Brandeis University, Philosophy Department
Fall 2009
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.
Course Requirements will also be handed out on the first day of class. Readings will almost exclusively be drawn from the introductory text: INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY: Classical and Contemporary Readings, 5TH EDITION, edited by John Perry, Michael Bratman and John Martin Fisher, Oxford University Press, 2009. See the (Table of Contents). Take a Virtual Tour of Oxford University. Copies of the text are available at the Brandeis University Book Store in Shapiro.

See (also) the Online Resources from Oxford for the Introduction to Philosophy text.


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 ten (10) 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 will be no other examinations, final or otherwise.


Five percent of your final grade will be for participation. You may meet the participation requirement by attending discussion sessions, meeting with your TA, asking questions in class. You also 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 discussion. You may also meet this requirement by participating in conversations about controversies and issues with friends and relatives as well as others on campus or who are also enrolled in the class.

You will also have an opportunity at the end of the semester to mention these conversations in an email about the ways you have met the participation requirement. You may also meet the participation requirement by engaging in a combination of all three methods: by participating in the online forum, participating in class discussions and keeping a journal.


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 papers, a participation requirement and a quiz. 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, although after a brief discussion on the first day of class it was decided that one of the four papers will not be graded. It will be a credit/no credit paper, although which of the four papers will not be graded and will be credit/no credit will be a surprise. [See THE SURPRISE EXAM if you wish to reflect further on what a "surprise" credit/no credit paper might mean in this context.

One thing it means is that there will only be three graded papers. These three writing exercises will be broken down as follows: 40% for your best effort, 30% for your next best effort, and 20% for the one that is least successful of the three. The journal and/or participation in class, discussion sessions and on the online forum or on Facebook will count 5%. And the quiz will also count 5%.


To date, Lauren Leydon-Hardy, Wesley Mattingly and Holger Thiel have been assigned to this class. Teaching Fellows are 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 Introductory Course at Harvard University also taught this summer, the summer of 2009. Harvard Course .


I will hold office hours on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1:40 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. and by appointment. My office is in the Rabb Graduate Center on the third floor, in Rabb 303. If you wish to leave messages for me, send an e-mail to me at Andreas Teuber

I have recently been holding "office hours" in the small Cafe or Snack Bar in the Schneider Building at the Heller School and it seems likely I shall continue to do so after class throughout the Fall.

The Teaching Fellows will also hold office hours. Those times will be announced.

  • Lauren Leydon-Hardy
  • Office hours: TBA
  • Email: < >

  • Wesley Mattingly
  • Office hours: TBA
  • Email: < >

  • Holger Thiel
  • Office hours: TBA
  • Email: <>


    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.




    [PHIL 1A] [Syllabus] [Handouts] [Home] [Bio] [CV] [PHIL DEPT.] [E-MAIL]

    Send comments to: Andreas Teuber
    Last Modified: 08/26/09
    Instructor's Toolkit
    Copyright © The President and Fellows of Harvard College