PHL302 Mechanics

Ports of Call




  1. Descartes, Meditations On First Philosophy
  2. The Empiricists (Locke, Berkeley, Hume)
  3. Locke, Second Treatise of Government
  4. Class Notes (packet)
  5. Writing Philosophy Papers: A student Guide (You can buy the hard back copy or use the on-line version of the Guide.)


Web site and conversations There are two World Wide Web (WWW) sites for this class and an e-mail class list. You access the web site by using a web browser such as Netscape or Internet Explorer.
  • The URL for the primary web site for the class is This site has the lectures, commentaries on the texts we are reading, and instructions about the activities you will do.
  • The older Great Voyages web site also has a good deal of material which may be useful to you. The URL for this secondary site is:
  • There is a link on the index page of the Great Voyages site to the web based discussion forum(s) for the course.

If your home computer has a web browser on it you can access this material from home.

For a C grade


You will be keeping a journal in which you will talk about what you have discovered in each unit, and what you make out of it. For more information about the journal see the Assignments page.

Midterm and Final: There will be a midterm and a final. These will be essay exams. I will send you study questions a week before the exam. The questions on the exam come straight from the list of the study questions.

How your course grade (C--F) is calculated. The journal will count 30% of your grade, the midterm 30%, and the final 50%. For a grade of C one must write the journal, take the exams and average a grade of at least a C. No research paper is required. Note that if you choose this option, no matter if you get As on everything, but do not write a research paper, you still get a C for the course.

For a grade of B or A

For a grade of B or A one must write the journal, take the exams and average a B or A grade on the journal, the exams and the paper. In the calculation of your (A-B) course grade, the Journal will count as 20% of your grade, the midterm will count 20%, the final 30%, and the paper 30% of the total.

Research Paper: The paper is a 10 to 12 page research paper. (This means a title page and a minimum of 10 full pages of text.) I will supply you with a variety of possible topics. The web site has also been designed to provide you with a good deal of information which will help you in deciding on a paper topic and writing your paper. One of the required books for the class is: Writing Philosophy Papers: A Student Guide. If you do not want to buy the Guide, that is no problem. It is now available on line. Still, it may be handy to have the paper version. This will also provide you with help in writing your paper, the essay exams for the course, and likely enough some of the exercises.

The format for the paper should be problem/solution. This means you have to find a philosophical problem and do something about it in the course of your paper. Students often want to know if they should include their own opinions. The answer to this is that insofar as your opinions grow out of the discourse, the effort to show by producing argument or evidence that we should look at things one way or another, they certainly have a place in a paper like this. On the other hand, if your opinion does not grow out of the discourse, if it is just an add on, it is not going to have an organic place in the paper and will be of little interest. For more information about writing Research papers see Writing Philosophy Papers: A Student Guide and the material under Writing and research on the Great Voyages web site. In that section you can also find a section on paper topics and how to choose a paper topic.

Since discussion in class as well as in the electronic media we are using is very important to this class, everyone should note that while class participation is not given a formal place in the grading scheme, I often reward people who participate actively in class (or e-mail) discussion by raising their grade when they are on a borderline.


Philosophy Dept. Office Hours 8:00 - 12:00 1:00 - 5:00 Monday through Friday
Philosophy Dept phone: 737-2955
Dr. Uzgalis' Office Hours: Wed. 10:00--11:00, R. 3:00--4:00 and by appointment
Dr. Uzgalis' Office Location: Hovland Hall 205
Dr. Uzgalis' Office Phone Number: 737-5650
E-mail address:

You are welcome to e-mail or call me if you want to talk about the material or other matters of interest to you. If you are on campus, or at some point come to campus, I would be delighted to meet you. I expect you to talk to me if you are having dif ficulties with the material or if you are having problems which might interfere with your work. I also expect you to to communicate with me regularly about your progress with the term paper project. You can leave messages for me on my phone or e-mail me at any time of day.