements. The curriculum change resulted in a large number of students needing this course for graduation. With the addition of a new faculty member, Dr. John Moore, the backlog has been substantially reduced. We are now offering at least seven sections of Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry each year.
By the Spring semester of 2004, current projections indicate freshman and sophomores should be able register for the class without difficulty.
Philosophy 102: Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry does not meet the logical
and analytical thought requirement, although it does meet the humanities elective
requirement for many majors.
My philosophy courses have an average of 15 quizzes and tests for an average of 110 students each semester. In other words, there are about 1,870 papers to be graded. If the normal excused absence rate is 8%, then 150 make-up quizzes and tests would have to be scheduled during the semester. Assuming each make-up takes 1/2 hour to proctor (not counting the time to prepare a different test or quiz), almost two-weeks work would be needed just to proctor make-up quizzes. For these reasons, extra quizzes are given, and a minimum of two quizzes can be safely dropped with other quiz grades substituted.
The purpose of quizzes is to help the student learn the subjects in advance of the tests in order to reduce anxiety, cramming, and poor grades. Unfortunately in the past, some students have come to take the quiz and then leave before the end of class. I find students leaving in the middle of a class disruptive to the learning environment of the class as a whole and distracting to me personally; for this reason, no credit for that day's quiz is given to any student leaving class early.
Students who do not read the syllabus or this FAQ sometimes believe this policy to be unfair. The only consolation I can offer is for extra quizzes to be offered during the semester which may be substituted for a missed or no credit quiz.
In sum, without the extra quizzes and the drop policy, it is impractical to offer so many graded assignments. Most students understand the pedagogic reasons for the quizzes and, and in light of that, enthusiastically support the policy. See the syllabus for more policy information.
Unfortunately, the History and Philosophy Department does not have space available for offering make-up tests and quizzes. No tests or quizzes can be made-up in this course, even though students have good reasons for missing class. Thus, tests cannot be made-up for any reason. There is no comprehensive final exam.
The confidentiality of student grades is a serious concern. Legal considerations involving the privacy rights of individuals prevent the posting of grades. Other than waiting for your grade report from Lander, there are several other methods to obtain your grades at the end of the semester. For personal and legal reasons, I do not post grades, I do not report grades over the telephone, and I do not ordinarily send grades in e-mail.
(1) Prior to the end of the semester, submit a self-addressed-stamped envelope to the instructor. Your final test grade, course average, and grade for the course will be mailed to you at the completion of the semester's grading.
(3) Visit the instructor's office no sooner than 48 hours after the final exam. Office hours during the week of final exams will be posted. Please note: Normal office hours during the week of final exams are not observed since final exams are not scheduled at the same time as the regular class period.
(4) With your assigned username and password, you may access your grades online as soon as final grades and averages are posted on the homepage for this site.
You can log on to Lander's Bearcat Web, with your Lander student identification number and password. You can find our your grades in all courses before you receive your final official grade report in the mail at your home address.
Extra credit is not offered in this class for two main reasons. First, extra or ``replacement'' work is less important than the required work, and second, extra credit is not an adequate substitute for learning basic ideas of the Eastern philosophy. In my opinion, the offering of extra credit often conflicts with the legal and ethical requirements of equal opportunity since all persons should have the right to the same class policies.
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