Course Requirements


Judgment about the progress of your work is based on the quality and depth of critical and constructive thinking exhibited on three ``openbook'' tests on assigned readings. Your writing and comments should not consist of your religious beliefs or how you feel about the issues. Instead, your comments should express reasons, grounds, or evidence for your agreement or disagreement with the philosophers your read about. Whenever you state agreement or disagreement with a philosophical issue, you must give your reasons for that belief. In the course, it is your reasoning which is evaluated, not your beliefs. Your course grade is determined by averaging the points you achieve from the following scores:

Test I
: Philosophy of Life
Test II
: Philosophy of Religion
Test III
: Philosophical Ethics

Your final course grade is assigned according to your final average as follows:

Class Tests
are given during the regular semester. There is no comprehensive final exam given in this class. The third test is the final exam.
Semester Average
is determined by adding the three test scores and dividing by three.
Course Grade
Your grade for the course is based upon this numerical average in accordance with the corresponding letter grade in the table given below under the heading of Section 3.2 ``Grade Evaluation'' in this Syllabus.

Grade Evaluation

Your final course grade is assigned according to your final average as described above in Section 3.1 ``Grades.'' The number of hours advised to study given below is usually an accurate guide to how well you will do in this class. If you study only before tests or try to complete tests without prior reading and, your doing well in the course is unlikely. Many students assume they can do well in philosophy without careful reading because they have been able to do so in other high school or college classes. Since these students have become habituated to passing courses without much study, they are often alarmed to discover our philosophy course is substantially different from what they have expected. Your Web course puts a substantial burden on you to take charge of your own learning.

(above 90 points) reflects approximately more than two hours study per weekday; a great deal of time, thought, and effort; and mastery of the subject.
(80 or above but below 90 points) reflects two hours study per weekday above average time, thought and effort; and superior achievement.
(70 or above but below 80 points) reflects under two hours study per weekday, average time, thought, and effort; and average achievement.
(60 or above but below 70 points) reflects studying only for examinations; minimum time, thought, and effort; below college level work; a less than adequate grasp of the course content; and less than satisfactory achievement.
(below 60) reflects little or no understanding of course content and unsatisfactory achievement.
reflects no tests submitted during the regular semester.
can only be given in cases of sudden illness or other emergency situation. To be considered for an INC, email the professor prior to the due dat of the final test.

If, at the end of the semester, the mitigating circumstances of substantial hardship this semester caused you to receive low grades, you may petition for withdrawal or retroactive withdrawal from the course. Talk to your academic advisor for information about this option.

Online quizzes: Online quizzes are provided as study aids only and may be used for self-testing. They are entirely optional and from no part of your grade in this course.


The course is essentially performance based and consists of a progressive series of concepts to be learned and mastered. For this reason, few students can do well in this course by ``cramming'' before exams. Normally, the course is not difficult if you study daily, keep up with the reading and homework daily, and do not attempt to learn a large amount of information at one time. This is the key to doing well in the course. (Reading, by itself, is not studying.)

How Tests are Evaluated: Tests in this course are ``open-book'' tests and are submitted as attachments to email to your professor. The tests are usually composed as true-false, paragraph-answer, and essay-answer sections. The subject-matter is primarily based on the reading and homework assignments, especially the questions at the beginning of the readings and in Section A of the Appendices. If you understand the questions at the beginning of the readings, you will do well on tests.

Important: It is imperative that tests or parts of tests are not copies or paraphrases of notes or tutorials taken from the Web. All writing is to be the student's own work. Many persons believe that it is sufficient to briefly paraphrase the online notes and related Internet sources immediately prior to the due date of the tests. Surprisingly, the lack of understanding of what is read and written in such cases is evident from inadvertent inconsistencies, vague language, a rush to meet a deadline, and poor or inappropriate examples thought up ``on the fly.''

I realize that paraphrasing or copying might have been successful in high school and still might be in some college courses, but in this course little, if any, credit is given since I am unable to assess reliably your understanding of the philosophies studied.

The tests are neither based on memorized facts nor based on objective information derived from memorized arguments. Instead, the emphasis given in tests is on the operation and active transformation or manipulation of the concepts learned. Occasionally, some particularly difficult optional questions are included for extra credit.

