Instructor: Daniel Garber
Description of Course Goals and CurriculumGood introduction to philosophy. Course focuses on philosophers in 17th and 18th centuries such as Descartes, Bacon, Hume, and Hobbes using classical texts from the period. Curriculum revolves around reading these philosophers’ arguments and discussing their significance and how they compare in lecture and precept. Course grade comprises three papers of increasing length, a midterm, and a final. Relatively minimal readings every week.
Learning From Classroom InstructionTwo 50-minute lectures and one 50-minute precept per week; in lecture the professor just throws excerpts from the reading onto power point slides and discusses them; readings are discussed thoroughly in lecture so you only have to skim the readings covered in lecture. Precepts are discussions of the material and often spiral into very abstract discussions of philosophy. Very little outside work (20-30 pages of reading per week on average). Prof. Garber is very good at translating historical text into understandable concepts for students to understand, so go to every lecture and save time outside of class. Precept attendance is counted so go to every class.
Learning For and From AssignmentsThe only assignments in the course are three papers that double in word count requirement each time (500, 1000, 2000). The papers are difficult to write if you are a writing a philosophy paper for the first time, so make sure to schedule an appointment with your preceptor to go over your thoughts and to make sure you understand the prompt. The papers draw upon readings covered in class and are generally graded pretty fairly. Again, highly recommend scheduling an appointment with preceptor (who grades your paper) to make sure your ideas and thesis make sense.
External ResourcesN/A; preceptors and professor should be enough. Easy distribution requirement that doesn’t take too much time and counts as an EC. Recommended as an introduction to philosophy.
What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course SelectionEasy distribution requirement/fifth class that doesn’t take too much time and counts as an EC. Recommended as an introduction to philosophy.
Philosophy and the Modern Mind