PHI 231. Knowing, Being and Doing: Philosophical Method and Its Applications
Prof. Kyoo Lee, Suite 325-4, Dept. of Art, Music and Philosophy, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Office Hours: T/Th 11:00am - 12:30pm
This course introduces you to some of the key methods and applications of philosophy. It offers you a golden opportunity to sample, in some depth, some of the canonical philosophical texts, both Eastern and Western. And our approach is self-reflectively contemporary: constantly and critically, we shall be asking (1) what it means to philosophize, to “do philosophy,” (2) how the other ancient sages did it, i.e., how we should be doing it, and (3) why bother. In the end, philosophy, or at least this course, should mean something to you: what is it?
By the time you take the final exam, you will:
- Understand and appreciate a set of “big” traditional philosophical questions/theories on self and society, knowledge and belief, reason and emotion, death and freedom, God, etc.
- Know how to formulate your own questions & ideas, in both dialogue and writing; intellectual plurality and originality, if well-justified and grounded, will be rewarded.
- Selected readings, all web-linked or pdf downloadable from the class schedule page.
- Each day of the class, you must bring a hard copy of the listed reading material or at least the electronic file** in question. Those not in posession of the class material in any readable form are considered unprepared and thus will be noted negatively.
- **In-class use of a portable computer or any portable electronic devices where the reading file is stored, is allowed, but only on the condition that the wireless connection or mobile communication function is kept off throughout the class time. The violation of this rule will be regarded as a serious offence and the student in question will be immediately evicted from the classroom, which will be counted as an unexcused absence. Never "surf" the internet or text-message during the classtime.
97- A+ 93- A 90- A- 87- B+ 83- B 80- B- 77- C+ 73- C 70- C- 67- D+ 63- D 60- D- Below 60 F (Fail)
- 100 points system is used.
- Grades are unnegotiable, unless there is a clerical error.
- All the grades up to the final exam or paper are calculated numerically in order to give each student maximum opportunities to recuperate, and also to evaluate more accurately the learning process and incremental achievements.
- The numeric total will simply be converted to the corresponding letter grade. Therefore, there is very little reason either to rejoice or to despair at any stage of following the course. Just keep putting coins in the piggy bank, and your consistent and overall efforts will be justly rewarded: you reap what you sow, no less, no more.
Course Requirements and Evaluation Criteria
Attending (up to 10 points)
- upto 2 excused & upto 2 unexplained absences are allowed with no penalties. Only with documentary evidence can your absence can be excused.
- For the 3rd absence, you lose 3 points, and for the 4th point, another 3 points. After the 5th absence, 1 full alphabetical grade drops automatically per class missed, e.g., from A to B, down to F.
- Lateness causes disruption in class, and affects your own learning process. A grace period will be given for a while. But if you are late 4th time, you will start losing 1 point; 5th time, another 1 point and so on.
Preparing/Participating/Presenting (up to 30 points)
- First, the level of your preparedness, i.e., your knowledge of the reading material for each day, will be contantly and individually monitored.
- Second, as for participating in class discussion, if you're too shy or unwilling to speak in class, you can write a one-page class note or a small reflection paper instead within 7 days after each class, and email it to me. I will count each submission up to 2 point. No late submission accepted.
- Third, as for formal presentations, each student is entitled to give up to two presentations, which must be scheduled in advance in consultation with me. For each presentation, you can earn up to 5 points. A group work presentation, consisting of up to 3 people for each group, is also encouraged.
Writing (up to 60 points)
(40 pts) 4 In-class exams, consisting of short Q & A and short essays, each up to 10 pts. (NB: As it is an intro-level course, I will allow you to write 4 papers, each containing 1,500 - 2,500 words, instead of 2 papers.)
- How you submit: Only a word-processed print-out, i.e., a hard copy, is accepted: no email submission.
- How I grade: All the written assignments submitted for a formal instructional evaluation will be blind-reviewed.
- What happens after you submit: As a general rule, you can expect to receive the written feedback/grade on your paper or exam in 2 weeks. And I will keep all the original copies of the graded writings until the end of the semester, in order to be able to double-check the grade records, if necessary.
- If you wish to pay for the pleasures of procrastination: for each class day missed, 2 points will be deducted. For instance, 3 class days later, 6 points lost.
Statement of College Policy on Plagiarism
"Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else‘s ideas, words, or artistic, scientific, or technical work as one‘s own creation. Using the ideas or work of another is permissible only when the original author is identified. Paraphrasing and summarizing, as well as direct quotations, require citations to the original source. Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional. Lack of dishonest intent does not necessarily absolve a student of responsibility for plagiarism.`It is the student‘s responsibility to recognize the difference between statements that are common knowledge (which do not require documentation) and restatements of the ideas of others. Paraphrase, summary, and direct quotation are acceptable forms of restatement, as long as the source is cited. Students who are unsure how and when to provide documentation are advised to consult with their instructors. The Library has free guides designed to help students with problems of documentation." (From the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Undergraduate Bulletin, p. 36)
Should plagiarism be determined, a formal disciplinary action will be taken immediately: the student in question will receive an F grade for the course.
Accommodation of Religious Observances
Upon request, academic accommodations for a religious observance are available on an individual basis; by the end of the second week, please provide me with a supplementary document that specifies and verifies your context and needs for modification.
Accommodation of Documented Disabilities
Please contact me within the first two weeks of the semester. An appropriate, case-by-case arrangement will be made to ensure that the student in question is given an equal opportunity for learning.