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Philosophy Dept | Library Philosophy Guide

PHIL 2101H Introduction to the Problems of Philosophy (Shottenkirk) (Fall 2019): Home

Professor Dena Shottenkirk

Course Objectives

  1. Students will gain a basic understanding of the broad discipline of philosophy.
  2. Students will develop their ability to write and verbally communicate their ideas; in general, they will be able to formulate an argument in support of or in opposition to a claim, and specifically, they will be able to formulate an argument in relation to key philosophical questions with regard to the issues examined in the course.

Course Information

Philosophy 2101H
Fall 2019
TTh 11:00-12:15
Dr. Dena Shottenkirk

Downloadable Syllabus

Course Policies

Attendance: Students arriving more than 5 minutes late will not be admitted to class. 
Class participation: Students are expected to participate in class discussions giving comments relevant to the text and readings.  No devices are allowed in class. Texting on phones or surfing the internet will result in a dropped grade of 2% for each separate instance. Students are expected to maintain professional demeanor and decorum. Any sleeping in class, getting up and walking around, plugging in of your phone, answering of telephones, or other behavior that would not be suitable in the professional workplace/meeting environment is also not allowed in class. Any such behavior will result in a 2% penalty of the overall grade.
  • Paper #1: Write a 5 page paper (Times New Roman, 11 font, 1” margins top, bottom, sides) that is critical analysis of any two readings to date (this section is an exegesis only). 
  • Paper #2: Write a 7 page paper (Times New Roman, 11 font, 1” margins top, bottom, sides) that is critical analysis of any two reading to date: this can be a comparison. Five to six pages should be exegesis followed by a page to two pages of your argument against or for the readings. 
The papers can be re-written, responding to the professor’s comments.  That grade is the final grade. Any late papers will receive a 2/3 grade penalty.
Test: Final, true/false test. Not graded on a curve. 
Assessment and Grading:
Paper #1: 20% 
Paper #2: 30%
Final Exam (not graded on curve): 30%
Class participation: 10%
Attendance: 10%
Will not be tolerated.  Plagiarism consists of copying something and not giving credit to the author. All words must be your words, otherwise they must be properly cited.  See
Email: o
Office hours: Wednesday 1-2, 4300 Boylan. I do not check email over the weekend.  Please limit emails to essential communication; it is not necessary to email regarding missed classes or illness. It is better to speak in person regarding that. Everyone has three possible absences that do not count. After that, you will need a doctor’s note and can simply bring that to me in class. 
How to succeed in this class:  
  • Keep up on readings.  Come to class prepared and expect to read the texts at least twice.  Outline the main points.  Quiz yourself or have a classmate quiz you.
  • Participate in Class Discussions.  If you have not understood some of the material, ask in class for a fuller explanation.
  • Study for the test with a study group.
  • Re-write the papers.  I offer students the chance to re-write their papers and to raise the grade on the basis of the comments I make. (one time offer per paper only!)
Students must request academic accommodations within first two weeks of semester. Please talk to me privately if there is an issue you would like me to help you with.  In order to receive disability-related academic accommodations, students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services (CSDS). Students who have a documented disability or suspect they may have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the director of the CSDS, Valerie Stewart-Lovell, 138 Roosevelt Hall, 718.951.5538. If you have already registered with the CSDS, please provide me with the paperwork.
Regarding Religious Holidays: Please note page 66 in the Undergraduate Bulletin and its reference to the state law regarding non-attendance because of religious beliefs.

Unless otherwise noted, PHIL 2101H Genetics Open Educational Resource (OER) was curated by Professor Dena Shottenkirk for Brooklyn College in 2019 and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. [Detailed license and acknowledgements]