Course Requirements


Judgment about the progress of your work is based on the quality and depth of critical and constructive thinking exhibited on tests. Your course grade should reflect your understanding of some of the central concepts of Eastern thought, the expression and analysis of those concepts, and your reasoning and insight into their practical application. Your course grade is determined by averaging the points you achieve from the following scores:

Test 1
: Siddhartha
Test 2
: Hinduism
Test 3
: Confucianism
Test 4
: Buddhism

Each item above counts 25% of your course grade; your final course grade is assigned according to the final average of these four scores. There is no comprehensive final examination in this class.

Letter grades are assigned according to your mathematical average. General remarks on how much study is recommended is outlined in section 3.5 Grade Evaluation.

Grades: Suggestions on Doing Well

Judgment about the progress of your work is based on the four test scores. 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 homework daily, and do not attempt to learn a large amount of information at one time.

Understanding philosophy does take some patience; only by dedicating some time and an open mind toward different ideas does philosophy finally prove accessible and personally rewarding. A six-part distillation of notes on ``How to Study'' for this course is available on the Web at

and is well worth checking.


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.

Even though tests are based on questions from the homework and reading assignments, 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 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

Practice Quizzes

Online quizzes are provided as study aids and may be used for self-testing. They are entirely optional and form no part of your grade in this course. Practicing with the online quizzes is especially important to test your understanding of the important concepts before you take a test.

Grade Evaluation

Your final course grade is assigned according to your final average as described above in the Section 3.1 Evaluation. 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 one and a half 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 minimum study time per week, 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 beyond the student's control.
If, toward the end of the semester, the mitigating circumstances of substantial hardship caused you to receive low grades, you may petition for withdrawal or retroactive withdrawal from the course. Talk to your adviser for information about this option.

Extra Credit

Other than some occasionally offered intriguing problems on tests, no other opportunities for extra credit are offered in this class. Subjects and problems for this course have been chosen on the basis that they are the best and most important introduction to beginning study of philosophy. ``Extra Credit'' problems are in addition to class requirements--not a substitute for, or a make-up of, missed class assignments.

Grades Online

You may access your grades online at any time on the Philosophy Server (not Lander WebCT) with a username and password (not your WebCT username and password) as described here.

Username: Your username for the course is the first letter of your first name followed by your complete last name in lowercase letters and without spaces. For example ``Lauren Bouchett Satterfield'' would have the login username of ``lsatterfield'' with no limitation of number of letters (as in some email programs).

Password: Your password is your Lander L-number (without hyphen). Type a capital L followed by eight digits: e.g., Lxxxxxxxx.

Figure 1: Where to Find Grades Online

Where to Log In: From the Philosophy Homepage click on the yellow ``Introduction to Philosophy" link under the gray heading entitled ``Class Grades" as in Figure 1.

  1. Choose your class from the descriptions in the drop-down box. If you log in incorrectly, be sure to re-select your class from the drop-down box because an incorrect login might re-set the class to a default philosophy course. See Figure 2.

    Figure 2: How to Log in for Grades

  2. Enter your username exactly as described above.
  3. The login process is case-sensitive--be sure to use lowercase letters for your username and a capital ``L'' in your L-number password. 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'' is can confused with the capital letter ``O.''

Blackboard Discussion Board

The Blackboard Discussion Board is not used in this class. Instead, we will be using the Philosophy Forum on the Philosophy Server at

for which you will need to register as described below.

Philosophy Forum

The Philosophy Forum is used in our class for the posting of questions of any kind, reading comments, and replies to comments.

The Philosophy Forum 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 Philosophy Forum is a good place to obtain a pre-evaluation of your philosophy reading questions or to seek answers to questions at the beginnings of the readings.

The purpose of the Philosophy Forum is to discuss the daily class activities of our philosophy course: reading posts, comments, homework questions, homework answers, housekeeping matters, class procedures, assignments, test dates, and class policies.

Signing up for the Philosophy Forum is a completely separate procedure from WebCT and is explained here.

  1. On the Philosophy Homepage on the Web (notice that there is no ``www'' in this URI or Web address) at , click on the ``Philosophy Forum" link.
  2. From the Philosophy Forum page, click on the ``Register'' tab at the top of the page.
  3. Fill in a username of your own choosing and your email address--taking care to remember the username you have chosen. In a few moments, a password will be sent to your email address. If you cannot find the email from the Philosophy Forum in your Inbox, check to see if the message arrived in the Bulk Mail Folder in your email program. See Figure 3 for a screenshot of the Register Page.

