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Course Requirements


Judgment about the progress of your work is based on the quality and depth of critical and constructive thinking exhibited on tests, quizzes, homework, and message board. Your course grade is determined by averaging the points you achieve from the following scores:
Test 1
Lanugage and Argument
Test 2
Definition and Fallacies
Test 3
Analogy and Causal Connection
Test 4
Patterns of Scientific Investigation
Quiz Average
Summation of Best Ten Quizzes-(including mwform Message Boards, homework, special problems, and paper or project)
Final Examination
Comprehensive Four-Part Test-(optional parts, to be averaged with any of the respective Tests 1-4 above)
Your final course grade is assigned according to your final average. A grade-calculation worksheet is provided for your convenience in the Appendix to this Syllabus.


Judgment about the progress of your work is based on the four test scores and quiz average. 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 attend class, keep up with the reading and notes daily, seek help on the message board, and do not attempt to learn a large amount of information in a short amount of time. A six-part distillation of notes on ``How to Study'' for this course is available on the Web at and is well worth reading.


Tests are usually a combination of objective, short answer and problems. The subject-matter is primarily based on the reading, lecture notes, and homework assignments. In general, if you understand how to do the homework problems, you will do well on tests. Even though tests are based on questions from the homework and reading assignments, unlike the quizzes, 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. Some examples of the difference between the figurative knowledge used in quizzes and the operational knowledge used in tests are given in the Appendix to this syllabus. Occasionally, some particularly difficult optional questions are included for extra credit. On essay-type 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 usually will be given little, if any, credit. Example tests, quizzes, and lecture notes, are online at
Test Review Worksheets are provided in the Appendix to this syllabus and form an excellent basis for studying for tests.


Quizzes can consist of as many as six different kinds of work: (1) announced or unannounced in-class quizzes, (2) homework problems, (3) special problems, (4) posts to mwforum Philosophy Message Board for discussion, (5) papers, and (6) comments on papers. In-class quizzes are short specific questions written in class on an explicit logic topic or problem. The quiz topic is usually announced in advance of the quiz, and the topic has been thoroughly explored in a previous class. See for online example quizzes. Your quiz average is based on the best ten scores from the following items.
  1. Web Practice Sheet-(required) homework assignment (cf. Appendix Worksheets)
  2. mwforum Discussion Message Board-(optional)posts pertaining to class policies, procedures, or homework (two points per post or comment on a post per day), for a maximum of ten points on one quiz
  3. mwforum Discussion Message Board Paper-(required) a summary essay analyzing a pseudoscience topic, a topic in scientific reasoning, or informal fallacies (one quiz or ten points)
  4. mwforum Comments-(required) comments posted to papers on the Scientific Reasoning Papers Message Board (two points per post for a maximum of ten points for one quiz)
  5. Quizzes and Homework-(individually optional) remaining highest class quizzes as scheduled in the syllabus, unannounced quizzes, special problems, and homework assignments

srhelp Majordomo Discussion List

The Majordomo mailing list srhelp is an important part of our philosophy course. srhelp is a forum for communication between classes for houskeeping matters such as hints for special problems, homework exercises, class announcements, and scientifically newsworthy events. All posts are automatically sent via email to other members of the list. You are encouraged to post examples or items of interest concerning scientific reasoning in the larger world. In addition, srhelp might be a good place to seek information about topics that go beyond class content. For this aspect of the course, you will need an email account. All new and returning students have Lander email accounts based upon username and password (4-digit PIN number issued during registration procedures). If you do not know your PIN number and password, please see a lab assistant at the help desk on the second floor of Laura Lander Hall. The lab assistant will help you find your username and password and explain how to use Lander's Web-based email. If you prefer, I will be glad to help you become familiar with Web-based email in the Logic Lab, Learning Center M33, during the office hours stated at the beginning of this syllabus. The Office of Computing Services has set up a server whereby you can check your email on the following Web page: In order to minimize the possibility of getting spam (unwanted email) to your Lander email address, you might want to set up a Web email account with a free Internet service such as or A directory of free email accounts is provided at, but the two mentioned above are usually rated highly by independent evaluators of free email services. Important: If you use a free email account, you must configure the account to send text messages only. Instructions for configuring your Hotmail or Yahoo email account are similar for many other Web-based email accounts.
  1. For Hotmail, click on ``Compose'' for a page for a new email and the Tools menu to appear. (If you want to type a signature first go to``Options'' as in Figure 1.)

