Introduction to Philosophy


Ned Hettinger, Fall 2012


Schedule of Assignments

Spring Philosophy Courses

Explanation of quiz scores
Explanation of exam scores

Paper Assignment
Possible Articles for Papers
Suggestions for Writing Your Philosophy Paper

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Final Exam Study Questions

Why Major/Minor in Philosophy?
GRE scores by Major

How to Major/Minor in Philosophy

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Eating Animals Events

Readings for Class
Class Notes
Thurs, Nov 29

Conclusions about Moral Theory

CH 13, What Would a Satisfactory Moral Theory Be Like? EMP 173-183

Rachels' Moral Theory

"God or Atheism: Where Does the Evidence Point?"
Wed, Nov 28, 8pm, Physicians
(Free quiz opportunity)

Tues, Nov 27

Virtue Ethics

CH 12, Virtue Ethics, EMP 157-172

Rachels on Virtue Ethics

Temple Grandin
Public Lecture, Nov 27, 7:00 pm. Sottile Theatre
(Free quiz opportunity)

Bekoff, Going to Slaughter: Should Animals Hope to Meet Temple Grandin?
Are Animals Autistic Savants?

Tues, Nov 20

Feminism and Feminist Ethics

John Stuart Mill, “The Subjection of Women”
(starts at right column toward the bottom)

Mill on Feminism

Women/Gender Studies at CofC

Myths That Make It Hard To Stop Campus Rape
Non Stranger Rape

ACLU Files Suit To Allow Women In Combat Positions

Myth of Male Decline
Why Do They Hate Us?
Feminist Follies: Facing Facts at Fifty
When we Hated Mom
Video: Miss Representation
America the Beautiful trailer
SC Among Top Ten States in Which Women Killed by Men

Thurs, Nov 15


CH 11, Feminism and the Ethics of Care, EMP 146-156

Rachels on Feminist Ethics


Fate of Oxen at Green Mtn College
Tues, Nov 13

 Thomas Nagel, “Free Will”

Nagel on Free Will
Adventures in Rationalism, Mon, Nov 12, 6:30, Randolf Hall
(Free Quiz Opportunity)
Fri, Nov 9: PAPER DUE (hard copy--not email, to 14 Glebe inside mailbox, 3pm)
Thurs,  Nov 8
Daniel Dennett, “Where Am I?”
Dennett on Personal Identity and Mind/Body

Thomas Nadelhoffer, “Believing in Free Will: A Philosophical Psychological Investigation” Thurs Nov , 3:15 – 4:45, ECTR 113.
(Free Quiz Opportunity)

Thurs, Nov 1
Thomas Nagel, “The Mind-Body Problem”
Nagel on Mind and Body
Eating Loved Farm Animals
Kantian (Non-Consequentialist) Moral Theory
Tues, Oct 30
CH 10, Kant and Respect for Persons, EMP 136-145

Rachels on Kantian Respect for Persons

Utilitarianism versus Retributivism

Thurs, Oct 25

      CH 9, Are There Absolute Moral Rules? EMP 125-135

Rachels on Kant and Absolute Rules
Tues, Oct 23

Eating Animals

Jonathan Foer, from Eating Animals (“The Life and Death of a Bird,” pp. 129-137 and “I am the Last Poultry Farmer,” pp. 110-115)

6 finalist in essay contests (in red circle on left)
New York Times Essay Contest on Why Ethical to Eat Meat


Eating Animals

Tues, Oct 23, 5pm TD Arena: Talk by author Jonathan Foer on Eating Animals
(Free Quiz Opportunity)

Additional times to meet Foer:
2:00-3:00p, Stern Center Ballroom (First Year and Honors College Students and others)
3:15-4:00p, Stern Center Ballroom (Jewish Student Union, Jewish Studies faculty and students and others)
(Free Quiz Opportunity)

Where Cows are Happy and Food is Healthy

Kristof, Please Wince
(response to above and attack on Foer)

College to Slaughter & Serve Beloved Oxen

Fri, Oct 19: PAPER PROPOSAL DUE (email to:
Thurs, Oct 18:
CH 8, Debate over Utilitarianism, EMP 110-124
Rachels on Debate over Utilitarianism
Tues, Oct 16

CH 7, The Utilitarian Approach, EMP 98-109

Rachels on Utilitarianism (Ch 7)
Social and Political Philosophy
Thurs, Oct 11

Joel Feinberg, “Hard Cases for the Harm Principle
(and optional: “A Ride on the Bus”)

