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Philosophy of life? – will send instructions
August 2021 | Upper Iowa University Page 1 of 12
PHIL 150: Introduction to Philosophy
Session 1: August 30, 2021 – October 21, 2021
Online: Online classroom located at uiulearn.uiu.edu
Instructor Name: Lisa Gerber, Ph.D.
UIU Faculty Email: [email protected]
Telephone Number: (505) 507-1760 Mountain Time Zone
Availability: Please feel free to call me anytime between 8am and 8pm. I do not have virtual
office hours, but I am happy to talk over the phone or over Zoom. Please call me if you need
immediate assistance. You can also leave a message or set up an appointment via email.
Semester Credits: 3
Catalog Course Description: A survey of the significant theories and theorists that have
shaped the way human beings perceive their relationship to, and place in, the universe large.
This course examines the classic questions of human existence: who are we, where did we
come from, and what is our destiny. Competing philosophical viewpoints will be represented.
Ultimately, students will be encouraged to develop or explain critically their own positions
regarding these fundamental problems. Meets the humanities requirement.
Credit Hour Policy:
As a requirement of HLC Accreditation, all UIU courses, regardless of meeting schedule or
instructional mode, follow the Federal Credit Hour Definition. As such, each credit hour earned
at UIU is equivalent to a minimum of 45 hours of student engagement.
For more information on how specific instructional modes meet this requirement, please see
UIU’s Policy Guidelines for Instructional Time Expectations: UIU Policies.
It is the student’s responsibility to make sure the student has access to all required course
materials by the start of the session.
August 2021 | Upper Iowa University Page 2 of 12
Mitchell, Helen Buss, Roots of Wisdom. 8th ed., Cengage Learning, ISBN-10: 1-337-55980-6
Required Resources none
Recommended Resources: none
Purchase your textbook through the online university bookstore, MBS Direct, or by phone at
1. Recognize what makes a conclusion valid or an inductively strong argument; an action
moral or immoral; a statement believed to be true
2. Explain the various schools of philosophical and moral thought; the history of their
development and the rationale for acceptance and their practice by society
3. Develop a foundation for valid conclusions about perception and belief
4. Describe what it means to be moral
5. Explain the process of coming to know that which is called reality
General Education Assessment
Upper Iowa University General Education program is guided by the Peacock Pillars and
promotes foundational learning in multiple disciplines. The four Peacock Pillars (demonstrate
technological literacy, exercise critical thinking across disciplines, communicate effectively, and
engage as members of a diverse community) are student learning outcomes achieved by all
Upper Iowa University graduates, and represent critical skills necessary for meaningful
participation in society. The Pillars assessed by this course are indicated below:
Demonstrate technological literacy
Exercise critical thinking across disciplines
Engage as members of a diverse community
GenEd Task Statement – Arts and Humanities (Task 3)
Recognize, identify and accurately describe the underlying assumptions and beliefs inherent in
defined philosophical or religious traditions.
Read a text about a particular philosophical or religious thinker or issue. Incorporating other
sources, write a 2‐ to 3‐ page (i.e., 650‐1,000‐word) response paper to it, indicating an
understanding of the thinker or issue in question, and placing the ideas in their intellectual
August 2021 | Upper Iowa University Page 3 of 12
This essay assignment must be submitted to the GenEd Arts and Humanities (Task 3)
assignment submission folder. This is for assessment purposes only. There is another week 5
assignment tab where you submit your week 5 essay assignment for grading. This is due on
Sunday of Week 5.
Course Requirements and Grading Criteria
Discussion and Participation
Discussions are critical in an online course for student-student and student-instructor
interaction for active learning. Discussions provide an active learning environment for you and
your peers to master the content in this course. Online course attendance is also tracked
through discussion postings. If you do not post in the weekly discussions you will be
considered inactive in the course and will be removed. Be sure to post to each week’s
discussion and to your peers to stay active in the course.
There are two parts for a discussion: the initial response to the discussion question (starting a
new thread) and participation in the discussion threads (replying to classmates’ threads).
The minimum requirement for participation is 4 days out of each 7-day online academic week.
Participation does not include your Initial Response. It means to actively engage by
substantively contributing or responding to your peers’ discussion posts in all weekly
discussion threads. Substantive means comments that demonstrate comprehension and
involve dialogue which extends the depth and/or breadth of discussions. ‘I agree’ or ‘disagree’
alone or similar statements will not be considered as a substantive response.
You are required to post eight times in response to your classmates. In these responses, you
should thoughtfully and actively engage in the conversation. You can include points from the
reading, examples from your personal experience, contemporary issues, or any other material
that is relevant to the discussion.
