University of Tennessee, Martin





Course Section: all on campus sections of Phil 110 taught by James Fieser

Course Title: Adventure of Ideas, Contemporary

Meeting Time and Place: Humanities 215

Course Credit Hours: 3

Textbook: The History of Philosophy: A Short Survey, by James Fieser

Posted online for free at and on Canvas

 Faculty Contact Information:

Dr. James Fieser

Office: Humanities 216A

Office Hours: MWF 1:00-2:00, and by appointment

Phone: 881-7537 (Office)




             Course Description (from UTM Catalog): A historical introduction to philosophy course covering classical Greek, Asian, medieval, and early modern philosophical thought. Philosophers covered include Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Hume, and Kant.

             Course Resources: all material for this course is posted at and on Canvas.

             Humanities Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs): (1) Students will analyze major primary sources of the humanities. (2) Students will examine the diversity of human experience in various humanistic media. (3) Students will recognize the continuity and change within the human experience as understood in the humanities.

             Course Communications: email will be the primary means of communication outside of class. I try to answer all email messages within a few hours. During the semester I will email a few short messages to the entire class.



             Tests: Three tests will be given throughout the semester consisting of about 40-60 multiple choice questions each. Students who miss class on test days may be penalized.

             Study Questions: All of the reading material in the course has accompanying study questions, which will be posted on the web. Students are required to handwrite all answers to the questions in a blue exam book (to be purchased from the bookstore). The exam books are due three times during the semester on test day, and are worth 5 point each time collected. The exam books will not be returned. Do not copy your answers from other students; I’ll be checking for this. The bluebooks come in two sizes; either size is fine.

             Attendance: Attendance is expected and will be taken regularly; poor attendance may negatively affect your grade by 5-15 points. You are allowed six discretionary absences, with no penalty. If you go over six, I will only evaluate the legitimacy of excuses on finals day, so you need to save all your written excuses until that time; please do not show them to me until then.

             Ten Commandments of Class Conduct: Violation of the following may result in deducted points or worse: (1) Do not show up late for class; (2) shut off and put away all electronic devices; (3) Do not sneak out of class after attendance; (4) Do not leave the room once class starts unless you tell me beforehand; (5) Do not chat with students around you. (6) Do not study material for a different class during this one; (7) Do not be disrespectful to me or other students in the room; (8) Do not pack your things until I tell you that class is over; (9) Do not cheat on exams and assignments; (10) Do not backslide on these commandments.

             Class Participation: Class participation is encouraged, but not required. When discussing controversial issues in class, please respectfully address me and your fellow students, and do not let your emotions take over.

             Mid-Term Grade: Mid term grades are based solely on your first exam, and do not reflect points for study questions, or reduced points for attendance or class disruption. If you receive an F for mid-term, I encourage you to drop the course and try again another semester.

             Course Grade: Final grades will be determined according to the total points from the three exams (120-180 total points), study questions (15 points), minus penalty points for class absences, disruption and late exams. The starting point for final grading is the standard grading scale, that is, A: 90%, B: 80 %, C: 70%, D: 60 %, F: 59% and under. However, the final grading scale will be lower as will be determined at the end of the semester.

             Extra Credit and Lottery Scholarships: No extra credit will be available for this course; students on scholarships should take particular note of this.

             Hints for Studying: Proper studying for exams involves more than merely understanding the material, but, rather, internalizing the information so that the concepts are retained for the long term. Taking short cuts like casual reading the text once or merely hunting for answers to the study questions isn't good enough. The best advice I can give mastering the material is what a former A-level student told me about her study habits. She wrote, “I spend on average 7 hours preparing for each chapter module and I get to it immediately, not at the last minute. First, I read through the material one time.  Then I read through it again, highlighting as I go.  Then I answer the study questions, and I do that with quite a bit of detail so that I can read over them several times before I take the test.  Then I outline the material. Before I take the quiz, I reread the highlighted text at least once more, read the study questions and answers at least two or three times more, and review the outline at least two or three times more.”



             Study Question Assignments: For each chapter, please answer *all* of the “Questions for Review” and *one* of the “Questions for Analysis” that appear at the close of each chapter. Handwrite your answers in a blue examination book, which will be collected on exam days.

             Reading Assignments:

Chapter 1: Presocratic Philosophy

Chapter 2: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle

 [*first exam*: Wednesday, September 26]

Chapter 3: Hellenistic Philosophy

Chapter 4: Eastern Philosophy

Chapter 5: Medieval Philosophy

 [*second exam*: Wednesday, October 31]

Chapter 6: Renaissance Philosophy

Chapter 7: Rationalism

Chapter 8: Empiricism

[*third exam*: finals week]

MWF 2:00: final on Tuesday, 12:45 in H 215

TR 4:00: final on Friday, 12:45 in H 215



             Academic Integrity: The University of Tennessee at Martin has chosen as its primary objective quality undergraduate education. Commitment to this objective must include an obligation by all members of the University community to promote and protect the highest standards of integrity in study, research, instruction and evaluation. Dishonesty or unethical behavior does not belong at an institution dedicated to the promotion of knowledge and learning. Integrity of the academic process requires fair and impartial evaluation by faculty and honest academic conduct by students. Specific integrity attributes can be found:

             Standard of Conduct: When persons enroll in The University of Tennessee at Martin, they retain the rights and duties of a citizen. Additionally, they must assume the duties and observe the regulations imposed by the University community.  Specific conduct attributes can be found:

             Disability Services: The University of Tennessee provides reasonable accommodations (academic adjustments and auxiliary aids) to ensure equal access to educational content and university programs for students with disabilities. Students who are eligible for and who request accommodations through the Disability Services office must provide instructors with a letter of accommodation. The Disability Services office is located in the Student Success Center, 203 Clement Hall, (731) 881-7605.