Introduction to Philosophy

Fall Semester, 1997

Study Guide for the First Test: Part One: Essay Questions
Study Guide for the First Test: Part Two: Critique of Sample Essays

Dr. Ned Beach
Home Phone: 552-0179
Office in Hibbard Hall, #604
Office Phone: 836-2975 or 836-2545
Office Hours: TTh: 1:00-2:00, Wed: 4:30-5:00 . . . and by appointment

This course will introduce some of the central problems and issues of philosophy by means of exploring critical regions of the interface among epistemology (theory of knowledge), metaphysics (theory of being), and axiology (theory of value). Topics to be discussed will include (1) the nature of truth and the possibility of acquiring it; (2) the character of mind, human autonomy, and responsibility; (3) proofs of the existence of God, and criticisms of them; (4) the foundations of meaning and purpose (if any) in human life.


E.D. Klemke, A.David Kline, and Robert Hollinger, editors Philosophy: Contemporary Perspectives on Perennial Issues, 4th ed. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994).

Grading Policy

Grades will be based on a combination of exams, class participation, and papers. The papers will mostly be short, in-class essays, but there will be one formal paper, 8 to 10 pages, typed (double-spaced) whose due date will be arranged individually between each student and the instructor. Class attendance, participation, e-mail correspondence, and quality use of office hours will also count. More than six unexcused absences will produce a zero for the "Attendance" component of the course (see below). More than nine unexcused absences will result in failure.

Proportional Weights:

Tests: 55%
Papers: 25%
Attendance, Participation and Office Visits: 20%

Principles of Academic Professionalism and Honesty

It is incumbent on students to uphold standards of academic integrity. The maintenance of strict honesty must be an undertaking of us all, both individually and collectively. By enrolling in this course, you will be committing yourself to the following principles: that you will not give or receive aid in examinations; that you will not give or receive unpermitted assistance in the preparation of essays or in any other work that is to be used by the instructor as the basis of grading; that all sources used in written assignments or tests will be acknowledged, even if you may have memorized the material in question. I am relying on all students to do their share and take an active part in seeing to it that others as well as themselves uphold the spirit and letter of the above principles.

Course Schedule:


October November December