HONORS PHILOSOPHY H235: EPISTEMOLOGY
Instructor: Dr. Henry J. Folse, Jr. Office: Bobet 414
Office Hours: Tues & Thurs. 3:30-4:40 Office Phone: 865-3940
Prerequisites: There are no absolute prerequisites in this course, but is strongly advised that students have had at least one previous course in philosophy before taking this course. This is an honors common curriculum course and will count as credit towards the student's common curriculum requirement in honors philosophy.
Additionally, students should purchase at the Philosophy Department Office (Bobet 442): Paul K. Moser and Arnold vander Nat, eds. Human Knowledge: Classical and Contemporary Approaches, Third Edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).
[designated on syllabus: "MvN"]
Larry Laudan, Science and Relativism: Some Key Controversies in the Philosophy of Science (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1990). [designated on syllabus a "Laudan"]
NOTE: The following information should answer all your questions concerning attendance, assignments, grading, and exams. You may assume all of the policies stated on this sheet are in effect unless otherwise notified. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with these requirements. You may assume that your assignments are as indicated on the accompanying syllabus unless otherwise notified. After the first week of the semester, the instructor will NOT answer questions concerning matters covered on this hand-out. Folse, Henry J., Notes on Traditional Western Foundationalist Theories of Knowledge, 2002. [designated on syllabus as "Notes"]
Class Attendance: In order to do satisfactory work in this class it is imperative to attend class on a regular basis; however, attendance will not enter directly into computation of the final grade. Failure to attend class, or regular tardy attendance, will inevitably weaken the student's chances for performing well on exams, and thereby affect the final grade. Roll will be called only for the first few weeks of the semester to familiarize the instructor with the students. If you do have a good reason for missing class (e.g. serious illness), it is your responsibility to consult with the instructor to see to it that you know what was covered during the class you missed.
Arriving and Departing Class: Students are expected to be in the classroom at the beginning of each class. If you are late due to some serious reason, you should still come to class, but you must enter the class quietly without disturbing your fellow students or the Instructor. If you must depart class prior to the end of the period, due to some emergency or unavoidable scheduling conflict, do so quietly and without disturbing the class. Once a student has departed, returning to the class is not permitted. In particular, students will not be permitted to depart casually and then return to class after a "break." It is expected that students will attend class punctually, however, if unforeseen circumstances make you late for class, you should still come late; half a class is better than no class at all.
Study Assignments: Each class will cover a specific study assignment in the texts. They are given on the accompanying syllabus together with the topic for that day's class. Failure to study carefully each day's assignment BEFORE coming to class will result in an inadequate comprehension of the material covered in that class. Carried to prolonged periods, failure to keep up with the assignments will reduce you to irremediable perplexity. DO NOT FALL BEHIND IN YOUR ASSIGNMENTS! If you fail to understand the material after careful study, come to class prepared with specific instructions. If you miss class or fail to understand the material after the Instructor has gone over it in class, then you should consult the Instructor as soon as possible during office hours, or if that is not possible, by special appointment.
Class Discussion: This course will consist mostly of lectures intermixed with question and answer exchanges between instructor and students. However, you should feel free to ask question any time perplexity strikes. The instructor cannot read the students' minds; other than your questions he has no way of knowing how well or poorly you understand the material being covered. DO NOT KEEP QUIET ABOUT WHAT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND - ASK QUESTIONS WHEN THE PARTICULAR PROBLEM YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND IS BEING DISCUSSED IN CLASS. Students who wait until exam time to inform the instructor of their lack of understanding, will have a poor chance of success.
In-Semester Quizzes: On the dates specified with an asterisk (*) on the accompanying syllabus the class period will end with a ~15 minute quiz covering the material studied since the previous quiz. Quizzes will be multiple choice, approximately 10-15 questions each. Students will return answers on a single sheet of paper. There will be 8 or 9 quizzes in the semester. Each will be graded on a scale of 20 points; with only the best five counting in the final calculation of the grade.
The best five quizzes will count for 20% of the semester grade.
Take-Home Examinations: There will be three take-home exams to be turned in on the dates specified on the accompanying syllabus. These exams will cover Parts I, II, and III of the course as indicated on the accompanying syllabus. Each exam will consist of five essay questions of which the student will select three, and will cover only that portion of the course which it immediately follows. It is expected that essays will be typed, and conform to the canons of good English style, as well as exhibiting sound grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Each test counts for 20 % of your semester grade.
Final Exam: There will be a take-home final exam to be turned in on the date specified by the University: Thursday, May 15, at Bobet 414 by 5:00 p.m. The final will consist of essay questions analogous to the questions on the three in-semester exams, except that they will expect the student to refer back to the course of epistemology which we have followed throughout the semester. The final exam will count for 20% of your semester grade.
Grading: A: 100-90 B+: 89-87 B: 86-80 C+: 79-77 C: 76-70 D+: 69-67 D: 66-60 F: 59-0