The course aims at practicing the techniques of reading, listening, and thinking critically, of expository writing, and of oral expression related to contemporary advances in human consciousness research. No prior knowledge of the topic is needed for understanding and appreciating the cultural and conceptual differences in organizing humanity. We will explore a possible common matrix of ideas and values by considering humanistic, scientific, and metaphysical universes of discourse. Our discussions and writing exercises are clearly an open quest, a tentative working hypothesis approach that is perfectly suited for written and oral analysis. Students will gain new insights about human consciousness research through critical reading of contemporary texts, and by practicing written and oral communication that is pluralist without necessarily being strictly relativist; comparative rather than dogmatic; perspectival rather than reductionist. This skills-oriented course reflects the assumption that we master skills more thoroughly when we are working on a set of issues that affect and change our daily lives. [Satisfies GE category A1: Written and Oral Analysis.]
Journal 20%, Synopsis 20%, Group Presentation 20%, Editorial Project 20%, Participation and Relevant Contributions in Class 20%, from a total of 400 pts.
Ontology of Consciousness edited by Helmut WAUTISCHER, MIT Press 2008.
The final semester grade will be based on the six performance aspects listed above under “key.” It is essential to understand that the class has no tolerance for cheating or plagiarism, and the violators will, therefore, be dismissed from class immediately and permanently with a disciplinary grade of "F".
All six journals are written in class and relate to specified themes. Edit your journal to share its content in discussion with the class. Each journal brings 10 pts., will be discussed on journal days, and is then collected on the same day. If you are absent on a “journal day,” you may write a “replacement journal” within two days in this classroom from 11:30 – 12:00 noon to recover up to 7 pts. Primary target is the development of your personal views.
After reading in class a brief passage of text (from the assigned readings) one volunteer will be asked to give a summary of this passage and lead a discussion with the class. If there is no volunteer I will assign a student. Please understand that you must have read the assigned pages and be prepared to discuss them on each day of class to demonstrate your comprehension of the materials. Conducting your synopsis will bring up to 60 points. Primary targets are reading comprehension and oral communication. Your performance will also affect participation points.
Clear your topic with the instructor. Format: 7 pages, double-spaced and typed in 12 pt. Times font, 1-inch margins on all four sides, stapled, no cover page or folder or clear cover. The assignment must be well written; showing a high degree of English proficiency and analytical skills, authentic and honest, properly and appropriately referencing all sources, and crediting the ideas, words, and works of others. Any delay in submitting your project past the posted due date will result in a deduction of 10 points for each day. Content: The first four pages contain your summary of the text from the author’s viewpoint; primary target is your scholarly research. The remaining three pages will contain your personal reflection on and your interaction with the subject matter. Justify with good reasons all your opinions. Focus on the meaningfulness of the materials and its relevance (if any) for your life. Primary targets are development of your writing skills, comprehension of complex materials, and eloquence in supporting your beliefs. Helpful information for writing essays is at http://www.sonoma.edu/programs/writingcenter.
Present a report (15 minutes) and lead a discussion with the class. The other panel members are expected to assist you during discussion. The discussion will focus on applied dimensions of the project. Submit a typed summary (250 words) clearly specifying what it is that the class should have learned from you. Primary targets are oral presentation of scholarly research and communication of personal views.
You will receive up to 30 points for attendance and up to 30 points for active participation. Two absences are free, all additional absences will result in a deduction of 3 points per session.
There are no make-ups for any of the exams, except in very severe cases of emergency. You need to communicate with the instructor early and within the posted guidelines. Lack of communication within 24 hours of the due date will result in a loss of both re-scheduling and late submission. There are no extra credit assignments.
It is helpful to schedule approximately 6 hours of active studying per week outside the classroom to receive a CR or a C grade. For every grade step add two additional hours. (To receive an A, schedule an average of at least 10 hours studying time per week).
Grade requirements and description of grades
F failure 199 pts. and below, or with proven plagiarism.
D barely passing 200 pts.
C average 250 pts. Indicates adequate fulfillment of requirements, and average, but not notable work.
B very good 310 pts. Is earned by fulfilling the course requirement with more than adequate scholarship.
A- outstanding 350 pts., A outstanding 375 pts., To earn an A or A-, the student must demonstrate outstanding scholarship above and beyond fulfilling all the course requirements.
CR same as grade C- (230 pts.) or better.
W Withdrawal prior to the posted deadline.
I Incomplete. Only in exceptional cases. Has to be removed within
one calendar year.
Phil 200 is consistent with G.E. goals and objectives (read the G.E. mission statement). At the conclusion of this course, the student will have:
1. become aware of languages as a tool for reflection and understanding.
2. developed skills in written and oral communication.
3. achieved an increasing confidence for oral presentation of complex subject matters.
4. gained insight into group dynamic processes in preparing and completing research and writing.
5. conducted an overview of selected contemporary consciousness theories and become acquainted with some great figures of consciousness research.
6. learned the basic concepts for consciousness research and demonstrated familiarity with this field of study.
7. improved communication skills and research ability in philosophy.
8. achieved a sense of appreciation for practicing editing strategies to improve writing skills.
9. developed the necessary intellectual honesty and modesty for editorial decisions.
(1) Students with disabilities must communicate all requests for special accommodations during the first three days of class.
(2) All exams can be reviewed throughout one calendar year and will be recycled thereafter. (3) Preferred contact is office visit, then phone message, lastly by e-mail <email@example.com>. (4) Please consult online information for relevant SSU policies: Grade appeals, cheating and plagiarism, and grievance; and the Campus Diversity Vision Statement.