On paragraph and essay questions, be sure to answer with complete sentences; answers provided as lists of phrases or the names of concepts, alone, do not reflect an understanding of the subject and will not be given credit. Example tests and quizzes (with answers) and lecture notes for previous non-Blackboard classes are online at Test Review Worksheets are provided in the A Appendicesto this syllabus and form a good basis for studying ideas in the readings prior to tests.

Important: Five points are deducted from tests for each of the following:

(1) Test sent to a different email address than
(2) Test not sent as attachment to the email.
(3) Test not in a docx, doc, rtf, or txt file type
(4) Test mailed late (per 12 hr. period)
(5) Email does not have subject, salutation, closing, or body stating what is attached.
(6) Tests submitted more than once; different parts of test submitted in separate emails; or sections submitted in more than one file attachment.

Your Job

Important: This online philosophy course is not for everyone. The course assumes that you are able to work independently and schedule time daily for reading and study. Your Web course puts a substantial burden on you to take charge of your own learning. Before continuing with this course carefully consider if you are the kind of proactive student who can motivate yourself to take charge of your own study. Even so, this course is not difficult, if you can study some every weekday and keep up with the assigned work.

You need to allocate no less than six hours a week for this university course in order to be assured you pass the course. Unlike some other online courses, study of philosophy is intensive. If as a student, you are not self-directed in your study habits, then I recommend that this course be taken as a lecture course on campus.

You may use either your Lander email address or your own personal email address. Whichever address you use, you will need to know how to attach a file to email. All email must have a subject and must be signed by the student. Please learn proper email etiquette as soon as possible. Email etiquette is considered part of your grade in this course as explained at the end of Section 3.3 ``Grades.''

For information about basic email etiquette see: and

A good place to see how to study in our course is the ``Notes on How to Study'' on the Web at

My Job

We will find that philosophy is quite essential in all fields of endeavor.

If I do my job correctly, our philosophy course will be one of the most valuable and interesting in your university career.

Class Policies

The following policies are explicitly stated here because these policies help protect fairness of the course evaluation for the class as a whole. Most of these policies are generally assumed in classes at Lander University.

Make-Up Policy:
Make-up tests are provided for persons who cannot complete the test on time due to a verifiable emergency and a written excuse provided by an independent party. To qualify for a make-up test you must contact your professor before the test due date if you are unable to complete a scheduled test in time.

Academic Honesty:
Students are expected to do their own work in this course and not give, use, or receive unauthorized aid in academic activities. To use another writer's or speaker's ideas without giving credit by means of standard documentation is plagiarism. Important: This policy includes the professor's notes and tutorials on the Web. All cases of academic dishonesty on tests or posts will be handled in accordance with the Academic Honor Code as presented in the Lander University Student Handbook for which you are responsible for reading and understanding.

If you plagiarize from any work including the online notes, you will receive a ``0'' for your answer. Almost every semester since this online course has been taught, some students do not pass this course because they copy work from the online notes or the Web without proper citation. Also, please do not attempt to submit tests completed after the due date and claim the email did not go through in time unless a delay actually occurred. Computer and server logs clearly show dates documents are processed, saved and email sent. Any such academic dishonesty such as electronically changing dates will result in a ``0'' assigned to the work and possible failure in the course.

Learning and Physical Disabilities:
If you have now or develop during this semester a physical or a learning disability and you want your professors to make reasonable accommodations, you must contact the Student Wellness Center nurse and provide her with appropriate documentation. Once she is aware of your disability, she will inform all of your professor each semester you attend Lander University unless you ask her in writing not to do so.

Telephone: +1-864-388-8885
Web address:

For on campus students, the Academic Success Center in Genesis Hall offers testing accommodations for students with disability who need extra time as well as a quiet room for testing during the year. Notify your professor prior to the test date.

Center Telephone: +1-864-388-8308
Web address:

Closing of the University:
If hazardous weather conditions or any other state of emergency necessitate University closing, the information will be available from the Lander automated information system (telephone +1-864-388-8000) or local radio and TV stations.


Lee Archie 2012-11-13