Plato and E. Piscitelli Essay

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Syllabus: Philosophy 101: An Introduction to Philosophy
Professor: Dr. E. Piscitelli
Classroom CM 222 Office: CM 374 Email: Office hours are held immediately following every class meeting.

Course Purposes: To aid the students in understanding and appreciating the importance of philosophy for their education and their lives. We will study the life, times, and philosophy of Socrates whose philosophy became the paradigm for Western philosophy. Objectives: The student will learn how to interpret philosophical texts, how to recognize philosophical arguments, how to understand philosophical theories and locate them in terms of a methodic approach to philosophy, and will be able to evaluate intelligently the significance of Socrates for the foundation of Western Philosophy and the importance of that foundation for our way of life today . Philosophy Web Page:
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Unit I: What is Philosophy?
a) Brief Introduction to the themes of the course.
b) The Biases of Common Sense and The Basic Anti-Philosophical Attitude in Western Culture. Reading: Philosophy A Passion For Wisdom (PPW), E. Piscitelli
Unit II: Philosophy and Your Own Education
a) The Philosophical Conversation that We Are and the Structure of Authentic Selfhood:
Dialectics and the Fundamental Attitudes of the Human Person.
b) Philosophical Analysis of Education
c) What is Dialectics? The Structure of Historic Truth in Man: Position, Counter-Position, False
Compromise, and Higher Viewpoint
Reading: Philosophy A Passion For Wisdom, E. Piscitelli, Chapters 1-3, QSK Quest For Self Knowledge Introduction & Chapters 1-3 pp. 3-94.
Unit III: The Foundations of Philosophy
a) Openness To Understanding. Naivete / Skepticism, Security/Meaning, and Intellectual/Aesthetic Integrity.
b) Openness To Knowing , Dogmatism/Relativism, Certainty/Truth, and Rhetorical/Philosophical Integrity.
c) Hope For the Human Good. Optimism/Pessimism, Success/Achievement, and Good/Evil. Moral Integrity.
Reading: Philosophy A Passion For Wisdom, Chapters 4-9, E. Piscitelli.
Unit IV: Socrates: Lover of Wisdom and Truth?
a) Tribal Society and Civil Society: Historic Tensions and Conflicts.
b) The Place of Socrates in the Greek Tradition: Homer, The Cosmic Thinkers, The Tragedians, The Traditionalists, The Sophists.
c) The Great Debate in the Athens of Socrates: How to Educate the Young?
d) The Trial of Socrates for Treason: Can Philosophy Be The Conscience of the City?
Reading: The Clouds, AristophanesThe Apology, Plato; Philosophy A Passion For Wisdom, Chapters 10-12, In Praise of Love: A Conversation With Plato's Symposium, Prologue & Chapters 1-5 pp. 1-175. E. Piscitelli
Unit V: The Socratic Mission: Philosophy as a Political Act?
a) Politics and the Philosopher: Law versus Conscience.
b) Is Civil Justice Possible?
c) Socrates and Thoreau on Civil Disobedience
Reading: The Crito, Plato In Praise of Love: A Conversation With Plato's Symposium, Prologue & Chapters 6-12 pp. 176-436.

Exam Schedule: See the Philosophy Web Site Web Site Home Page:
Late papers will be downgraded!
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College Web Site: ___________________________________________________

Texts: 1. In Philosophy A Passion For Wisdom, E. Piscitelli, 2. In Praise of Love: A Conversation With Plato's Symposium, E. Piscitelli.
Evaluation: Class Attendance is very important. 4 absences (2 in classes meeting once a week) can result in a lower grade or a F grade. Late Assignments and Term papers are graded down one letter grade. No W-Grades will be allowed after the Withdrawal Without Penalty Period. (NOTE ALL OUT OF CLASS ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE TYPED DOUBLE SPACED. NO UNTYPED OUT OF