    Figure 1: Configuring Hotmail for Text-Only and a Signature

  2. After clicking ``Compose,'' click on the ``Tools''drop-down box. Finally, click ``Rich-Text Editor ON'' if it appears in order to toggle it off. Your email will now be composed in text-only.

    Figure 2: Click on "Rich-Text Editor ON' to Toggle Off Rich Text

    The most convenient way to join srhelp is to type in the following URL (the address) in your browser:
  1. Type in your email address in the form on the left-hand side of the page and click the ``Submit Query'' button as in Figure 3.

    Figure 3: How to Subscribe to srhelp

  2. You will receive on-screen confirmation of your application, and you will receive verification in your email account within a few minutes.
  3. Reply to the email with the authorization command placed as the first line in the body of the message. That's all there is to it.
  4. You will receive a final reply welcoming you to the srhelp Mailing List.
To submit a message to srhelp, send it to and Cc a copy to yourself to verify that the message arrived, as in the example in Figure 4. If you do not Cc a copy to yourself, you will not receive a copy of your own message.

Figure 4: How to Post a Message to srhelp

If email is new to you, please stop by the Logic Lab in the Learning Center M33 during office hours, and I will be most happy to show you how to use Lander's Web-based email, how to sign up for srhelp, and how to send email.
When you post messages to srhelp, please observe the following guidelines:
  1. Include a clear and precise subject-line. Subjects such as ``test,'' ``quiz,'' ``problem,'' or ``question'' are not specific enough to be of help for search engines. When responding to a previous message, type your subject-line with a ``Re:'' before the subject given in the subject-line of the previous message. A simpler way to respond to a previous message is by clicking ``Reply to All'' in your email client; this click will automatically set the subject-line of your email so that your message is part of the appropriate message thread.
  2. Spam, chain letters, flaming, and other kinds of inappropriate content are expressly prohibited and can result in the sender's suspension from the list. srhelp is moderated, so it could take up to 12 hours before your message is posted. Again, if you wish to receive a copy of your message, be sure to Cc it to your email address, as explained above.
  3. Include your name and email address in the message body even though your name and address is in the ``From'' line in the message header.
  4. Finally, as should be usual with email etiquette, do not use all capital letters in your posts and do not use attachments.
Your message to srhelp is archived on the philosophy server and can be accessed after . To see previous posts and to search for information in previous posts, click on the srhelp Archives link on the Philosophy Homepage or the Other Services page on the Philosophy Web. When the Archive page loads, scroll to the very bottom of the screen, and click at the bottom of the screen on the INDEX for the month you are interested in. For specific directions, see the Web Practice Sheet in the Appendix and compare the composite image labeled Figure 5 with the onscreen page.

Figure 5: How to Access the srhelp Archives

mwforum Philosophy Message Board

The mwforum Message Boards are an important part of obtaining help in real time from your classmates and from your instructor. You are encouraged to post questions, problems, or answers on any topic relating to the course policies, procedures, or homework of our philosophy class. Your post is placed directly on the Philosophy Web and can be immediately accessed by anyone in the world. The Scientific Reasoning Message Board is a good place to obtain a pre-evaluation of your homework or to seek answers to homework problems.
The purpose of the mwforum Message Board is to discuss the daily class activities of our scientific reasoning course: homework questions, homework answers, housekeeping matters, class procedures, assignments, test dates, and class policies. Cookies must be enabled on your computer for you to be able to use the mwform Message Board.
  1. On the Philosophy Homepage, click on the ``mwforum Message Board'' link.
  2. From the mwforum Philosophy Forum page, click on the ``Register'' tab at the top of the page.
  3. Fill in a username and your email address--taking care to remember the username you have chosen. Click on the "Register" button.
  4. In a few moments, a password will be sent to your email address. See Figure 6 for a screenshot.

