PHILO150-19B (HAM)

The Big Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy

15 Points

Edit Header Content
Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences
Philosophy

Staff

Edit Staff Content

Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: paula.maynard@waikato.ac.nz

Placement Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

: anne.ferrier-watson@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
Edit Staff Content

Paper Description

Edit Paper Description Content

This course will introduce you to perennial philosophical questions. At one time or another, you have probably entertained some fundamental philosophical questions, e.g., "should I believe in God?", "am I living the good life?", or "why should I be morally good?" One objective of this course is to provide you with formal training so that you become more adept at contending with difficult and unfamiliar problems. By the end of this course, you should be able to clearly express, both orally and in writing, arguments defending your own point of view. Answers to the big questions discussed in this course are in no way presupposed. Our job is not to indoctrinate you, but to educate you, especially in regards to the skills of critical thinking and reasoned argumentation. You are free to hold any conclusion you wish, but we will be challenging you in order to give you the opportunity to practice defending your views and skillfully, critically, and logically arguing against the views of others. While no prior knowledge of philosophy is presupposed, curiosity and willingness to engage with important issues is.

Edit Paper Description Content

Paper Structure

Edit Paper Structure Content

Each week focuses on a different big question from philosophy. Students are expected to attend two 50-minute lectures per week and one 50-minute tutorial per week. Sign-up for tutorials is on Moodle and will open prior to the start of the first week of lectures.

Tutorials begin Week 1. Tutorials end Week 11. (There are 11 tutorials to attend in total).

The in-class test is held during the last lecture of the semester.

There is no exam.

Please send all inquiries to Chloe Wall (chloe.wall@waikato.ac.nz).

Edit Paper Structure Content

Learning Outcomes

Edit Learning Outcomes Content

Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Overall
    On successful completion of this course, students will have learned to effectively utilise some important tools, concepts, and theories from several areas of philosophy, including applying them to their thinking about their lives and the world around them.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Knowledge Acquisition
    Students will have acquired knowledge of important philosophical debates, including debates in the areas of: epistemology, philosophy of religion, metaphysics, personal identity, free will, and values.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Formulating and expressing justified philosophical positions
    Students completing the course will be able to formulate their own answers to the big questions discussed throughout the course, both in discussion (lectures and tutorials) and through written assessment (essays and the in-class test). Students will be able to justify their answers in a logical way to themselves and others.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Critical Reasoning
    Students completing the course will be able to reason critically about the topics discussed in the course, be able to provide logical defenses of their answers against critical questioning, and be able to skillfully critique the views and arguments of others.
    Linked to the following assessments:
Edit Learning Outcomes Content
Edit Learning Outcomes Content

Assessment

Edit Assessments Content

This paper is wholly internally assessed. Each piece of assessment has been designed to enable students to demonstrate their grasp of essential concepts and techniques at progressive stages of the paper and for teaching staff to assess the progress they are making and to adjust lecture plans if necessary.

Assessment for the course consists of six fortnightly short quizzes, two essays, an essay-based in-class test, and participation in tutorials. While no item of assessment is formally identified as compulsory, in practice you will need to take part in all pieces of assessment in order to do well in the paper. As there is no formal exam, and no compulsory piece of assessment, the IC (incomplete) grade does not apply to this paper. If for any reason you do not wish to continue with the paper you should withdraw before 5pm on the second Friday of the semester in order to receive a refund. After that time it is still possible to withdraw, without a refund, prior to 5pm on the sixth Friday of the semester. Dropping out without withdrawing leads to a failing grade on your academic record.

Edit Additional Assessment Information Content

Assessment Components

Edit Assessments Content

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Essay 1
2 Aug 2019
5:00 PM
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Essay 2
6 Sep 2019
5:00 PM
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. In-Class Test
9 Oct 2019
9:00 AM
30
  • In Class: In Lecture
4. Quizzes
Sum of All
15
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Quiz 1
19 Jul 2019
11:30 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
6. Quiz 2
2 Aug 2019
11:30 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
7. Quiz 3
16 Aug 2019
11:30 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
8. Quiz 4
13 Sep 2019
11:30 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
9. Quiz 5
27 Sep 2019
11:30 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
10. Quiz 6
11 Oct 2019
11:30 PM
-
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
11. Tutorial Participation
Sum of Best ( 10 )
15
  • In Class: In Tutorial
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
Edit Assessments Content

Required and Recommended Readings

Edit Required Readings Content

Recommended Readings

Edit Recommended Readings Content
The recommended readings for each week will be posted on Moodle. All readings will be freely available PDFs. There is no set text for this course. Failure to complete the recommended readings will likely result in very poor performance on the assessment.
Edit Recommended Readings Content

Online Support

Edit Online Support Content
It is vital for success in this course that you have access to Moodle. If you have any difficulty accessing or using Moodle, please follow this link: ITS Self Help or call (07) 838 4008.
Edit Online Support Content

Workload

Edit Workload Content

The workload for this paper is 10 hour per week throughout the semester, or 12 hours a week during teaching weeks.

Edit Workload Content

Linkages to Other Papers

Edit Linkages Content
This course gives a brief taste of many higher-level philosophy courses, making it an excellent choice for any student wondering which philosophy courses they will find most interesting. The linkages between this course and other courses will be discussed in the last lecture (Monday 7 October).
Edit Linkages Content

Prerequisite(s)

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: PHIL150

Edit Linkages Content