PROFESSOR:           Dr. Doug Baker

Office:                        LRC 308

Office Hours:  To be Announced

Office Phone: 945-3235


Home Page:


COURSE DESCRIPTION:  A survey meant to introduce the student to the fundamental concepts of the discipline of philosophy.  Particular attention will be given to the historical context for the development of ideas.  Students will become familiar with the major figures associated with the development of the philosophic discipline.  A fundamental grasp of these figures and ideas should provide the student with a foundation for further study of philosophy.


TEXT:            Moore, Brooke N. and Kenneth Bruder.  Philosophy:  The Power of Ideas.  Boston:  McGraw-Hill, 2002.  ISBN:  0-7674-2011-X.




Upon completion of General Education Curriculum, students should be proficient in demonstrating the following competencies:


Goal #1:  Critical Thinking




Critical thinking skills include, but are not limited to, the ability to comprehend complex ideas, data, and concepts; to make inferences based on careful observation; to make judgments based on specific and appropriate criteria; to solve problems using specific processes and techniques; to recognize relationships among the arts, culture, and society; to develop new ideas by synthesizing related and/or fragmented information; to apply knowledge and understanding to different contexts, situations, and/or specific endeavors; and to recognize the need to acquire new information.


*All courses will contain assignments that demonstrate critical thinking, but not all courses will include all listed critical thinking elements.


Goal #2:  Effective Communications




Effective communication is the ability to develop organized, coherent, unified written or oral presentations for various audiences and situations.



Goal #3:  Computer Proficiency




Computer proficiency includes a basic knowledge of operating systems, word processing, and Internet research capabilities.


Goal #4:  Civic Responsibility




Preparation for civic responsibility in the democratic society of the United States includes acquiring knowledge of the social, political, economic, and historical structures of the nation in order to function effectively as citizens in a country that is increasingly diverse and multicultural in its population and more global in its view and functions.


Goal #5:  Global Awareness




Global awareness includes knowledge of the geography, history, cultures, values, ecologies, languages, and present-day issues of different peoples and countries, as well as an understanding of the global economic, political, and technological forces which define the interconnectedness and shape the lives of the world’s citizens.




The student who successfully completes the course should be able to:


1.               Survey and explore the philosophic tradition of Western civilization throughout history.


2.               Observe and explain the importance of historical context for the development and evolution of philosophic ideas.


                        3.         Note key people, movements, and events with an awareness of their chronological and importance in the overall development of philosophic


4.         Develop a self-awareness of one’s own cultural heritage with a view towards fostering an appreciation of current philosophic debate.




            1.         Prerequisites:  ENGL 1113 (English Composition I)


            2.         Next Course in Sequence:  None


3.         Instruction Methods:  This is primarily a lecture class, although class discussions are also encouraged.


4.         Special Information:  Class participation is encouraged, but talking among yourselves during the lecture is not acceptable.  OSU-OKC policy prohibits the presence of food and drink in the classroom.  Also, please remember that all buildings on our campus are tobacco free.  Students who persistently disrupt a class or flagrantly violate OSU-OKC policy may be asked to leave the classroom.


5.         Attendance:  Students are held accountable for all work covered in a course despite valid reasons for absence from class.  Students are expected to attend each class period. Regular attendance is necessary for a student to earn a good grade.  See #5 under “Course Requirements” for the details of the attendance policy in this class.


6.         Honors Credit:  A student who meets the following criteria may receive Honors credit by completing a Request for Honors Credit by Contract-Conditions form with the instructor’s permission and submitting it to the Program Coordinator.  The student must achieve a “B” or above and satisfactorily complete the contract to earn Honors designation for the course.  It is the Program Coordinator who must determine the eligibility of the student for the Honors Contract before the Contract is completed by the student and the instructor.


            Requirements for New Freshmen:  ACT composite score of 23 or higher, or a high school grade point average of 3.5 or higher.


            Requirements for Students Other than New Freshman:  (a) If a student other than a new freshman has completed fewer than 30 credit hours, he/she must have at least a 3.0 retention grade point average; (b) If a student other than a new freshman has completed 30 or more credit hours, he/she must have at least a 3.25 retention grade point average.     


Special Cases:  Students who do not meet the eligibility requirements may petition the Honors Committee by first contacting the Program Coordinator for an exception to the minimum GPA requirement.  Consideration of the petition will be based upon performance during the prior semester at OSU-OKC.