    Figure 6: How to Register for mwforum Message Boards

  5. Now when you go to the mwforum Message Boards,click on the ``Login'' link at the top of the screen, and a login page will load. Log in with your username and the password you have just received via email. Be sure to take note of your password--perhaps, by saving the email message or writing it in the margin of this syllabus. Next, click the ``Login'' button. See Figure 7.

    Figure 7: How to Login to mwforum Message Boards

  6. When the Philosophy Forum page loads, click on the mwforum Message Board of interest. If you lose or forget your password to the msforum Message Boards, click on the Login link on the upper-right of the mwforumHomepage:
  7. At the bottom of the Login page in a box labelled `Request Password,'' fill in your username in the username bar and click the ``Request'' button. Your password will be sent to you via email. (If you have forgotten your username also and you have posted to the Message Board at least once in the past, then find your message on the Message Board and record your username.)
  8. (You need to log in to the mwforum Philosophy Forum in order to post messages, comments, or papers, but you need not log in just to read the messages.)

    Figure 8: How to Post to the mwforum Message Board

  9. If you wish to submit a message, click on ``Scientific Reasoning Discussion'' under the ``Scientific Reasoning'' heading. If you wish to post your paper, click on ``Scientific Reasoning Papers'' under the ``Scientific Reasoning heading. When the ``Scientific Reasoning Papers'' page loads, click on the ``Post Topic'' link. See Figures 8 and 9.

    Figure 9: How to Submit the Post or the Paper

  10. Type in the spaces provided the title of your post in the ``Subject'' bar and the text of the post in the ``Message Body'' area. You can ``copy and paste'' your post into the ``Message Body'' area from a word-processing program such as Microsoft Word or Notepad, if you wish. To copy and paste, with your mouse, highlight the text in your word-processing program, and for the Copy, press the Control Key and at the same time the letter ``C.'' For the Paste, click the mouse anywhere in the Message Body area, and press the Control Key and at the same time the letter ``V.''
When you log in to the mwforum Scientific Reasoning Message Board for the first time, you should enter personal information on your Profile page. Login and click on the "Options" link at the top of the Forums page. On the Profile page, you can type in a more easily remembered password if you wish to do so. Also, be sure to enter your real name. If you wish to hide your email address, check the appropriate box. Unless you enter your real name on your profile page your posts cannot be tabulated, and your posts cannot be credited. Any information entered here is available to the anyone in the class or, for that matter, anyone in the world. You need not give out any personal information if you do not want to do so. If you click ``Options'' at the top of any page after you have logged in, you can find out how many times you have posted as well as find out about other personal data. To do so, click ``Info'' on the same line as your username on your Profile page. See the composite screenshot in Figure 10. Next, click on the ``Posts'' link for a list of all your messages. Also, if you wish you can type in a different more friendly password. Remember to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click ``Change'' or your changes will not permanent.

Figure 10: The Profile Page

Philosophy Papers

Your short scientific reasoning paper, which counts as a required quiz grade, can be (1) a short translation of a passage in science from Spanish, French, or German to English chosen from online texts or library sources (described in the Appendix), (2) a commentary on a short paper or essay on scientific reasoning chosen from online texts or library sources (also described in the Appendix), or (3) a scientific reasoning project on fallacies, definition, or your own choosing. Your paper or project is to be posted to mwforum Scientific Reasoning Message Board Papers where other students can comment or ask questions online about your paper by posting messages underneath it. The modern language option is an alternative to write a short translation of a work in French, German, or Spanish instead of doing a scientific reasoning paper or project. If you choose to do a translation in place of a position paper or project, you must (1) consult with your instructor and (2) find a mentor (or professor) in your language. More information on this option is given in the Appendix to this syllabus.