Each week there are 3 discussion questions for you to answer. Your initial response to
the discussion question is due by Day 3. Your responses and discussion with your
classmates should occur on Days 3-7. The discussion is worth 25 points per week.
In weeks one through seven, there is a 10-question multiple-choice quiz on the reading from
the textbook Roots of Wisdom. There is a one-hour time limit on the quizzes. The quizzes are
designed to give you feedback about your comprehension of the material in the assigned
chapter. Each weekly quiz is worth 10 points.
The assignments for this course consist of two individual essay assignments, eight weekly
summaries, one group discussion essay assignment, one outline for the final project, and one
final project essay assignment.
• Individual Essay Assignments
August 2021 | Upper Iowa University Page 4 of 12
These are two individual analytic essays where you explicate the author’s position and then
develop your own analysis. There are two individual essays and are due in weeks 2 and 5.
There is an assignment description in the weekly work under ‘essay’. Your essays should be
uploaded to the assignment area by the end of Day 7 (Sunday, 11:59pm, CT). These papers
are worth 120 points each.
• Weekly Summary Assignments
The weekly summary will allow you to reflect on what you have learned during the week. Each
summary should include the summary of your learning and a reflection on how this learning
has impacted your thinking and practice.
In the assignment area, you will submit a weekly summary of what you have learned during the
class that week. The summary should be in paragraph format and should be approximately
350-700 words. The weekly summary is due by Day 7 (Sunday, 11:59pm, CT) each week.
Weekly summaries are worth 10 points each. In writing the summaries, please focus on the
• Summary of Learning – Explain the content of what you learned this week.
• Personal Learning – Include reflection on what has impacted your thinking and
practice. This can include an application to your personal life as well as your career
and professional goals.
• Group Assignment
We have one group assignment in this course; this is due in week 3. In a philosophy course, it
is important to analyze an issue with your peers. Group discussions and assignments are a
great way to do this.
Group papers should represent a collaborative effort of all group members in all aspects of the
report. It should not be a compilation of different pieces written by different persons and put
together to make the report. Each person in the group is responsible for whatever is in the
report. For that reason, all group members usually receive the same grade for a report. I
expect all group members to carry their fair share of the work, but it is up to the group to
determine what a fair share is. Should it become evident to me that a person has not met the
fair share expectation, I reserve the right to reflect that in that person’s grade on the
The group assignments are submitted in the assignment area. The group assignment is worth
• Final Assessment
There will be a final paper on your philosophy of life. This project gets to the heart of the idea
that philosophy is a way of life, rather than an abstract discipline. For the final project, you will
write a 4 to 6 page essay that incorporates the following three essential elements in a
philosophy of life: your conception of self, your moral convictions, and the aspects of life that
you think are essential in living a full and happy life. In each section, you will explain a relevant
philosophical theory as well as develop your own position on each section. You will notice that
this paper builds on material we study in class. This will allow you to work on this final essay as
August 2021 | Upper Iowa University Page 5 of 12
we progress through the course. For example, we are covering identity in week 3 and ethics in
o In Week 6, you will submit a comprehensive outline for your final assessment. I
will give you feedback on how to develop your final paper.
o Finally, in Week 8, you will submit your final essay. Please note that the course
ends on the Thursday of Week 8, so your final essay is due on Thursday.
Here is an outline that can guide the construction of your final essay.
I. Introduction – write one paragraph that orients your reader to the overall theme of
II. Section on Human Nature
a. In this section, explain what constitutes your personal identity and what
constitutes the nature of a human being.
b. Show how this conception relates to at least one philosophical theory we have
c. Show how your identity and conception of human nature ties in with your
philosophy of life.
III. Section on Ethics and Value
a. In this section, you will explain some of your deepest held moral convictions.
b. Show how this conception relates to at least one philosophical theory we have
c. Show how these deeply held convictions tie in with your philosophy of life.
IV. Section on a Meaningful Life
a. In this section, you will explain what you think is essential to living a full and
happy life and why.
b. Reflect on the ways in which philosophical reflection relates to developing a
theory of what constitutes a meaningful life.
c. How is this meaning developed in your daily life?
V. Concluding Paragraph
GenEd Task Assignment – Week 5 Essay Assignment
• Papers should be about 3-4 pages (1000-1250 words).
• Grammar and spelling count for 10% of the value of the grade given
• Upload your paper as an attachment in the assignment section as a word document
(doc or docx).
• You will also upload this essay into the Gen Ed Assessment folder.
