Brandeis University, Philosophy Department
Fall 2006
Brandeis University Web Stite

Philosophy 1A

Course Requirements

Professor Andreas Teuber
Prof. Teuber


The course will be divided into four sections, focusing on central topics and debates within philosophy. After a brief Introduction, the first section is devoted to God and Religion, the second to Mind and Body, the third to Knowledge and Reality, and the fourth and final section to Ethics, Justice and the Good Life. Reading assignments will be blocked out week by week for each section. See PART ONE of the reading for the course at The Syllabus Online

Required Reading (Available at the Brandeis Book Store):
REASON AND RESPONSIBILITY: Readings in Some Basic Problems of Philosophy, TWELTH EDITION, edited by Joel Feinberg and Russ Schafer-Landau, Thomson/Wadsworth, 2005. See the table of contents.
Also a number of articles, handouts and supplementary materials will be handed out in class and available Online.


Four papers are required on topics growing out of the readings and class discussions. The papers should be about 5-7 pages in length. Paper topics will be available at least seven (7) days before a paper is due. It is wise to make a copy of a paper before handing in the original. If you are working on a computer, make a back-up.


There will be one quiz in class. There wuill be no other examinations, final or otherwise.


You shall also be asked to keep a journal throughout the Fall semester. The journal should not be used for note-taking or for jotting down quotations or for making commentaries on the readings (although you may wish to use a separate note-book for these tasks), but should be reserved exclusively to give and develop your own answers to certain basic questions in philosophy. Questions will arise and be identified during the course of lectures and discusssion and a list of questions will be handed out at various times and on various occasions. You may also meet this requirement by participating in the online forum A Bulletin Board has been set up for this purpose to enable you to go online and thrash out some of the especially knotty questions raised in our discussions. The Forum will be part of the WebCT set up for PHIL 1A. You may meet the journal requirement by, quite understandably, keeping a journal, by answering and responding to questions as a participant in the online forum, by participating in class discussions, by attending the (optional) discussion sessions, by visiting and discussing your paper or papers with your TA or by engaging in a combination of the five.


Attendance is required. You are allowed two unexcused absences. Otherwise, if you miss a class, you will need a documented excuse. Any further absences will have an impact on your final grade.


There are four main pieces of work in the course, four 5-7 page papers. For these four pieces of work, the grading will be broken down as follows: 30% for your strongest effort, 25% for your next best effort, 20% for your next best effort after that, and 15% for the one which is least successful of the four. There is, however, that one of the four papers will be graded simply as a credit/no credit paper. To receive "credit" your paper must show some signs of life, that is, some signs of thought, of thinking, thoughtfulness. If we elect to have one of the papers become credit/no credit, there will be more disucssion of what it means for a paper to climb over the threshhold and get credit and what it will take to fall below the threshhold. The journal and/or participation in class and on the online forum will count 5% and the quiz 5%.


To date, Sharon Fray-Witzer and Dan Breen have been assigned to this class. The Teaching Fellows will be primarily responsible for reading the papers and making comments on them as well as participating in and leading discussions on the readings and questions that come up in class. I shall look at all the papers before grades are handed out. If you are convinced an error has been made, first talk with the teaching fellow with whom you have been working. If you are still not satisfied, you may bring your paper to me.


The course will have its own Web Site. The Web address for the Harvard Version is also still ONLINE. The INTRO Course this Fall at Brandeis will "mirror" the form and content of the Harvard Course .


I will hold office hours on Wednesdays and Thusdays from 1:15 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. and by appointment. My office is in the Rabb Graduate Center, Room 306. If you wish to leave messages for me, send me an e-mail me at>. The Teaching Fellows will also hold office hours. Those times will be announced.

Sharon Fray-Witzer can be reached at

Dan Breen may be reached at

NOTE: If you a student with a documented disability on record and you would like to have a reasonable accommodation made for you in INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY, please contact me as soon as possible.




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Last Modified: 08/26/06
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