Philosophy Chat

One of the services provided by the Philosophy Website is an pretenseless Chat program written by Tommi Leino with a CGI Web interface constructed by John Archie. Jicra is a very simple IRC client Java applet-a one channel Chat room without IRC commands or other features. No special knowledge or skill is necessary to use this applet; however, Java must be enabled on your computer for you to be able to use the program. If you know how to use mIRC you are welcome to connect to the Chat with that client. The Philosophy Chat is available for student use at any time for any university-related purpose (e.g., you are welcome to use the Chat for any group-project discussion in any class at Lander for the convenience of students both on and off campus). You can devise your own channel for Chat simply by having your group type in whatever specific name you choose for your group. Only persons aware of the name of your channel can join. In past semesters, the Chat has been useful for off-campus students to keep in touch. We will use Chat in the default channel called ``philosophy'' for online office hours on the evening before tests are given. The Jirca Chat program operates like this:
  1. From the Philosophy Homepage click on the CHAT link in the lower-left corner of the page. See Figure 11.

    Figure 11: How to Open the Chat Program

  2. When the login page loads, enter your screen name and your real name. You can chat without a screen name or real name entered, and a name like "guest" will be assigned to you. Click on the login button. See Figure 12.

    Figure 12: How to Login to the Chat Program

  3. When the Chat window loads, type your message in the bar at the bottom of the window, and hit the enter key, and your message can be read by all persons logged onto the chat. See Figure 13.

    Figure 13: How to Enter Chat Messages

Grade Evaluation

Your final course grade is assigned according to your final average as described above in the subsection ``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 for tests, your doing well in the course is doubtful. Many students assume they can do well in philosophy without doing homework and without studying outside of class 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.
(90 points or above) reflects approximately two hours study per class hour; a great deal of time, thought, and effort; and mastery of the subject.
(80 or above but below 90 points) reflects approximately one hour study per class hour; above average time, thought and effort; and superior achievement.
(70 or above but below 80 points) reflects approximately one-half hour study per class hour, average time, thought, and effort; and average achievement.
(60 or above but below 70 points) reflects cramming 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.
reflects attending fewer than 75% of class meetings.
can only be given in cases of sudden illness or emergency.

Grades Online

You may access your grades online at any time on the philosophy server with the username and password handed out in class. No other username and password will work for this purpose. From the Scientific Reasoning Homepage, under the gray heading entitled "Class Grades," click on the yellow link ``Scientific Reasoning'' as shown in Figure 14. When the Grades Login page loads do the following:

Figure 14: Where to Find Grades Online

  1. Choose your class from the drop-down box. Note: If you log in incorrectly, be sure to re-select your class from the drop-down box because an incorrect login will re-set the class to a default philosophy course. See Figure 15.

    Figure 15: How to Log in for Grades

  2. Enter your username exactly as written the slip of paper given out in class.
  3. Enter your password exactly as it is written on the slip of paper given out in class.
  4. Also, enter your username and password here in the syllabus for additional assurance your username and password will not be lost:
  5. The login process is case-sensitive--be sure to match the case of the letters--capital or lower case. If you obtain the result of ``bad login,'' check to see if the Caps Lock key is on, or you have confused the letter ``l'' with the number ``1'' or with the capital letter ``I.'' Occasionally, the number ``0'' can be confused with the capital letter ``O.''
Confidentiality of student grades is a serious concern. For this reason, if you lose your password, your password will be replaced with a different one. Passwords are not issued to friends, over the telephone, or in email. Passwords will only be replaced in the Learning Center room M33 during office hours. Replacement passwords are only available during the regular semester. (During the Final Exam period, normal office hours are not observed.)

Your Job

Our course is not difficult if you keep up with the assigned work. At the very beginning of the course, you need to ask yourself if you can spend at least three hours a week studying just for Scientific Reasoning. If work or family responsibilities interfer with this minimmum number of study hours, you should not attempt this course. When you seek help from me during office hours, the first items I will check are your posts to the mwforum Message Boards, your class notes, book notes, and homework problems--so that I can know where to begin. When a student claims he or she did not understand the subject well enough to ask any questions, take any notes, or attempt any homework, I am usually left with the impression the student has not attempted studying. A good place to see how to study in our course is the ``Notes on How to Study'' on the Web at In past semesters, many students have found these study tips helpful.