Feinberg on Liberty-Limiting Principles
Tues, Oct 9

CH 6, The Social Contract Theory, EMP 82-97

Rachels on Social Contract
Thurs, Oct 4
Midterm exam study questions

(Free Quiz Opportunity)
Why Women Still Can't Have It All
Friday, Oct 5, Noon, Library 227

Article for above

Myth of Male Decline

Tues, Oct 2

CH 5, Ethical Egoism, EMP 64-81

Rachels on Egoism
Philosophy of Religion

Woodstock for Atheists
Debate between Atheist and Theist at CofC
Alabama Governor: Only Christians are my Brothers
Christians Debate: Was Jesus for Small Government?
An example of religion caused violence?
Should Wives Obey?!

Belief in Evolution/Creationism

Thurs, Sept 27
CH 4, Does Morality Depend on Religion? EMP 49-63
Ch 4, Rachels on Morality and Religion
Tues, Sept 25
John Hick,"The Problem of Evil" and John Hick, "Evil and the Infinite Future Good" (2 readings)
Hick's Theodicy
Carol Adams
Sexual Politics of Meat
Talk details
Tues, Sept 25, 4pm, RSS 235
(free quiz opportunity)
Thurs, Sept 20
Fyodor Dostoevsky, "The Sufferings of Little Children"

Dostoevsky on Problem of Evil

Possible Theodicies

Animal Minds Panel
Animal Neuroethics Paper
Thurs, Sept 20, 3:30, RS Smalls 235
(free quiz opportunity)

about Dostoevsky

Tues, Sept 18
Louis Pojman, “Faith, Hope, and Doubt”
Pojman on Religious Belief
Thurs, Sept 13
William James, “The Will to Believe”
James on Will to Believe
about William James
Tues, Sept 11

Bertrand Russell, "Why I Am Not A Christian"

Optional readings: “Can Nonbelievers Be Saved?” and “More Atheists Shout from the Rooftops”

Russell on Christianity

Art and Politics: Russian Feminist Punk Band
Friday 9/7, 3:15

about Bertrand Russell

Thurs, Sept 6

Richard Taylor "God"

Taylor's Cosmological Argument

Kalam Cosmological Argument

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Cosmological Argument

Objectivity, Subjectivity, and Relativism in Ethics and Aesthetics
Tues, Sept 4

CH 3, Subjectivism in Ethics, EMP 32-48

         Optional readings about sexuality: Sheila Lintott and Sherri Irvin and, “Sex Objects and Sexy Subjects: A Feminist Reclamation of Sexiness”; Talia Mae Bettcher, “Without a Net, Starting Points for Trans Stories”; Simon Blackburn on Truth and Lust (video)

Rachels on Subjectivism
bell hooks
Friday Aug 31, 2pm, Sotille Theater
(free quiz opportunity)
Thurs, Aug 30
Holmes Rolston, “Does the Aesthetic Appreciation of Landscapes Need to be Science-Based?”
Rolston on Aesthetic Appreciation of Landscapes
Tues, Aug 28

CH 2, The Challenge of Cultural Relativism, EMP 14-31

Optional readings: “Battle Over Patriotism Curriculum”; “Men Stoned to Death for Adultery”; “The Ritual: Disfiguring, Hurtful, Wildly Festive” and “Village by Village, Circumcising a Ritual”; “Do Korean Men Still Beat Their Wives? Definitely

Rachels on Cultural Relativism
Female Genital_Cutting:_Tolerating_the Intolerable by_Xiaorong Li
Thurs, Aug 23
ICH 1, What is Morality? James Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy, 7th edition, (hereafter, EMP), pp. 1-13
Rachels, Ch 1: What is Morality?

Thompson, "A Defense of Abortion"

Noonan, "An Almost Absolute Value in History"

Rachels on "Killing versus Letting Die"

Tues, Aug 21
Philosopher attack ad (humor)




Cite with Phil of Religion articles

Woodstock for Atheists

Debate between Atheist and Theist at CofC

Cite with Phil of Religion articles

Alabama Governor: Only Christians are my Brothers

Christians Debate: Was Jesus for Small Government?


Death Penalty

Flaws in Death Penalty Research

20 Years Defending Death Row Inmates



New York Times Essay Contest on Why Ethical to Eat Meat

Eating Animals Events


Feinberg, A Ride on the Bus
Video: Simon Blackburn on Truth and Lust