FRESHMAN SEMINAR IN PHILOSOPHY:
RELATIVISM
(PHIL 150W, Sec. 01 and 02)

Reading Assignments

(Readings are listed by author and chapter or page numbers. Readings from the anthology, Moral Relativism: A Reader, edited by Moser and Carson are followed by "(MR)".)
  • For Jan. 21: Read Melchert, pp. 1-52.
  • For Jan. 23: Read Kirk, Chapters 1 and 2.
  • For Jan. 28: Read Kirk, Chapter 3, Sections 1-10 (pp. 35-46). This selection is the topic of Response Essay 1, your first short essay option. Check out my Paper Requirements and Policies. Next read Plato, Theaetetus, pp. 1-36 (Sections 142a-168c).
  • For Jan. 30: Re-read Plato, pp. 1-36, focusing on Sections 151d-160e. Further non-required/suggested reading for the curious: to learn more about Socrates's life you can look at Plato's Apology or at the link on the ILT Website. Information about Plato himself can also be found at the ILT site and at "The Life of Plato". For a famous allegorical depiction of Plato's views on appearance and reality you can look at "The Allegory of the Cave" (the first quarter of "Book VII" from Plato's Republic). For information about basic distinctions in logic and reasoning you can look at Anthony Weston's A Rulebook for Arguments, Jim Prior's Philosophical Terms and Methods, and my Logic Poem.
  • For Feb. 4: Read Plato, pp. 36-60 (Sections 168d-186e). If you did not write Response Essay 1, you must write Response Essay 2, which is due Monday, February 3rd.
  • For Feb. 6: Re-read Plato, pp. 36-60 (Sections 168d-186e), and start thinking about the First Paper, which is due on Tuesday, February 18th.
  • For Feb. 13: Read the rest of Kirk, Chapter 3 (pp. 46-54) and read Goodman, Chapter I. Also, be working on your papers (note the new due date). On writing, you might want to reference The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White (note: this is an old edition).
  • For Feb. 18: Finish the First Paper, which is due at the beginning of class. Also, read Goodman, Chapters VI and VII.
  • For Feb. 20: Re-read the end of Kirk, Chapter 3 (pp. 46-54) and Goodman, Chapters I, VI, and VII.
  • For Feb. 25: Review the Goodman, especially Chapter VII, then read Kirk, Chapter 6. You must also write either Response Essay 3 or Response Essay 4 (unless you did both Essays 1 and 2).
  • For Feb. 27: Think about the relation between Goodman's view and the Language-game view presented and criticized in Kirk, Chapter 6. Also, read Kirk, Chapter 7.
  • For Mar. 11: Read Descartes' Synopsis and Meditations I-III (pp. 8-35). You can also write Response Essay 5 if you are so inclined.
  • For Mar. 18: Read Descartes' Meditations IV-VI (pp. 35-59). Also, come by my office (126 Blair) and sign up for your Required Mid-Semester Conference.
  • For Mar. 25: Re-write the First Paper (due Thursday for Sec. 01). You might also read Melchert, pp. 53-82 and get started on Kirk, Chapters 9-11. If you want, you can also write Response Essay 6.
  • For Mar. 27: Sec. 01 re-writes due. Finish reading Melchert, pp. 53-82 and Kirk, Chapters 9-11.
  • For Apr. 1: Be ready to talk about the Melchert and Kirk readings. If you are so inclined, write Response Essay 7. Also, review Melchert, pp. 3-31 and get started on the following ethics readings: Brandt (MR, pp. 25-31), Sumner (MR, pp. 69-79), and Benedict (MR, pp. 80-89).
  • For Apr. 3: Finish the Brandt, Sumner, and Benedict (MR, pp. 25-31, 69-89).
  • For Apr. 8: Read Wellman (MR, pp. 107-119) and Rachels (MR, pp. 53-65). If you are inclined, write Response Essay 8. Also, start thinking about the Second Paper, which will be due Friday 4/18.
  • For Apr. 10: Read Harman (MR, pp. 165-184).
  • For Apr. 15: Read Foot (MR, pp. 185-198) and Scanlon (MR, pp. 142-162). If you are inclined (or required), write Response Essay 9.
  • For Apr. 17: Work on the Second Paper (due Friday 4/18).
  • For Apr. 22: Read Mill, Utilitarianism, Chapters 1-4 (pp. 1-41). If you are inclined (or required), write Response Essay 10.
  • For Apr. 24: Last class!

Last updated April 11, 2003

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This document was created on January 13, 2003.