August 2021 | Upper Iowa University Page 6 of 12
• Due – Day 7 – Sunday
In this essay, you will analyze one question from our text in For Further Thought section from
Chapter 10 Ethics: You can choose from the following questions: 9, 11, 13, or 18. These
questions are on page 461 of our text. In analyzing the dilemma, you will explain and apply two
of the ethical theories we have studied. Finally, you will state and defend your own position on
the question. You can also write on an ethical dilemma of your own choice. If you would like
this option, please send your proposed topic to me beforehand.
Below is an outline of the components of your analysis.
1. Explain the details of the question and state why it is important to do an ethical analysis
of this question. The introduction will be one paragraph.
2. Explain the two ethical theories that you will use to analyze this question. This can
include the theories of utilitarianism, deontology, virtue theory, natural law theory,
Buddhist ethics, or African ethics. This explanation of the theories will be one-third of
3. Explain what choice you think is best and why. In developing the analysis, you will need
to apply the two ethical theories that you explained above. If one theory does to
adequately address the question, you will explain why. This application of the theories
and analysis will be two-thirds of the essay.
Write a short conclusion in which you reflect on what insight you draw from this question and
the ways in which the theories can be applied. This conclusion will be around two paragraphs.
Assignment Points Summary
Graded Course Assignments Points
Initial Response to Discussion Question and Participation in
Discussion (25 points per week)
Weekly Summary (10 points per week) 80
Quizzes (7 at 10 points each) 70
Group Project (1 at 100 points each) 100
Essay Assignments (2 at 120 points each) 240
Outline for Final Assessment Essay 50
Final Assessment Essay 260
August 2021 | Upper Iowa University Page 7 of 12
A- 90-92% 900 – 929
B+ 87-89% 870 – 899
B 83-86% 830 – 869
B- 80-82% 800 – 829
C+ 77-79% 770 – 799
C 73-76% 730 – 769
C- 70-72% 700 – 729
D+ 67-69% 670 – 699
D 63-66% 630 – 669
D- 60-62% 600 – 629
F 0-59% 0 – 599
Grades and Feedback
All graded work available must be posted in the uiuLearn Gradebook by Sunday at 11:59pm
(CT) one week prior to the course drop date, as well as posted by Sunday at 11:59 pm prior to
the final week.
Turnitin is a tool for both teachers and students to ensure academic integrity by checking the
originality of submitted papers to avoid issues of plagiarism and academic dishonesty.
Students should be aware that Turnitin scans submitted work and compares it to ALL other
sources on file.
Occasionally it becomes necessary for an instructor to award a student a grade of incomplete
(“I”). An incomplete grade is exceptional and given only to students whose complete
coursework has been qualitatively satisfactory but who have been unable to complete all
course requirements because of documented cases of injury, illness, death in family, personal
crisis, military deployments, or other circumstances beyond their control. This grade should not
be awarded in cases where the student “fell behind” due to absences without explanation,
other class commitments, and/or work obligations.
August 2021 | Upper Iowa University Page 8 of 12
Weeks 1-7 are Monday through Sunday; Week 8 is Monday-Thursday.
Week Topics of
Activities Assessments Due Days
Read Roots of
Wisdom: Chapter 1:
as a PDF in the
Week 1 Content Area
• Carr “Is Google
Making us Stupid”
Post your Student
Complete W1 Quiz By Sunday
Reality Read Roots of
Wisdom: Chapter 2:
Reality and Being
Watch Video: David
Eagleman “What is
Additional readings in
Week 2 Content
• Plato, “Allegory of
Complete W2 Quiz By Sunday
Self Read Roots of
Wisdom: Chapter 3:
and video in Week 3
• Rothman, “As
Real as it
Complete W3 Quiz By Sunday
August 2021 | Upper Iowa University Page 9 of 12
Week Topics of
Activities Assessments Due Days
Aesthetics Read Roots of
Wisdom: Chapter 7:
Complete W4 Quiz By Sunday
Ethics Read Roots of
Wisdom: Chapter 10:
Additional material in
Week 4 Content
• Listen to
need a Hero”
• Read David
“The Brain on
Complete W5 Quiz
Submit week 5
essay to GenEd Arts
(Task 3) for UIU
Read Roots of
Wisdom: Chapter 8:
August 2021 | Upper Iowa University Page 10 of 12
Week Topics of
Activities Assessments Due Days
Complete W6 Quiz By Sunday
Submit Outline for
Read Roots of
Wisdom: Chapter 9:
Complete W7 Quiz By Sunday
Read Material in
Week 8 Content
“Where I Lived
and What I
Upper Iowa University employees and students are issued a UIU email account
([email protected]). University email communications will only be sent to UIU email address.
