Professor Gary Jason, PhD | Introduction to Philosophy

Introduction to Philosophy

Course Syllabus

PH 100 Introduction to Philosophy                         SDSU

Fall 200x

Teacher: Dr. Gary Jason

Phone: 888-231-8183                               email:

Office: AH5132         Hours: MWF 11:00-noon and by appointment

Texts:  (1) Philosophy of Religion (Rowe)

(2) Philosophy of Mind (Jacquette)

(3) Basic Logic Notes (Jason)

Course Description: The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to a variety of philosophic issues, as well as the methodology used by philosophers to address those issues. The focus of the course will be on issues surrounding the nature and existence of God, and the nature of the human mind.

Learning Goals: This is a beginning course in Philosophy, and as such it has no prerequisites. The major general goals are for the student to acquire the ability to read and follow philosophic writing, and write essays that set forth a philosophic position and argue for it. Through the readings, the student will become familiar with:

  • The nature of Philosophy
  • The nature of miracles and mystic testimony
  • The teleological, cosmological and ontological arguments for the existence of God
  • The problem of evil
  • Nonevidential theism/atheism
  • The features of the mind
  • Major positions on the mind/body problem
  • The problem of free will
  • The soul and afterlife

Assessment Procedures: The student is expected to attend regularly (no more than six absences will be allowed), and keep up with the required readings. Additionally, there will be a midterm and a final examination, both essay format, and three short papers on assigned topics. The weighting is as follows:

Midterm = 35%

Final exam = 35%

Short papers = 30%


Policy on Cheating: Any student who cheats at any time in my class will receive an “F” for the entire course, and I will turn the incident over to the Chairperson of the Department for whatever further action is required by the University. For further explanation, visit my website.

Class Policies:

  • If you miss more than five classes, you must withdraw from the class. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IF YOU WITHDRAW FROM THE COURSE IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO SUBMIT THE DROP CARD.
  • Two lates = one absence.
  • Make sure that you can attend all the scheduled classes at the regular scheduled time BEFORE enrolling.
  • Please read any assigned readings before class, so that you are better able to follow the lecture and participate in class discussion.
  • Please do not talk in class unless it is part of class discussion.
  • Please try to arrive on time, and not to leave early. If you must leave early, please let me know before class, and when you leave exit as quietly as possible.
  • When you turn in a class paper, please keep a photocopy of it in case it gets lost.

Lecture Sequence:

(1) What is philosophy?                                  (10) Nonevidential theism.

(2) Basic logic and critical                              (11) Nonevidential atheism.

thinking.                                                        (12) Mind vs. Body

(3) The problem of one and many.                 (13) Marks of the mental.

(4) Mystic testimony.                                        (14) Dualism.

(5) Miracles.                                                      (15) Behaviorism.

(6) Teleological argument.                               (16) Idealism.

(7) Cosmological argument.                            (17) Identity theory.

(8) Ontological argument.                                (18) Free will.

(9) The problem of evil.                                    (19) Soul and afterlife.