Syllabus for HUM-101
INTRODUCTION TO THE HUMANITIES I: PHILOSOPHICAL THOUGHT
Introduction to the Humanities: Philosophical Thought examines the question: How do we live a meaningful life? Drawing from a range of Western philosophers, the course examines the basic tension between the Greco-Roman tradition of secular humanism and the traditions of theistic religion (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). Students will absorb and digest philosophical ideas from Plato, sacred texts (the Bible and the Koran), Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, Frankl, and Weil, among others. Course content consists of a series of half-hour video lectures along with text readings. Throughout, the course challenges students to consider and reconsider what constitutes a meaningful life. This course is based on the course "Philosophy, Religion, and the Meaning of Life" from the Teaching Company.
After completing this course, you should be able to:
- Discuss the roles that philosophy and religion play in the search for a meaningful life.
- Describe the contrasting metaphors of hero and saint.
- Discuss philosophical development from the Greek heroic ideal through Plato's citizen-hero and the philosopher-ruler of Stoic thought.
- Differentiate the saint from the hero through further study of the "religions of the book": Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
- Discuss the development of philosophical concepts of individualism, humanism, skepticism, and secularism from the Middle Ages through the Enlightenment.
- Examine the effects of cultural and historical traumas of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries on the search for meaning .
- Discuss philosophical concepts of freedom, responsibility, and suffering introduced by existentialism and the Holocaust.
- Examine the philosophy of Simone Weil and her quest for wholeness and social justice.
- Apply philosophical ideas about a meaningful life to contemporary problems.
You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbooks are available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.
- Philosophy, Religion, and the Meaning of Life (The Great Courses Series) by Dr. Francis J. Ambrosio, Georgetown University. 36 half-hour videos.
The video programs are being offered via streaming video technology through the course Web site. See the Video Playlist in the top section of the course space.
- Cahn, Steven M. Classics of Western Philosophy, 8th ed. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 2007.
Note: the next three texts are available from multiple publishers (and sometimes in multiple translations), and each edition will have its own ISBN number. The following are three available editions.
- Kierkegaard, Soren. Fear and Trembling. Seattle, WA: Pacific Publishing Studio, 2010.
- Guignon, Charles B., ed. The Grand Inquisitor, with related chapters from the Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1993.
- Frankl, Viktor E. Man's Search for Meaning. New York,: Pocket, 1985.
Introduction to the Humanities I: Philosophical Thought is a three-credit online course, consisting of seven modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.
- Module 2: The Greco-Roman Tradition
- Module 3: The Judeo-Christian and Islamic Traditions
- Module 4: Medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment Thought
- Module 5: The Mid-Nineteenth Through the Early Twentieth Century
- Module 6: The Twentieth Century: Existentialism and the Quest for Meaning
- Module 7: The Secular Saint in Contemporary Culture
For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and complete a final project. See below for more details.
Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.
One or more of your course activities may utilize a tool designed to promote original work and evaluate your submissions for plagiarism. More information about this tool is available in this document.
You are required to participate in seven graded discussion forums as well as an ungraded "Introductions" forum. The online discussions are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.
Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the online discussion forum rubric used to aid in the grading of all online discussions.
You are required to complete seven written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.
Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the written assignment rubric used to aid in the grading of all written assignments.
There is no midterm or final examination in this course. A paper of 2,000 to 2,500 words acts as your final assessment and is worth 30 percent of your grade. You may begin work on this paper at any time during the course, but you must submit it by the last day of the semester.
The final paper will allow you to demonstrate your mastery of course objectives and concepts. It gives you the opportunity to use what you have learned during the semester to discuss your view of the question: How does a person live a meaningful life?
A full description of the paper is provided within the course. Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the final paper rubric used to aid in the grading of the final paper.
GRADING AND EVALUATION
Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:
- Online discussions (7)—28 percent
- Written assignments (7)—42 percent
- Final paper—30 percent
All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).
STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
First Steps to Success
To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:
- Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.
- Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State University.
- Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.
- If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.
Consider the following study tips for success:
- To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the Course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
- Check Announcements regularly for new course information.
Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.
Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.
All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at www.tesu.edu.
Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:
- Gaining or providing unauthorized access to examinations or using unauthorized materials during exam administration
- Submitting credentials that are false or altered in any way
- Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
- Forgery, fabricating information or citations, or falsifying documents
- Submitting the work of another person in whole or in part as your own (including work obtained through document sharing sites, tutoring schools, term paper companies, or other sources)
- Submitting your own previously used assignments without prior permission from the mentor
- Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others (including making tests, papers, and other course assignments available to other students, either directly or through document sharing sites, tutoring schools, term paper companies, or other sources)
- Tampering with the academic work of other students
Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.
If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)
Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.
Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.
Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.
For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance, click the links provided below.
Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism
When to Quote and When to Paraphrase
Writing Assistance at Smarthinking
Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism
Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.
If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.
If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.
Possible sanctions include:
- Lower or failing grade for an assignment
- Lower or failing grade for the course
- Rescinding credits
- Rescinding certificates or degrees
- Recording academic sanctions on the transcript
- Suspension from the University
- Dismissal from the University
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