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San Antonio College · - · PHIL-Philosophy

Introduction to Philosophy

  • Full Term Spring 2015
  • Section 049.23147
  • 3-3-0 Credits
  • 01/20/2015 to 05/16/2015
  • Modified 02/12/2015

Meeting Times

Saturday 1:00pm – 3:50pm

Contact Information

Department of Language, Philosophy, and Culture:

Instructor: Kent Slinker


All required reading material may be found on our class website available by selecting the appropriate link at 

In particular, we will not use the textbook by Fieser and Stumpf.


Introduction to the study of ideas and their logical structure, including arguments and investigations about abstract and real phenomena. Includes introduction to the history, theories, and methods of reasoning. This course fulfills the Language, Philosophy, and Culture foundational component area of the core, and addresses the following required objectives: Critical Thinking, Communication, Social Responsibility, and Personal Responsibility.


INRW 0420


1 Read, analyze, and critique philosophical texts.

2 Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts, major arguments, problems, and terminology in philosophy.

3 Present logically persuasive arguments both orally and in writing.

4 Demonstrate critical thinking skills in evaluation and application of philosophical concepts to various aspects of life.

5 Evaluate the personal and social responsibilities of living in a diverse world.


There are three main graded assignments: response papers, quizzes and a final paper. Some details are given below, but you must follow the link on our class website for specific details.

Response Papers 

Part 1: Each week you will be given a philosophical argument by a fictitious philosopher named Credo. You should carefully read Credo's argument and critically evaluate it, and compose your response to Credo's argument in an email and send it to me at [email protected] with the following written in the subject line: Your name, Response Number and you name included at the bottom of the body of your email response. This is to be sent before the due date. Late responses are not accepted.

I will read each response and pick out 3 – 5 of the best responses, and those will be posted anonymously on our class webpage and emailed to all students .

Part 2: When you receive the chosen responses, you need to choose one response and argue for it or against it by providing additional reasons to accept the argument or reasons to reject the argument. This part of your assignment requires that you turn in TWO copies of a typed paper rather than an email to me. You must do this for 6 different weekly responses and only one Part 2 response can be turned in per week (which means no waiting until the last week to do all 6).  Each Part 2 response will have a due date, and late responses or emailed responses will not be accepted.


(see for more specific and up to date information)


On a weekly basis you will be given short quizzes which are designed to be  easy if you read the assigned material.

There will be a comprehensive quiz given on the scheduled time for the final exam for this course, which is the last day of class. More information of the contents of that final quiz will be given as the time approaches.

Quizzes can not be made up and are given during the first half of the class.

Final Paper.

There will be many options for writing a final paper, and more details will be emailed as we approach the last half of the class.

There will be a due date for the final paper, and ample reminders. Late papers will not be accepted.

Extra Credit and Grade reporting:

If your response part 1 is chosen as one of the viewpoints for part 2 replies, then you will receive 2.5% awarded to your final grade.

For the moment, I plan on using our Canvas class shell site to upload grades. I will send more details as they become available.


Final Grade Breakdown:

Response Papers Part 1: 30%

Response Papers Part 2 (6 total no final paper) 45%

Response Papers Part 2 (3 total with final paper) 22.5%

Final Paper: 22.5%. (in conjunction with 3 response papers Part 2)

Quizzes: 20%

Final Quiz: 5%


Your final grade will be awarded according to the following breakdown of the total percentage of all possible points:

90-100%          A

80 -89%           B

70 – 79%         C 

60 – 69%         D

Below 60%       F

Additional Items

To contact the Department of Language, Philosophy, and Culture::

Main Office: OC 119       

Phone: 210-486-0965


Institutional Policies


A. Attendance:

Effective Spring Term 2010, student absences will be recorded from the first day the class meets. Regular and punctual attendance in all classes and laboratories, day and evening, is required. Students who are absent for any reason should always consult with their instructors. Course syllabi must provide specific information regarding attendance, including, for courses involving the internet, online activity that constitutes “attendance.” Also, both tardiness and early departure from class may be considered forms of absenteeism. In all cases, students will be held responsible for completion of course requirements covered in their absence.

Additionally, it is the student’s responsibility to drop a course for nonattendance. Course instructors establish policy with regard to attendance in their respective syllabi and may drop a student for excessive absences. Absences are considered excessive when more than 12.5 percent of the total contact hours of instruction in a semester, including lecture and lab, are missed. For example, in a three-credit-hour lecture class, students may be dropped after more than six contact hours of absences. In a four-credit-hour lecture/lab class, students may be dropped after more than eight contact hours of absences. Absences are counted regardless of whether they occur consecutively.

In special programs with additional accreditation or certification standards, additional attendance requirements may be enforced but faculty must clearly explain these policies in their syllabi. Students who stop attending class for any reason should contact the instructor and the college registrar to officially withdraw from the class. Students may be required to consult with an advisor or designee before dropping.

Failure to officially withdraw may result in a failing grade for the course. It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw officially from a class by submitting a completed Withdrawal Form to the Admissions and Records Office.

B. Student Responsibility for Success (Alamo Colleges Policy F.6.2):

As members of the Alamo Colleges learning community, students, faculty, staff and administrators all share the responsibility to create an atmosphere where knowledge, integrity, truth, and academic honesty are valued and expected. A clear acknowledgment of the mutual obligations of all members of the academic community emphasizes this implicit partnership in fostering the conditions necessary for student success.