    Figure 3: How to Register for Philosophy Forum

  4. Click on the ``Register" button, and a login page will load. Log in with your chosen username and the password you have just received via email. Be sure to take note of your password--perhaps, by saving or printing out the email message. Next, click the ``Login" button. See Figure 4.

Figure 4: How to Login to Philosophy Forum

Troubleshooting the Philosophy Forum

Lost Password: If you lose or forget your password to the Philosophy Forum, click on the Login link on the upper-right of the Philosophy Forum Homepage. At the bottom of the Login page in a box labeled ``Request Password.'' Fill in your username in the username bar, and click the ``Request'' button. Your password will be sent to you via email.

Forgotten Username: If you have forgotten your username to the Philosophy Forum, click on the Login link on the upper-right of the Philosophy Forum Homepage. At the bottom of the Login page in a box labeled ``Request Password,'' fill in your account's email address in the username bar, and click the ``Request'' button. Your username will be sent to you via your account's email.

Forgotten Email Address: If you have forgotten your email address and you have posted to the Philosophy Forum at least once in the past, then find your message on the Philosophy Forum and click on your username. Your ``Profile Page'' will load, and your email address will be displayed, if you chose not to hide it when you first registered for the Philosophy Forum.

Profile Page

When you login to the Philosophy Forum for the first time, you can enter personal information on your Profile page. To accomplish this, log in to the Philosophy Forum and click on the ``Option'' link at the top of the page.

When the Profile page loads, you can change your password to a more easily remembered password if you wish to do so. Choose a simple easily remembered password, and record the password in your philosophy notebook or in the space provided below:


If you wish to hide your email address when you post, check the appropriate box on this page. I recommend but do not require that you do not hide your email address so that your instructor and other students can email you privately. If you do hide your email address, be sure to check your official Lander email account for class-related communications daily even if you do not normally use that email account. When finished entering the information you want, scroll way down to the bottom of the page and click on the ``Change'' button so your information will be saved.

After you post to the Philosophy Forum, if you click on your blue hyperlinked username or you click on ``Options'' at the top of the page in the Philosophy Forum program, you can find out how many times you have posted as well as find out about your other personal data. To do so, click ``Info'' on the line just below your username on the Profile page. Next, click on the ``Posts'' link for a list of all your messages.

Figure 5: How to Find Your Posts

How to Post to the Board

  1. From the homepage on the philosophy Website at

    (again, note there is no "www in this URL,) click on the ``Philosophy Forum'' link toward the middle of the left-hand column.

  2. When the ``Philosophy Forum'' page loads, click on the Philosophy Forum Board of interest. (In the screenshots presented here, the names of the Message Boards might not exactly match the current names on the board). The Philosophy Forum Message Boards for this class are under the heading: ``WebCT Introduction to Philosophy Online Course.''
  3. (You need to log in to the Philosophy Forum in order to post comments, but you need not log in just to read the messages posted. If you work on a public computer, be sure to log off the Philosophy Forum in order to prevent the possibility of someone else posting to the Board under your name.)

    Figure 6: How to Post a Comment to the Philosophy Forum

  4. If you wish to submit a comment, click on the blue hyperlink ``Discussion/Post (SEMESTER)'' under the black font ``WebCT Introduction to Philosophy Online Course'' heading. See Figure 6 for a screenshot.

    Figure 7: Reading Posts and Adding Topics

    When the ``Discussion/Post'' page loads, click on the ``Add Topic" link. See Figures 7 and 8.

    Figure 8: How to Submit a Comment

  5. Type in the space provided the title of your comment in the ``Subject" bar and the text of the comment in the ``Message Body" area. Be sure to review information about comments and posts in Section [*] Reading Posts and Comments above.

  6. Again, if you work on a public computer, be sure to log off the Philosophy Forum in order to prevent the possibility of someone else posting to the Board under your name.

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 Eastern Philosophy. If work or family responsibilities interfere with this minimum number of study hours, you should not attempt this course.

My Job

We will find that Eastern Philosophy is quite essential in most fields of endeavor.

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

Lee Archie 2011-01-05