7.         Academic Dishonesty or Misconduct:  Academic dishonesty or misconduct is not condoned nor tolerated at institutions within the Oklahoma State University system.  Academic dishonesty is behavior in which a deliberately fraudulent misrepresentation is employed in at attempt to gain undeserved intellectual credit, either for oneself or for another.  Academic misconduct is behavior is behavior that results in intellectual advantage obtained by violating a specific standard, but without deliberate intent or use of fraudulent means.  Academic dishonesty or misconduct cases are governed by the OSU-OKC Student Rights and Responsibilities document.  It is available only online.  You can obtain it at



8.         Withdrawal Policy:  Any student may withdraw from this class or change to audit on or before the published drop date, which is the Friday of the twelfth (12th) week of the semester (the sixth week of the summer semester).  Withdrawals must be processed through the Admissions Office and requires the signature of an advisor within the division.  All students remaining on the class roll after the published drop date will receive a letter grade in the course.


9.         Incomplete Grades:  The Incomplete grade (I) may be given only to a student who has completed at least 70% of the course work, is passing, and has a valid excuse for being unable to complete the course.  It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor, who will complete an “I” contract, stipulating the work that must be made up and the time allowed to do so, for both of you to sign.


10.       Americans with Disabilities Act Statement:  If any member of the class feels that he/she has a disability and needs special accommodations of any nature whatsoever, the instructor will work with you and the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs to provide reasonable accommodations to ensure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in this class after the disability has been verified.  Please advise the instructor of such disability and the desired accommodations at some point before, during, or after the first scheduled class period.


  11.     Electronic Device Policy:  Cell phones and other electronic devices are disruptive to the class.  If a student’s work or family situation requires the student to keep the device turned on during class, the student must turn the phone to a silent or vibrate mode.  If a student must receive a call during class, the student will leave the room.  A student may not make a call during class.  Cell phones and all electronic devices may not be used during an exam unless stipulated by the instructor.  Use of a cell phone or electronic device during an exam is considered academic misconduct, and the student will be subject to the appropriate penalties.


12.       Unattended Children Policy:  For personal safety of children and potential problems in supervision, children should not be at any location on campus without adult supervision.  No children are permitted in classrooms, laboratories, teaching areas, or the Library.




1.         Exams:  There will be a total of four (4) exams in this course, including the Final Exam, with a total possible of 500 points.  Each of          the first three (3) exams will be worth a maximum of 100 points.  (See below for information on the Final Exam.)  Each of the first      three (3) exams will consist of a variety of types of questions, including matching, true or false, multiple choice, and short essay.


                        2.         Final Exam:  The Final Exam is comprehensive in scope, covering the entire semester course.  Its format is similar to all the other             exams except that it contains 100 objective questions (i.e., no essays).  The Final Exam will be worth a maximum of 200 points, 2    points per question.


            3.         Make-Up Policy:  All Objective portions of exams must be taken online during the time periods listed on the main page of the D2L   online class site.  If you fail to take an exam during its time period, you will have to take a Make-Up Exam that is 100% Essay in          nature (and one which you will NOT want to take)!  The ONLY exceptions to this rule are as follows:


·       There is a D2L server problem, which means that it is the fault of OSU-OKC; OR

·       The student can provide official documentation of a hospital stay, a funeral attended, special medication that affected his/her ability to take an exam during the time period that an exam was available online, military orders, etc., unless there has been an obvious case of a natural or man-made disaster in the area or of widespread power outages.  There is NO Make-Up Exam for the Final Exam.  Failure to take the Final Exam on time will result in a “0” for that exam.


4.         Exam Schedule:  The Objective portion of all Exams will be taken on the Desire to Learn (D2L) online class site.  The specific dates   & times when each of the exams will be available are posted on the same D2L online class site.  The Essay portion of each regular        exam will be given in class.  For the Objective portion on D2L, you will have 35 minutes to take it.  After the 35-minute time     period has expired, D2L will not allow you to save any more answers on new or previous questions.  So please pace yourself   accordingly.  IF you have a reason that you need more time to take your exams, then you need to get certified by the ADA           specialist on campus.


            5.         Attendance Policy and Participation Points: 


            Attendance in this class must be regarded as mandatory in the same way that going to your job is mandatory.  As with a job, there will be consequences for excessive absences because, in this case, you cannot get Participation Points when you’re absent.


