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Dowling College Spring 1999
PHIL 002C Western Philosophy 2
Dr. Christian Perring
Class CRN: 20574
Time: TR 11.30 a.m. - 12.50 p.m.
Room RC 330
Class CRN: 20573 
Time: TR 1.00 - 2.20 p.m. 
Room: RC 318
Office Room: 330A RC
Office Hours: TR 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. 
(If I am not in my office, look for me downstairs in computer center and the library)
Office Phone: 244-3349 
Class Web page:
(note that the "phl002" contains the letter "l", not the number "1", and zeros, not "o"s)

Course Description: This course is an interdisciplinary study of the growth of Western culture through the study of philosophical and other texts. The course covers the period from the end of the Renaissance through the contemporary period. Topics will include the rise of science and its relation to religion, the foundations of political theory, the social contract, utilitarianism and existentialism. Figures covered will include Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Paine, Wollstonecraft, Gilman, Du Bois, Freud, and Marx.

Teaching Goals: My goals are for you to learn about a number of different views of the world, and for you to see how it is possible to compare and evaluate these views. You shall learn some facts about the ideas of different thinkers, but more importantly you shall understand these ideas and shall be able to explain them clearly in both speech and writing. My tasks in teaching are to help you learn and to evaluate your progress as fairly as possible. You will find many of the texts challenging, and you will need to read them thoughtfully several times in order to understand them. If you feel in need of help with the course work, I encourage you to form study groups with your classmates or to come to me during my office hours.

Grading: There will be four tests, taken in class, worth 12% each. You must do a presentation, worth 12%, and a 1200 word page paper, worth 25%. Attendance is worth 10% of your grade. You will lose 3% for each class missed without legitimate excuse; this can go into the negative.  Class participation is worth 5%.

Make-up policy for tests: You can retake ONE and only one of the first three tests during the semester.  There is a 10% penalty for retaking a test (unless you can demonstrate a legitimate reason for not being able to take it).  You must retake your test by May 1, 1999.

Presentation: You will do one presentation, in a group of 2 or 3.  The presentation should last 20-30 minutes, roughly 10 minutes per person.  By the second class (February 4), you should give me your top three preferences for which presentation you would like to do.  The presentation topics are listed in the schedule below.   By the fourth class (February 11), I will let you know which presentation you will do.  You will be assessed according to a checklist, which will include the research you did, how effectively you explained the information, and how well you managed to generate class discussion. The presentations for this class are mostly historical: your task is to explain the relevant history of the period and especially focus on the ethical views that were expressed at the time, and how the social conditions were relevant to ethical issues as we see them now.

For guidelines about my policies concerning written work, late work, make-ups, grading policy, and some terminology, see my guidelines page.

Course Book
Social and Political Theory: Classical Readings, edited by Michael S. Kimmel, Allyn & Bacon, 1998
Info about course book from publisher

Schedule (subject to change)
Work to be done (W) 
Presentation Topics (P)
T 2 Feb. Fill out Personal Information Sheet  
R 4   Notes on Descartes
T 9   Hobbes, Leviathan, Introduction, XII, XIII, XIV
R 11   Locke, Second Treatise
R 18
P: The English Civil War and the Bloodless Revolution
T 23 W: Test 1  
R 25   Rousseau, The Social Contract
T 2 March
P: The conditions of the French Revolution
R 4
P: The American Revolution 
Thomas Jefferson: The Declaration of Independence 
T 9   Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man;
R 11   Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
T 16 W: Test 2  
R 18
P: The History of Freedom of Speech
T 23   John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
R 25  Paper Topics Given John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women
T 30
P: The life of women in 19th century USA and Europe
T April 13   Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Women and Economics
R 15 W: Test 3
T 20   Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life
R 22
P: Slavery and attempted justifications of it
Booker T Washington (on the web)
T 27 W: Draft of final paper due W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk; Darkwater
R 29   Sigmund Freud; The Dissection of the Psychical Personality; Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego
T 4 May   Sigmund Freud; Civilization and Its Discontents
R 7
P: The life of farm and factory workers in the 19th century
Karl Marx: Theses on Feuerbach
T 11   Karl Marx, Manifesto of the Communist Party
R 13 W: Test 4  
M 17 W: Final paper due at noon  

Class Notes and Study Questions