I.                    PHI  482 Seminar:  Truth, Politics, and War

Ferrum College

Program:  Philosophy                      School:  Arts and Humanities


II.                  Instructor:      Instructor Name:  Gary L. Angel

Office:  Britt 211

Phone Number:  4343

Office Hours:  MWF 2:45-5:15


III.                Class Meeting Time:  TR 2:00-3:20


IV.               Textbooks and Materials: 


Readings to be determined


V.                 Catalog Course Description:


An intensive study of a particular philosopher, a philosophical problem, or a philosophical perspective. The content of the course varies from semester to semester. The selection of the topic is made by the professor and the prospective enrollees during the semester prior to that in which the seminar is offered. Prerequisite: two courses in philosophy. Three hours, three credits each.



VI.               Purpose


To offer students an intensive seminar experience


VII.             Instructional Methodology and Use of Technology


Seminar format








VIII.           College-wide Outcomes


 Students will think critically and solve problems through analysis, evaluation, and inference


Students will communicate with unity of purpose and coherent organization consistent with standard rules and recognized conventions using appropriate methodologies


Students will demonstrate a depth of knowledge, capability and ethical reasoning in a chosen field.


Philosophy Program Outcomes


·         Philosophy graduates will have a basic knowledge of the philosophical standpoints of the major thinkers in the history of philosophy including the following: Socrates, Plato, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, and Nietzshe.

·         Philosophy graduates will have a basic understanding of the essential positions, movements, and schools of thought in the history of philosophy including the following: realism, idealism, materialism, dualism, rationalism, empiricism, Marxism, analytical philosophy, phenomenology, and existential philosophy.

·         Philosophy graduates will have a basic knowledge of the fundamental problems of metaphysics, and their potential solutions, including the following:  the ultimate nature of reality, the existence of God, the problem of universals, the nature of human existence, the mind/body problem, the freedom of the will, and death and immortality.

·         Philosophy graduates will have a basic understanding of the fundamental problems of epistemology, and their potential solutions, including the following:  skepticism, the nature of knowledge, the nature of truth, the problem of induction, and the nature of science.

·         Philosophy graduates will have a basic knowledge of logic including the following: the nature of argument, deduction and induction, validity and soundness, categorical logic, propositional logic, informal fallacies, tautology, contingency, and contradiction.

·         Philosophy graduates will be a critical thinker who is able to formulate arguments and properly evaluate the arguments of others.


All of the following course goals will be assessed by written assignments.


Course goals


1.       Students will learn various theories of truth

2.       Students will learn the nature of explanation

3.       Students will learn to think about the nature and justification of war

4.       Students will learn to think about the morality of political deception


IX.                Course Requirements/Assignments


a.      Attendance


                                                  i.      Students are expected to attend every class

                                                ii.      Examinations, quizzes, and presentations are not optional.  Students must do them when they are scheduled unless the professor is contacted in advance, by e-mail, alerting him to the reason for missing the assignment.  Students should understand that only good reasons will be accepted, and that most reasons students offer for missing are not good ones.  Make-up assignments will be given only if these conditions are met.  If students miss pop-quizzes, there will be no make-ups.

                                              iii.      Illness is always a good reason for missing class, as well as tests.  Moreover, in a time of a potential pandemic, students with potentially contagious illnesses must not attend class.  If students come to class sneezing, coughing, snotting, or showing any signs of fever, they will have to leave.


b.      Assignments


                                                  i.      Students will write a paper on the following question:  Can political deception be morally justified? [50%]

                                                ii.      Students will write a paper on the following question:  What constitutes war, and can it be morally justified? [50%]


c.       Co-requirements


                                                  i.      Entering the room late is disruptive and rude.  Do not be late to class.  If students are late, they might not be allowed to enter class.

                                                ii.      Cell phones are also disruptive and will be seen as mechanisms for cheating.  Active texting or receiving text messages in class is prohibited.  Cell phones must be turned off and all headsets must be removed.  If students do not comply, they will have to leave class.

                                             iii.      It is horribly rude to leave the room during class.  Students may not leave to go to the rest room, to drink, or to engage in any other non-emergent activity.  If students become aware of emergencies, they may leave without asking permission.  




X.                  Evaluation and Grading Evaluation Scale               A=90-100




F=Below 60


XI.                Academic Integrity:


In all instances, policies identified in the Ferrum College Catalog and the Ferrum College Student and Faculty Handbooks regarding the Honor System shall be followed.  Students are expected to display academic integrity at all times and in all circumstances.


XII.              Disability Services:


As directed by Ferrum College’s policy, any student with a disability who qualifies for and seeks academic accommodations (such as testing or other services) must work through the Office for Academic Disability Services.  The office is located the Academic Resources Center 110 and the Director may be reached at 365-4262 or . Please remember that accommodations cannot be granted retroactively; they must be requested in a timely manner before the accommodation is needed.