            There will be 50 total possible Participation Points in the course.  Normally, that amounts to 3 1/3 points per class period (except for students who have Excused Absences).  At the end of the semester, I will simply calculate the percentage of class periods that a student received Participation Points out of the total number of class periods minus any days with Excused Absences, and put that percentage as a score over 50 points.  Therefore, the Participation Points category will be worth the same as a regular exam.  The rationale for this is that educators know that students who are faithfully attending class learn things that cannot be tested.


            Behaviors resulting in NO Participation Points (besides being absent) include, but are not limited to, (a) habitually arriving late to class; (b) habitually communicating with someone else in class; (c) reading, texting, cell phone usage, being on Facebook or other social network sites during class; (d) habitually going to & from the class during class (unless a medical condition is documented); (e) habitually putting away your class materials before the professor has dismissed the class; and (f) otherwise engaging in behavior that distracts other students and/or the professor during class.


            Only Absences for Extraordinary Circumstances will be Excused…these include, but are not limited to, jury duty, military duty, student’s own hospitalization, attendance at a funeral, etc.  Ordinary doctor’s visits, job schedule conflicts, etc. will not be excused under normal circumstances.  However, IF a student has a medical condition that will likely result in excessive absences, that student will receive Participation Points based on the class periods he or she is actually in class.  Documentation is required for these Extraordinary Circumstances.


                        6.         Communication Expectations:


            You can e-mail me ( or call and leave a voice mail (945-3235) at any time day or night.  However, I will not be up 24 hrs. per day to respond to your communication immediately.  But I do pledge that I will usually answer your e-mail within 24-36 hours after I receive it in my Inbox.  The exception to that general rule of thumb is that I do not respond to communication between sundown on Fridays and sundown on Saturdays.  Leaving a voice mail on a Thursday afternoon usually means that I will not return your call until some time the next Monday.




The grading scale for this course is as follows:


A = 90% - 100%

B = 80% -   89%

C = 70% -   79%

D = 60% -   69%

F =    0% -   59%




Each student is responsible for being aware of the information contained in the OSU-OKC Catalog, Student Handbook, and semester information listed in the Class Schedule.




Faculty has the right to change or modify the course syllabus materials during the academic year.  Any changes will be provided in a written, dated addendum to the course syllabus.







1.         ATTENDANCE




Between each time the class meets you should:


·       Type your lecture notes on a computer, reorganizing them by


(1)  making the headings & sub-headings stand out.

(2)  numbering or bulleting listed items.

(3)  highlighting key names and terms.

(4) leaving sufficient space between items and sections to avoid confusion in identifying information in your notes.


NOTE:  Make a back-up copy of your typed notes on the computer, and print the notes off each time, placing them in a 3-ring notebook.


·       Identify all items discussed in class on the appropriate Review Sheet, and follow the recommendations exactly for using the Review Sheet.  NOTE:  Remember to do any textbook items also—which requires that you keep up with class discussions and be aware of the chapter readings in the course syllabus.


·       At least skim read the appropriate textbook chapter for the next lecture—which also requires that you keep up with class discussions and be aware of the chapter readings in the course syllabus.


3.         TIME


It is estimated that college students should spend 2-3 hours outside of actual class time for every hour spent in class.  NOTE:  This requires a careful evaluation of your personal schedule (e.g., family, work, school, etc.) and making any appropriate adjustments in order to have this much time.







1.               FIRST EXAM


Chapter Readings:


Chapter 1—Powerful Ideas

Chapter 2—The Pre-Socratics

Chapter 3—Socrates, Plato

Chapter 4—Aristotle

Chapter 5—Philosophers of the Hellenistic and Christian Eras




Chapter Readings:


Chapter 6—The Rise of Modern Metaphysics and Epistemology

Chapter 7—The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Chapter 8—The Continental Tradition

Chapter 9—The Pragmatic and Analytic Traditions




Chapter Readings:


Chapter 10—Moral Philosophy

Chapter 11—Political Philosophy

Chapter 12—Recent Moral and Political Philosophy




Chapter 13—Philosophy and Belief in God

Chapter 15—Eastern Influences





There are five (5) Review Sheets in this course syllabus.  Each Review Sheet consists of three sections:  (a) People, (b) Terms, and (c) Essays.  The following paragraphs contain specific recommendations for how to use each Review Sheet in order to maximize your effective study time.