In this relationship, the Alamo Colleges provides institutional policies, procedures, and opportunities to facilitate student learning that encourage interaction, involvement and responsible participation. Inherent in the academic climate is the expectation that students will assume responsibility for contributing to their own development and learning. Academic success is directly tied to the effort students put into their studies, the degree to which they interact with faculty and peers, and the extent to which students integrate into the campus life.

1. Engagement

  1. Create connections and build relationships with faculty, staff and students (visit during office hours, join clubs and organizations, participate in student activities, etc.);
  2. Stay informed of policies, procedures, deadlines and events for academic and co-curricular activities;
  3. Complete all requirements for admission, registration, and payment by deadlines;
  4. Apply for financial assistance, if needed, complying with all federal, state and local regulations and procedures;
  5. Meet all federal, state and local health care regulations.

2. Communication

  1. Seek guidance from faculty, advisors or counselors for questions and concerns in regards to degree plans, major selection, academic status, grades, and issues impacting college success;
  2. Develop a peer support system to identify student contacts for questions, group assignments, etc. regarding academic and co-curricular activities;
  3. Communicate with College personnel promptly regarding academic or co-curricular concerns and assistance requests;
  4. Carefully consider the information provided by College personnel and make decisions using that information;
  5. Check the Alamo Colleges’ Web Services regularly for emails, holds, student records, financial aid status and announcements;
  6. Submit disability documentation if seeking services and request academic accommodations in advance of each semester.

3. Academic Success

  1. Complete courses with passing grades and maintain in good academic standing (2.0 GPA) status;
  2. Read and follow all syllabi;
  3. Purchase textbooks and required supplies in a timely manner;
  4. Attend classes regularly and on time, with as few absences, late arrivals, and early exits as possible;
  5. Arrive to class with all needed materials and completed assignments for that class period;
  6. Be attentive in class and actively participate as appropriate;
  7. Devote sufficient time for studying;
  8. Ensure integrity in all aspects of academic and career development;
  9. Accurately represent one’s own work and that of others used in creating academic assignments. Use information ethically and exercise appropriate caution to avoid plagiarism on all assignments;
  10. Notify faculty in advance or as soon as possible about absences and provide documentation as appropriate;
  11. Consult faculty members in advance when unable to complete projects, assignments, or take examinations as scheduled.

4. Self-Responsibility and Responsibility to Others

  1. Maintain accurate and complete degree/certificate major selection and contact information including name, address, phone number and emergency contact;
  2. Balance personal obligations and educational pursuits. Work with a counselor / advisor to design a realistic schedule that dedicates adequate effort to be successful in college studies;
  3. Know and follow the regulations and guidelines outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and Student Handbook;
  4. Maintain respectful and appropriate behavior within and outside the classroom;
  5. Ask for help when needed. Use all available resources and facilities provided by the College to enhance the learning experience;
  6. Attend scheduled advising sessions, tutorials, and other appointments. Cancel or reschedule only with good reasons as early as possible;
  7. Arrive prepared for tutorial sessions, bringing all needed materials (books, syllabi, rough drafts, calculators, assignment sheets, etc.).

C.  Textbook Availability

A student of this institution is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from a university-affiliated bookstore. The same textbook may also be available from an independent retailer, including an online retailer.


A comprehensive final evaluation, not to exceed three hours in length, shall be given at the end of each course at the official scheduled final exam time. Any exceptions to this requirement must be approved by the appropriate Dean. Other evaluations are given at the discretion of the instructor.

A student who must be absent from a final evaluation should petition that instructor for permission to postpone the evaluation. A student absent without permission from a final evaluation is graded "0" on the exam.

Incomplete Grades.  The conditional grade of “I” may be issued to a student having a passing average on all completed coursework but for a justified reason, such as illness or death in the family or by providential hindrance, has been prevented from taking the final examination or completing other required coursework. The “I” becomes an “F” in one hundred twenty (120) calendar days from the end of the term unless the student completes the balance of the coursework with a performance grade of “D” or higher. Re-enrollment in the course will not resolve the “I.”  The student and faculty must fill out an Incomplete Contract, clearly defining the work remaining to be finished.

College Policies


A. San Antonio College is a smoke free campus.

B. Alamo Colleges Police Department Emergency Phone Numbers:

Emergency Phone (210) 485-0911

General Phone (210) 485-0099

Weather Phone (210) 485-0189 (For information on college closures)

C. A Rapid Response Team exists for the purpose of responding to emergencies. If you have a disability that will require assistance in the event of a building evacuation, notify San Antonio College disABILITY Support Services, Chance Academic Center 124C, (210) 486-0020.

D. Students are required to silence all electronic devices (e.g., pagers, cellular phones, etc.) when in classrooms, laboratories and the library.

E. Students must abide by the policies, procedures and rules set forth in the “Student Code of Conduct” and all other policies set forth in the San Antonio E-Catalog.

F.  Student Success Policy:

Click here to read the Complete Student Success Policy

 Disability Access Statement – In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, it is the responsibility of the student to self-identify with the campus Disability Services office. Only those students with appropriate documentation will receive a letter of accommodation from the Disability Services office. Instructors are required to follow only those accommodation and/or services outlined in the letter of accommodation. For further information, please contact the San Antonio College disABILITY Support Services office at (210) 486-0020 or visit the office located on the first floor of the Moody Learning Center. If you have specific needs, please discuss them privately with your instructor.