My Job

We will find that inductive reasoning is quite essential in all fields of endeavor. If I do my job correctly, our scientific reasoning course will be one of the most valuable in your university career.

Class Policies

The following policies are explicitly stated here because these policies help protect fairness for the administration of the course for the class as a whole. Some of these policies are generally assumed in most classes at Lander University.
Make-Up Policy:
Unfortunately, the Humanities Division does not provide space for offering make-up tests and quizzes. No tests or quizzes can be specifically made-up per se during the regular semester in this course even though students might have good reasons for missing class. Thus, prior to the final exam tests cannot be made-up during the regular semester for any reason. If you miss one or more regularly scheduled tests during the semester with a written excused absence, your grade for that test or tests is established by the grade achieved on the appropriate section of the comprehensive final examination. An excused absence is granted for emergency situations only, and a written excuse must be provided. For example, if you had to miss the first test on ``Language and Argument'' because of a medical emergency, your grade on that test would be established by your grade achieved on the section of the final examination dealing with ``Test I: Language and Argument.'' No quizzes can be made up for any reason; instead, the highest ten quiz grades are selected from a large number of quizzes offered. Very few persons will be able to take all quizzes.
Late Papers:
Papers, commentaries, informal fallacy or other projects, or modern language translations must be posted to the mwforum Scientific Reasoning Papers Message Board by midnight of the due date or a penalty of 10% per day late is applied.
Students are expected to do their own work in this course. To use another writer's or speaker's ideas without giving credit by means of standard documentation is plagiarism. All cases of academic dishonesty on tests, quizzes, projects, or papers will be handled in accordance with the Academic Honor Code as presented in the Lander University Student Handbook. Cases of plagiarism or academic dishonesty will be brought before the Honor Council where you will have an opportunity to explain your point of view.
Class Attendance:
Students are expected to attend all classes; there are no ``free cuts.'' In the case of unavoidable absences, you are responsible for making up work done in class. In accordance with University policy, if you attend less than 75% of the scheduled class meetings, you will not receive credit for the course. As a matter of fact, this policy is expressly in your interest, especially in this course, since attendance is essential for understanding and analyzing some of the complex argumentation discussed. Any student arriving late for class or leaving early from class will be counted absent from that class period. Specifically, if you take a quiz and leave before class is dismissed, you will not receive credit for that quiz. (This policy is important because understanding some of the complex reasoning process covered in this course is at the heart of doing well in scientific reasoning.) Anyone missing class is responsible for obtaining the class notes and assignments from a classmate or from the Web resources. Additionally some book notes, quizzes, sample tests, and a few class lectures are online at The mwforum Discussion List is a good place to ask for information about assignments, subjects covered in class, or class policies--especially if you are hesitant to ask a classmate for assistance. In fact, posts to the mwforum Discussion List are the basis of an optional quiz grade. If you have questions about the subject-matter of philosophy beyond the class topics, by all means make use of the srhelp Discussion List. Finally, be sure to contact your instructor as soon as academic difficulties first arise.
Learning Disabilities:
If you have a physical or learning disability and you require special accommodations, be sure to contact Mr. Lafayette Harrison (Learning Center 345, telephone (864) 388-8814) and provide him with appropriate documentation. When Mr. Harrison is made aware of your disability, he will inform your instructors every semester unless you ask him in writing not to do so. For additional information, see the ``Disabled Student Information'' on the Lander University Website at
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 (864) 388 8400) or any of these other public sources:
Television   Radio
Channel 4: WYFF   WCRS AM-1450
Channel 7: WSPA   WMTY AM-1090 FM-103.5
Channel 13: WLOS   WSCZ FM-96.7
Channel 21: WHNS   WZLA FM-92.9
    WMYI FM-102.5
    WSSL FM-100.5

next up previous contents index
Next: Test Review Sheets Up: COURSE SYLLABUS Philosophy 203: Previous: Course Description   Contents   Index
Lee Archie 2003-01-18