1.         People:  This section contains the names of philosophers or other historical persons studied in this course. You should know the titles of major writings, nicknames or personal titles, historical period or century, and key terms or actions that are strongly associated with each person—The use of 8 1/2" x 11" paper is recommended for your study preparation.  Limit each person to no more than 3 lines so that you write down only the most important facts.


2.         Terms:  This section contains several terms related to philosophy or to its historical background.  You should know a succinct definition, application or example, and the significance of each term, as well as which person or persons are associated with it—The use of ruled (or lined) 3" x 5" index cards is recommended for your study preparation.  Limit your card to one (1) side only so that you write down only the most important facts.


3.         Essays:  Several essay questions are listed on each Review Sheet.  On each of the first four (4) exams, you will have to write three (3) of these from memory.  You will be given some choices from which to choose three (3).  However, all of the essays will also be reflected in the multiple choice or true and false sections on an exam.  Therefore, you need to prepare for all of the essays on each Review Sheet as if you were going to write each of them out—The use of ruled (or lined) 3" x 5" index cards is recommended for your study preparation.  Label each card with an appropriate title and the number of the Essay on the Review Sheet.  Then outline the essential points which specifically answer the question on the Review Sheet, no more and no less.


Special Notes:


(1)       Each exam will also feature a True or False section.  Each question will be taken from items on the Review Sheet for that exam.


(2)       Each exam will also feature a Multiple Choice section.  Each question will be taken from items on the Review Sheet for that exam.


These guidelines have been proven to work.  DON’T IGNORE THEM!!!




Review Sheet #1


     People                                                                                 Terms


          Thales                         Zeno                                                                metaphysics                sophistry

            Pythagoras                  Augustine                                                       epistemology              Academy

            Heraclitus                   Thomas Aquinas                                             Formal Logic              Lyceum

            Democritus                                                                                         Ad Hominem              Hellenistic Age

            Socrates                                                                                              straw man                   Skepticism

            Plato                                                                                                    red herring                  Epicureanism

            Aristotle                                                                                              monism                       Stoicism

            Pyrrho                                                                                                 Logos                          Neoplatonism

            Sextus Empiricus                                                                               atomism                      ex nihilio

            Epicurus                                                                                              Socratic Method         Thomism




1.         Define and explain the meaning and importance of philosophy.

2.         Identify the pre-Socratic philosophers and name 3 of them.  Then tell what all the pre-Socratics had in common philosophically and give their significance.

3.         Contrast metaphysical Materialism and Dualism in separate paragraphs.  Define Materialism and tell what group of philosophers were mostly Materialists.  Then define Dualism and tell who first championed it in writing.

4.         Explain Plato’s Theory of Forms and include “The Myth of the Cave” in your explanation.

5.         Explain Plato’s Theory of Becoming, including the ultimate goal for every person and the key for achieving that goal.  How is it like Hinduism?

6.         Explain Aristotle’s metaphysical views and include his “Third Man” argument and the terms universals and particulars.

7.         Outline and briefly discuss Aristotle’s Four Causes for existence.

8.         Present Augustine’s 3 major arguments against Skepticism.

9.         Define the Battle of the Universals, outline the 3 major positions, and tell why it was so important to Christian theology.

10.       Tell how Thomas Aquinas resolved the Battle of the Universals by outlining his own metaphysical position, and then give its significance for the Western world.




Review Sheet #2


People                                                                               Terms


            Rene Descarte             Jean-Paul Sartre                                             external motion                      Phenomenology

            Thomas Hobbes          Edmund Husserl                                             internal motion                       Instrumentalism

            Benedict de Spinoza   John Dewey                                                    determinism                           Spectator Theory

            John Locke                 Bertrand Russell                                             lensgrinders                            Analytic Philosophy

            Immanuel Kant           Gilbert Ryle                                                    empiricism                            

            Georg Hegel                                                                                       rationalism

            Arthur Schopenhauer                                                                         phenomena

            Soren Kierkegaard                                                                              noumena

            Friedrich Nietzsche                                                                            dialectic

            Albert Camus                                                                                     Continental Tradition




1.         Identify and briefly discuss the major movements which have produced and still reflect the modern era in Western civilization.

2.         Briefly define the 3 major metaphysical views and identify the questions or issues dependent upon them.

3.               Define and discuss Descartes’ approach to philosophical inquiry, identifying all relevant terms and his conclusion.

