University of Tennessee at Martin




Course Section: all online sections of Phil 110 (NC1)

Course Title: Adventure of Ideas: Historical

Meeting Time and Place: online, asynchronous

Course Credit Hours: 3

Textbooks and Other Required Materials: all reading material is posted online for free

Faculty Contact Information:

Dr. James Fieser

Office: Humanities 216A

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

Office Phone: 881-7537




            Course Description (from UTM Catalog): A historical survey of the philosophical quest for understanding and wisdom from Socrates to Kant, covering classical Greek, Asian, medieval, and early modern thought.

            Course Resources: all material for this course is available through the course Canvas page.

            Humanities Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs): (1) Practice the critical and analytical methodologies of the humanities. (2) Analyze significant primary sources in the humanities. (3) Explain the ways in which humanistic expression reflects the culture and values of its time and place. (4) Frame a comparative context through which they can critically assess the ideas and values, forces and processes, and institutions and structures that have created the modern world. (5) Recognize and articulate the diversity of human experience across a range of historical periods and the complexities and interconnectedness of global culture and society. (6) Analyze the contributions of past cultures and societies and the patterns of continuity and change that have affected human history.

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



            Course Content: The course consists of 8 Modules on the following topics: (1) Presocratic philosophy; (2) classical Greek philosophy; (3) Hellenistic philosophy; (4) classical eastern philosophy; (5) medieval philosophy; (6) renaissance and early modern philosophy; (7) continental rationalism; (8) British empiricism.

            Course Assignments: Within each module, there are five types of assignments: (1) videos, (2) readings, (3) study questions, (4) discussion board comments, and (5) tests. Each of these is described below.

            Videos: All videos are linked within each Canvas module.

            Readings: All of the reading assignments for this course are posted online, free of charge, and most of it comes from book chapters that I have authored.

            Study Questions: All of the reading material in the course has accompanying study questions that appear at the bottom of each chapter, about 20 per chapter in a given module.

            Discussion: Each module of the course includes a discussion board in which students must post at least four comments pertaining to the assigned reading in that module. Comments should be between 150 and 300 words. One comment must be your own observation or criticism about some point in the assigned readings. The remaining three comments must be in response to comments posted by other students.

            Tests: There will be a test for each module consisting of 20 true-false questions. The time limit for the tests is 15 minutes.

            Grading Procedures: Course grades will be based on four factors: (1) true/false quizzes (20 points per course module); (2) study questions (4 points per course module); (3) regular participation in the discussion boards (4 points per course module); (4) a final comprehensive multiple choice quiz at the end of the semester (20 points). Final grades will initially be based on the standard 90% 80% 70% 60%, but I often curve each of these lower.

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



            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.