Phl. 302
Dr. Uzgalis
Winter 1996





Jan. 9 -----1---- 1492 and all that.
Jan. 11 Aristotle and the American Indians; Packet Part 1
Jan. 16 ----2---- Renaissance and Reformation; handout
Jan. 18 Descartes and Skepticism Med. I; Cottingham, 31--50
Jan. 23 ----3----Descartes and Science Med. II--III
Jan. 25 Descartes and God Med. III--V
Jan. 30 ----4----Descartes and the Mind Med. VI; Cottingham Ch. 3
Feb. 1 Spinoza and Substance
--Midterm study questions passed out--
Cottingham Ch. 4
Feb. 6 -----5---- Locke and Empiricism Essay II.1--10
Feb. 8 Midterm
Feb. 13 ----6---- Locke on Science and free will E. II. 13--23
Feb. 15 Locke on Identity E. II. 27; Woolhouse Ch. 6 opt
Feb. 20 ----7---- Locke on civil government Sec. Tre. chap 1--9
Feb. 22 Locke on revolution
--Draft of paper due--
S.T. Chap. 15--19
Feb. 27 ----8---- Slavery and natural rightsEquiano: Chap. 1-10
Feb. 29 Racism and the nature of man Equiano, Chap. 11-14: Packet, Popkin -end
Mar. 5 -----9----Berkeley and qualities Berk. pp. 217--234
Mar. 7 Berkeley and immaterialism Berk. pp. 234-252; Wollhouse Ch 7 opt
Mar. 12 ---10---- Hume on ideas, causation and the problem of induction
--Final draft of papers due--
Enquiry 1--5, and 8; Wollhouse Ch 8 opt.
Mar. 14Hume on skepticism Enquiry 12

Mar. 20 Wenesday 9:30 A.M. FINAL



  1. Cottingham, The Rationalists, OUP
  2. Descartes, Meditations
  3. The Empiricists
  4. Locke, Second Treatise of Government
  5. Equiano, Equiano's Travels
  6. Philosophy and Racism (packet)
  7. Writing Philosophy Papers: A student Guide 2n ed.


  • Woolhouse, The Empiricists, OUP


Web site and electronic conversations

There is a new World Wide Web (WWW) site for this class and an e-mail class list. We are going to make as much use of these electronic resources as we can. This will involve a series of weekly e-mail conversations and periodic exercises making use of the resources of the web site. So, you must have an e-mail address. If you do not have a UCS e-mail address you must go to the Milne computer center and get one. I expect you to have a UCS account and subscribe yourself to the class mailing list by the end of the first week you are in the class. You access the web site by using a web browser such as Netscape or Mosaic. You can find computers with web browsers in a variety of locations on campus, including Kerr Library and the Computer Science Public Computing Lab on the first floor of Hovland Hall. If your home computer has a web browser on it you can access this material from home.

It is worth noting that this is the first time I have used this technology in this class. There are likely going to be difficulties and frustrations for all of us. Please bear with me, our difficulties and attendant frustrations are in a good cause.

For a C grade

Your Personal Log and Travel Journal: Conversations, Questions and Exercises: There will be a series of reading guides for many (though likely not all) of the texts we are readings. Some of these will be true/false questions, some multiple choice and some will involve short answers. All of these questions will be handed out in class. There will be copies of these questions on the web site.

I plan to try to get you to answer as many of these question sets electronically as I can. Those which you do not answer electronically will be turned in in class. In the case of true/false and multiple choice questions I will ask you to answer all the questions. These question sets will be graded. We will then use some of these questions as the basis for conversation both electronic and otherwise.

In cases where the questions need short answers, I will ask you to write answers to one of these questions and to post your answer to the class mail list. In these cases I will either simply give you a grade (or a certain number of points) for comple ting the assignment, or I will do this and grade the answers as well (assigning a certain number of additional points). I will not tell you which of these I am going to do ahead of time. Different students will be answering different questions.

There are at least two important functions which these questions perform. First, in answering them you articulate your understanding of the text, and because this requires more than simply passively reading, you come to understand the text in a better way. Second, it forms the basis for a conversation. This conversation may simply involve sorting out what the text is saying, or it may involve considering the philosophical consequences and implications of the position you are articulating. What will make this conversation happen? After a while it will happen because you are comfortable with the medium and interested in the topics you are discussing. At the start it will happen because of a requirement. In grading your e-mail conversational efforts (that is your responding to the answers to assigned questions and to other resulting messages), I will not be judging the quality of your performance (though if you write a bunch of nonsense syllables I will not count it as a performance of the task), but simply whether you do it.

Besides answering questions posed to you, each of you must also respond to at least five student messages each week. Your answers to these questions and the responses to them will serve as a starting point for our electronic conversations. This kind of guided philosophical conversation is a powerful process for coming to understand the material. Understanding the material is the key to doing well on exams and papers.

There will also be in class exercises. Some of these will be ungraded, others will have the same status as the questions.

During the course of the term I expect you to keep a log of the time that you engage in e-mail activities and use the web site and a brief description of those activities. This log will be part of your personal travel journal. In the journal you will keep the log and some other things. You will keep (among other things) copies of your answers to questions about the texts, your in class exercises, and some samples of particularly interesting e-mail conversations. This journal will, by the end of the term be in hard copy (i.e. paper in a folder or note book) which you will turn in. There will be a handout in class explaining the nature of this Travel Log and Journal.

Midterm and Final: There will be a midterm and a final. These will be essay exams. For in class exams I pass out study questions a week before the exam. The questions on the exam come out of the study questions. So, if you adequately prepare to answer all the study questions you can be guaranteed that you are prepared for the exams.

How your course grade (C--F) is calculated. The midterm will count %40 of your grade, the final %60. For a grade of C one must take the exams and average a grade of at least a C. One must also get at least half of the available points for the Travel Log and Journal. Failure to get at least half the available points on the Travel Journal will result in your course grade being lowered by one full grade.

For a grade of B or A

For a grade of B or A one must meet the Travel Log and Journal requirement noted above, that is, get at least half of the available points. Your (A-B) grade on the Travel Log will depend on how many points you get beyond half of the available points. One must take the exams and average a B or A grade on the Travel Log, the exams and the paper. In the calculation of your (A-B) course grade, the Travel 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 a packet: "Writing Philosophy Papers: A Student Guide" This will also provide you with help in writing your paper, the essay exams for the course, and likely enough some of the exercises.

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 discussion by raising their grade when they are on a borderline.

This is a four unit course

This is a four unit class which meets three hours a week. The fourth hour you will be working on exercises on the Great Voyages web site, e-mail conversations or at home or doing research for your term paper. Incidentally, while I do not count attendance directly in your grade, failure to attend class over an extended period (more than two weeks absence without written medical documentation) may well result in your failing the class.


Philosophy Dept. Office Hours: 8:00 - 12:00 1:00 - 5:00 Monday through Friday
Philosophy Dept phone: 737-2955
Dr. Uzgalis' Office Hours: M. 10:30--11.20 TR 4--5 and by appointment

I am always happy to see students during office hours. You are welcome to come by and talk about the material or other topic of interest to you. I expect you to come in and talk to me if you are having difficulties with the material or if you are having problems which might interfere with your work. I also expect you to come in regularly to talk about your progress with the term paper project. I will try to schedule times throughout the term for this purpose.

Office Location: Hovland Hall 205
Office Phone Number: 737-5650
E-mail address:

You can leave messages for me on my phone or e-mail me at any time of day.

Web master: Bill Uzgalis
Philosophy Department
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331 Last Updated: 1/96