4.               Identify and discuss the major problem in Dualism between the physical body and the immaterial mind or soul.  Then identify the 3 possible solutions to this problem.

5.               Identify and discuss Representative Realism, George Berkeley’s criticism of it, and finally, Berkeley’s metaphysical conclusions.

6.               What is the basic problem with Idealism?  Identify the 2 main solutions and their problems.

7.               Discuss David Hume’s rationale for total skepticism and Immanuel Kant’s response to it.

8.               Discuss the philosophy of existentialism in terms of its major elements.

9.               Where did pragmatism originate?  Name its father and then its most famous promoter.  How does pragmatism define truth?

10.       Identify and briefly discuss the 3 major philosophies of the mind and tell whether they represent Dualism or Physicalism.





Review Sheet #3


              People                                                                                     Terms


            Epicurus                      Adam Smith                                                   Deontology                             Self-Ownership

            Augustine                   Karl Marx                                                       Ethical Naturalism                 Night-Watchman State

            Hildegard                    Pierre Proudhon                                              Natural Law/Divine Law        Natural Aristocracy

            Thomas Aquinas         Robert Nozick                                                Ethical Intuitionism               Communitarianism

            Thomas Hobbes                                                                                  Leviathan

            John Stuart Mill                                                                                 Social Contract

            William D. Ross                                                                                 General Will

            Niccolo Machiavelli                                                                           Classical Liberalism

            John Locke                                                                                         Laissez-faire

            Jean-Jacques Rousseau                                                                      Political Utilitarianism




1.         Outline and briefly describe the 5 basic categories of moral philosophy.

2.         Define Virtue Ethics.  Identify the 2 best-known Western thinkers of this moral philosophy, and then tell how their views were the same and how they were different.

3.         Define and discuss David Hume’s moral philosophy, including his major arguments.

4.         Define and discuss Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy, including his major arguments and his significance.

5.         Discuss John Stuart Mill’s moral philosophy, including his major arguments.  Then identify the specific name of his moral philosophy and tell how he differed from Jeremy Bentham.

6.         Discuss Plato’s political philosophy and tell what he based it on.

7.         Select 1 of the following philosophers and discuss his political philosophy in depth:  (1) Thomas Hobbes or (2) John Locke.

8.         Outline and discuss Karl Marx’s political philosophy of history and identify Lenin’s innovation to it.

9.         Outline and describe the modern Liberal, Conservative, and Libertarian economic political philosophies.

10.       Outline and describe the modern Liberal, Conservative, and Libertarian social political philosophies.





Review Sheet for Final Exam


People                                                 Terms


Anselm                                               Theism/Deism                                                No-Self

Thomas Aquinas                                 Philosophy/Theology                         Emptiness

Baron von Leibniz                              Infinite Regress                                  Suchness

Immanuel Kant                                   Principle of Sufficient Reason           Dharma

William Paley                                    “irreducibly complex systems”         Trikaya

Richard Dawkins                                Veda                                                    Principle of the Mean

Michael Behe                                     Brahman                                            

Siddhartha Gautama                           Great Yuga                                        

Lao-Tzu                                              Caste System

Confucius                                           Parinirvana





1.         Describe what religious belief revolves around and why virtually everyone has had some kind of religious belief.  Then outline the 3 basic views of Ultimate Reality.

2.         Outline and briefly describe the 5 basic arguments for God’s existence.

3.         Define and outline Thomas Aquinas’ Five Ways of “proving” God’s existence.

4.         Present the 4 major objections to the various Cosmological Arguments for God’s existence.

5.         Identify and discuss William Paley’s most famous philosophical argument for God’s existence.  Then briefly discuss the 2 chief objections to it and the criticism of the objections.

6.         Describe the ways in which the predominant Eastern religious view of Ultimate Reality are similar to each other.  Please be certain to use the key terms and expressions discussed in class when answering the question.

7.         Define and describe the Hindu and Buddhist concepts of Reincarnation, Karma, & Nirvana in the context of their common purpose of life.  Ignore the differences between these 2 world religions and focus on the common ground between them.

8.         Outline and discuss the Four Noble Truths and their significance.

9.         Define and discuss the Chinese concept of the Tao.  In terms of ethical principles, how are the Taoist & Confucianist ideas related to the Tao similar to each other?  How are they very different?

10.       Outline the Confucianist idea of the 5 major relationships in life and discuss how Confucius applied that idea to government.