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Philosophy 201

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Course Syllabus

PHIL 201
Philosophy and Contemporary Ideas

Course Description
A survey of the major positions and figures in philosophy and the cultural worldviews and practical applications that derive from them, focusing specifically on theism, naturalism and humanism in contemporary thought.

PHIL 201’s purpose extends beyond degree completion to the spiritual edification of Liberty University students both as disciples of Christ and ambassadors of the Christian faith. It equips students to defend their faith against the intellectual attacks of non-believers by exposing the issues and problems of philosophy.

I. Prerequisites

II. Required Resource Purchases
Dew, J. K., & Foreman, M. W. (2014). How do we know? Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. ISBN: 9780830840366. (E-book available through MBS Direct).
Evans, C. S., & Manis, R. Z. (2009). Philosophy of religion: Thinking about faith (2nd ed.). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. ISBN: 9780830838769.
Foreman, M. W. (2014). Prelude to philosophy. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. ISBN: 9780830839605. (E-book available through MBS Direct).
Hasker, W. (1983). Metaphysics: constructing a worldview. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. ISBN: 9780877843412.
Holmes, A. F. (2007). Ethics: approaching moral decisions (2nd ed.). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. ISBN: 9780830828036.
Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

III. Additional Materials for Learning A. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment B. Internet access (broadband recommended) C. Microsoft Office

IV. Measurable Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: D. Explain the characteristics of philosophy. E. Explain why the development of the philosophical mindset is important in general and for Christians in particular. F. Demonstrate deductive and inductive reasoning through identification of valid and invalid argument forms. G. Analyze major philosophical issues within the different divisions of philosophy. H. Explain major terms and concepts in philosophy. I. Describe a Christian philosophical viewpoint on major philosophical issues in one’s own words. J. Assess different movements and thinkers within each division of philosophy from a Christian worldview. K. Evaluate major philosophical problems and questions within each division of philosophy from a Christian worldview.

V. Course Requirements and Assignments L. Textbook readings and lecture presentations M. Course Requirements Checklist
After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1. N. Group Discussion Board Forums (2)
There will be 2 Group Discussion Board Forums throughout the course. For this collaborative discussion board, groups will be assigned alphabetically by last name. The purpose of the Group Discussion Board Forums is to generate interaction among students in regard to relevant current course topics. The student is required to post 1 thread of at least 350 words. In addition to the thread, the student must post 1 reply of at least 200 words. O. Essay
The student will complete 3 short readings on “Plato,” “Descartes,” and “The Matrix.” The student will then write an essay of at least 600 words addressing the questions provided. Research and use of outside sources is encouraged, but not required. The Essay must be submitted through Safe Assign. P. Response Paper
The student will write a critical response to the article by H. J. McCloskey titled "On Being an Atheist." The paper must be at least 1,500 words (approximately 6 pages) and must reflect an understanding of material covered in the course. The Response Paper must be submitted through Safe Assign. Q. Quizzes (8)
The student will take a quiz in each module/week of the course. Each quiz is open-book/open-notes and will cover the course material in each respective module/week. The student will have 45 minutes to answer 20 multiple-choice, true/false, and short answer questions.

VI. Course Grading and Policies A. Points Course Requirements Checklist | 10 | Group Discussion Board Forums (2 at 100 pts ea) | 200 | Essay | 120 | Response Paper | 200 | Quizzes (8 at 60 pts ea) | 480 | Total | 1010 | B. Scale
A = 900–1010 B = 800–899 C = 700–799 D = 600–699 F = 0–599 C. Late Assignment Policy
If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.
Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions: 1. Late assignments submitted within one week of the due date will receive a 10% deduction. 2. Assignments submitted more than one week late will receive a 20% deduction. 3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted. 4. Late Discussion Board threads or replies will not be accepted.
Special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, personal health issues) will be reviewed by the instructor on a case-by-case basis. D. Disability Assistance
Students with a documented disability may contact Liberty University Online’s Office of Disability Academic Support (ODAS) at to make arrangements for academic accommodations. Further information can be found at

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