• Course Information
    Section Number: 011
    Credit Hours: 3
    Time: Mondays and Wednesdays 11:00am-12:20pm
    Place: BEC 136

    Instructor Information
    Name: Joel Schmit
    Office: Beeville Campus, C-157
    Phone Number: (361) 354-2323
    Email: jschmit@coastalbend.edu

    Textbook Information
    —Title: What Does It All Mean? by Thomas Nagel
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    ISBN-10: 0195052161

    Course Description
    In this course, we will come up against the central problems of philosophy, problems concerning, among other things, the nature of reality, the possibility of knowledge, and the foundation of morality. The purpose of the course is to give each student the opportunity to think about and discuss philosophical questions and answers with their fellow students while being guided by an instructor. Students will also be given the opportunity to write about the philosophical problems they encounter in the course, which will enable them to develop the ability to formulate and express their thoughts in a coherent manner.

    Course Requirements
    —Attendance is required. Excessive absences will result in the student being withdrawn from the course by the instructor, or in the student failing the course. For a course that meets twice a week, four absences will be considered excessive.
    —Ten to twenty pages of reading will be assigned for each class meeting. Students will come to each class prepared to discuss the assigned reading.
    —Throughout the semester, students will complete a variety of writing assignments covering the reading and discussion topics.
    —Students will take two exams during the semester: a midterm exam and a final exam. The final exam will be taken as scheduled by Coastal Bend College. It will be cumulative.

    Evaluation Methods
    Writing Assignments: 20%
    Exams: 80%
    Grading Scale: 100 - 90% = A, 89 - 80% = B, 79 - 70% = C, 69 - 60% = D, 59 - 0% = F

    Student Learning Outcomes
    —Students will come up against the central problems of philosophy and will also be exposed to a variety of ideas concerning the nature of those problems.
    —Students will learn how to read difficult philosophical texts, write basic philosophical essays, and discuss important philosophical problems. By doing so, they will improve their reading, writing, and discussion skills in general.

    Late Policy
    —Late submissions will not be accepted for coursework sections.
    —If a student misses one of the exams, and the student has a documented excuse for missing the exam, the exam can be made up.

    Semester Schedule
    1. Week One: Introduction to Philosophy
    2. Week Two: Chapter One, How Do We Know Anything?
    3. Week Three: Chapter One (continued)
    4. Week Four: Chapter Two, Other Minds
    5. Week Five: Chapter Two (continued)
    6. Week Six: Chapter Three, The Mind-Body Problem
    7. Week Seven: Chapter Three (continued)
    8. Week Eight: Midterm Exam
    9. Week Nine: Chapter Four, The Meaning of Words
    10. Week Ten: Chapter Four (continued)
    11. Week Eleven: Chapter Five, Free Will
    12. Week Twelve: Chapter Five (continued)
    13. Week Thirteen: Chapter Six, Right and Wrong
    14. Week Fourteen: Chapter Six (continued)
    15. Week Fifteen: Review
    16. Week Sixteen: Final Exam

    ADA Statement
    No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the College District, or be subjected to discrimination by the College District. Nor shall the College District exclude or otherwise deny equal services, programs, or activities to an individual because of the known disability of an individual with whom the individual is known to have a relationship or association. 42 U.S.C. 12132; 28 CFR 35.130(g)

    Academic Dishonesty
    Each student is charged with notice and knowledge of the contents and provisions of Coastal Bend College’s rules and regulations concerning student conduct. All students shall obey the law, show respect for properly constituted authority, and observe correct standards of conduct. Scholastic dishonesty shall constitute a violation of these rules and regulations and is punishable as prescribed by Board policies. Scholastic dishonesty shall include, but not be limited to, cheating on a test, plagiarism, and collusion. (See the Student Handbook for further explanation of Scholastic Dishonesty.)

    Copyright Law and Intellectual Property Rights Policy
    Copyright is the right of an author, artist, composer or other creator of a work of authorship to control the use of his or her work by others. Protection extends to literary works, musical works, dramatic works, pantomimes and choreographic works, pictorial and graphic works, sculpture, motion pictures and other audiovisual works, sound recordings and architectural works. Generally speaking, a copyrighted work may not be reproduced by others without the copyright owner's permission. The public display or performance of copyrighted works is similarly restricted. Generally, the unauthorized reproduction, performance or distribution of a copyrighted work is copyright infringement and may subject the infringer to civil and criminal penalties. The Fair Use Doctrine outlines exceptions to this Law and is outlined in Coastal Bend College Policy, CT (Legal).

    Coastal Bend College, its faculty, students and employees must comply with Copyright Law. Detailed information on Copyright Law and Intellectual Property Rights is available in Coastal Bend College Policy CT (Legal) and CT (Local). Questions regarding this information should be directed to the Librarian of the College or the Public Relations Office.


    Coastal Bend College does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, age or disability.