Faculty and staff are not obligated to respond to students using non-UIU email accounts.
Students and faculty should have access to a reliable up-to-date computer, updated virus
protection, and an Internet connection to access course materials and complete course
August 2021 | Upper Iowa University Page 11 of 12
You are expected to submit your work on time. If you are faced with a difficulty please contact
me to make arrangements.
Professional Writing and Speaking Guidelines
Communications in class and online should follow the Student Conduct and Discipline,
Respect for the University Environment, and Code of Student Responsibility in the Student
Handbook. Respect the opinions of others using appropriate language and communications.
University Policies are listed in detail within the course content on uiuLearn. Students are
responsible for reviewing and understanding the applicable policies.
It is the policy of Upper Iowa University to ensure equal access to educational and co-
curricular activities to students with disabilities as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities
Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A student
seeking accommodations should contact the Director of Student Accessibility Services as early
in the session as possible. In order to receive accommodations, students are required to
disclose their disability to the Director by completing an application for services that can be
found on the Student Accessibility Webpage. The Application Packet for New Students can be
found here: https://uiu.edu/experience/student-accessibility-services/ In addition to the
application packet, the student is required to submit supporting documentation. Submit these
to the Student Accessibility Services Office either in person or by email/Fax. A brief interview,
in-person, by phone or virtually, with the Director will confirm or deny the accommodations
requested. The Student Accessibility Services Office will email accommodation letters to the
appropriate professor, the student, and the student’s advisor. Additionally, students should
work cooperatively with their instructors throughout the session to make sure that their
accommodations are appropriate and effective.
Contact the Director at (563) 425-5949, [email protected] or stop by the office on the 2nd
floor of the Student Center, Office of Student Life, Room 229.
Emergency Directives: (Fire, Natural Disaster, Threat on campus, etc.)
In accordance with Upper Iowa University’s emergency management plan, any student that
requires assistance in the event of an emergency (Fire, natural disaster, threat on campus) is
responsible for notifying their instructor of the need for assistance. (Evacuation, and/or indoor
safety protocols) This information will be held confidential and only needed in the unlikely
event that there is an emergency.
August 2021 | Upper Iowa University Page 12 of 12
In recognition of the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), Upper
Iowa University reminds both faculty members and learners that a willful infringement of the
law may result in disciplinary action. The University library has available materials discussing
the “fair use” concept, along with criteria and guidelines for reproduction and use of
This syllabus is subject to change.
© 2021, Upper Iowa University
- PHIL 150: Introduction to Philosophy
- Session 1: August 30, 2021 – October 21, 2021
- Instructor Information
- Instructor Name: Lisa Gerber, Ph.D.
- UIU Faculty Email: [email protected]
- Telephone Number: (505) 507-1760 Mountain Time Zone
- Availability: Please feel free to call me anytime between 8am and 8pm. I do not have virtual office hours, but I am happy to talk over the phone or over Zoom. Please call me if you need immediate assistance. You can also leave a message or set up an a…
- Course Description
- Semester Credits: 3
- Catalog Course Description: A survey of the significant theories and theorists that have shaped the way human beings perceive their relationship to, and place in, the universe large. This course examines the classic questions of human existence: who a…
- Prerequisites: None
- Credit Hour Policy:
- Course Materials
- Required Textbooks
- Required Resources none
- Recommended Resources: none
- Ordering Textbooks
- Course Objectives
- General Education Assessment
- Course Requirements and Grading Criteria
- Discussion and Participation
- Final Assessment
- Write a short conclusion in which you reflect on what insight you draw from this question and the ways in which the theories can be applied. This conclusion will be around two paragraphs. Course Policies
- Grading Criteria
- Assignment Points Summary
- Grading Scale
- Grades and Feedback
- All graded work available must be posted in the uiuLearn Gradebook by Sunday at 11:59pm (CT) one week prior to the course drop date, as well as posted by Sunday at 11:59 pm prior to the final week.
- Course Schedule
- Course Expectations
- Technology Requirements
- Late Work
- Professional Writing and Speaking Guidelines
- University Policies
- Academic Accommodations
- It is the policy of Upper Iowa University to ensure equal access to educational and co-curricular activities to students with disabilities as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation …
- Contact the Director at (563) 425-5949, [email protected] or stop by the office on the 2nd floor of the Student Center, Office of Student Life, Room 229.
- Emergency Directives: (Fire, Natural Disaster, Threat on campus, etc.)
- In accordance with Upper Iowa University’s emergency management plan, any student that requires assistance in the event of an emergency (Fire, natural disaster, threat on campus) is responsible for notifying their instructor of the need for assistance…
- Copyright Statement