Reason and Truth


Special Notice!

Essay Topics now available here.

In case you are interested in seeing them, here are links to the logic puzzles:
here, here, here,
here, here, here, here and here.

Instructor: William Seager.
Office: PO102:103.
Office Hrs: Tuesday 1-2pm; Thursday 3-4pm, or by appointment.

Text:  Core Questions in Philosophy, E. Sober

Plan of Course:

My goal is to get through Parts I-IV of Sober's book. Since the first part is short, we can cover it in two weeks or so. That gives us about 3 weeks for each of Part II, III and IV (we won't cover Part V - if you are interested in an introductory course in ethics look up PHLA11). You can keep track of our progress by checking the "Where Are We" section of this webpage as we go along. Our official readings will mostly be Sober's own lectures, but I encourage you all to read the original source material as well.

Evaluation: The final grade will be based upon two short papers (each worth 22% of the final grade), a set of weekly exercises (worth altogether 5% of the final grade), a mid-term quiz (worth 16% of the final grade) and a final exam (worth 35% of the final grade).

The Mid-Term Quiz: this will be an in class test (length: 45 minutes) which will consist of short answer questions similar to the kinds of questions found on the weekly assignments.

The Short Papers: these will be on topics to be provided on this web page. They should be no more than 1200 words long and no less than 1000 words long.
     Philosophy demands hard and careful thought, and such thought deserves clear and well organized writing for its expression. Some advice on writing philosophy papers will of course be provided in class and in tutorial, and here are a couple of links: Peter Horban's Writing a Philosophy Paper; James Pryor's Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper.
     Note also that late essays are not acceptable unless you have a valid reason for not being able to produce the essay in a timely fashion. We *may* accept late essays one week late with a one grade (10%) penalty. Please discuss any problems with your tutorial leader.

The Weekly Exercises: these will be sets of questions about the current readings. The questions will mostly be obvious and based entirely on the readings. Your answers will not be graded - you will receive credit for handing in your work ON TIME so long as a good faith effort has been made. Altogether, they are worth 5% of the final grade so you needn't feel devastated if you miss one. But it's an easy 5% and will help you keep up with the reading. Exercises are to submitted in your weekly tutorial.

The Final Exam: The exam will be 2 hours long and will have two sections. The first will be a short answer section with questions similar to those found in the weekly exercises. The second section will require you to write one short essay from a selection of topics.

Important Dates

Where are we?

Current Assignment