Introduction to Philosophy


  2. A. Course Title: Introduction to Philosophy
    B. Course Number: PI 213 - 30102
    C. Semester: Fall 2018
    D. Days/Time: Online
    E. Credit Hours: 3
    F. Instructor: Hulsey, Dallas
    G. Office: Mansur Hall (MH) 111
    H. Email Address:
    I. Office Phone: (575) 492-2833
    J. Office Hours: Monday: 9:00:00 AM-10:00:00 AM (MST);12:00:00 PM-1:00:00 PM (MST);
    Wednesday: 9:00:00 AM-10:00:00 AM (MST);12:00:00 PM-1:00:00 PM (MST);
    Thursday: 9:00:00 AM-12:00:00 PM (MST);
    Friday: 9:00:00 AM-10:00:00 AM (MST);12:00:00 PM-1:00:00 PM (MST);
    Office hours are open to live and distance students. If my office hours do not meet your needs, please call or email to schedule an appointment.
    K. Time Zone: Mountain Time
    L. Prerequisite(s): College level reading skills.
    M. Corequisite(s):
    N. Class Location: Virtual

    This course provides a survey of the philosophical problems posed by the great thinkers from antiquity through modern times. Students are introduced to the adventure of philosophizing and the art of reflective thinking, pointing toward formulating a philosophy of life. This is a three credit hour course.


    Philosophy asks us to examine and question basic assumptions about reality and human beings. Philosophy promotes critical thinking and asks questions about topics as diverse as morality, religion, and knowledge. The ultimate goal of philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom to guide our choices and improve our lives both personally and professionally.

    PI 213 counts as an elective general education course at New Mexico Colleges. If you plan to transfer to another school in the future, please check with the particular institution to ensure transferability.



    Palmer, Donald. Does the Center Hold?: an Introduction to Western Philosophy. 7th ed., McGraw-Hill Education, 2016. ISBN: 978-1259907951

    A webcam with a microphone.


    Glenn, Cheryl and Loretta Gray. Harbrace Essentials. 2nd ed. Cengage Learning, 2015. ISBN: 978-1337284677

    You can buy your books online at the NMJC Bookstore.


    Students attending New Mexico Junior College will be evaluated according to the following grading scale:

    						90 - 100%	=	A
    						80 -  89%	=	B
    						70 -  79%	=	C
    						60 -  69%	=	D
    					 	 0 -  59%	=	F

    Grade Distribution:
    Exam 1: 10%
    Exam 2: 10%
    Exam 3: 10%
    Exam 4: 10%
    Exam 5: 10%
    Final: 15%
    Response Papers: 10%
    Presentation: 5%
    Daily assignments: 20%

    Some assignments, such as the response paper and presentation must be submitted to pass the course. Students who do not submit these assignments will be blocked in Canvas from moving forward in the course.

    1. Please note that all exams are cumulative and are administered online through Canvas in Respondus Lockdown browser. You may take each exam as many times as you like before the due date and keep the highest score.

    2. Late work on daily assignments worth less than fifty points is not accepted. However, students can repeat SoftChalk lessons infinitely; repeat each lesson until you get a perfect score.

    3. Late work on major assignments worth more than fifty points is accepted for three days (72 hours) after an assignment is due with a 10% late penalty. To arrange a late exam, you must contact Professor Hulsey within 48 hours after the exam closes. Under special circumstances, such as prolonged jury duty and military service, late work may be accepted without penalty at the professor's discretion. Contact Professor Hulsey as early as possible if you feel your situation qualifies as a special circumstance, and we will discuss the situation. Note that Canvas may not prevent you from submitting a late assignment, but it will mark the submission late. Late assignment submission is no guarantee that the assignment will receive a grade; the late policy will be enforced regardless of whether Canvas accepts the late submission or not.

    4. Professor Hulsey grades daily assignments within twenty-four hours and major assignments within seventy-two hours. If there is a delay in returning graded work, Professor Hulsey will post an announcement in Canvas.

    5. Students are responsible for submitting the correct files in the correct format with the correct file name. Resubmissions for mistakes with files is not allowed after I have graded the assignment. Be sure you are submitting the correct file!

    6. A student who anticipates missing class for school activities or any other reason must notify Professor Hulsey beforehand to discuss arrangements for making up any work or activities during the planned absence.

    7. All dates and times for this course refer to the Mountain Standard Time Zone. If you change your time zone settings in Canvas, this can alter due dates, resulting in late work.

    Retrieving Grades from T-BirdWeb Portal
    Go to the New Mexico Junior College T-BirdWeb Portal login page. Please enter your User Identification Number (ID), which is your Banner ID, and your Personal Identification Number (PIN). When finished, click Login.

    Tips for Success in Online Courses:
    1. Log in to class regularly.
    2. Pay attention.
    3. Take notes.
    4. Keep up with readings and assignments.
    5. Ask questions when you do not understand something.
    6. Utilize your professor’s office hours and e-mail.
    7. Read the text.
    8. Adhere to the deadlines posted in the course outline.


    New Mexico Junior College’s institutional student learning outcomes represent the knowledge and abilities developed by students attending New Mexico Junior College. Upon completion students should achieve the following learning outcomes along with specific curriculum outcomes for respective areas of study:


    New Mexico Junior College's Humanities Department uses the Core Competencies established by the Higher Education Department in the State of New Mexico. By the end of the semester, students should be able to:
    • Analyze and critically interpret significant primary texts and/or works of art (this includes fine art, literature, music, theatre, and film).
    • Compare art forms, modes of thought and expression, and processes across a range of historical periods and/or structures (e.g., political, geographic, economic, social, cultural, religious, intellectual).
    • Recognize and articulate the diversity of human experience across a range of historical periods and/or cultural perspectives.
    • Draw on historical and/or cultural perspectives to evaluate any or all of the following: contemporary problems/issues, contemporary modes of expression, and contemporary thought.


    By the end of the semester, the successful student should be able to:
    • Define philosophy.
    • Outline the concerns and issues of each major branch of philosophy.
    • Compare and contrast the major schools of philosophy, including realism, existentialism, phenomenology, positivism, idealism, materialism, dualism, pragmatism, etc.
    • Identify major philosophers, such as Aristotle, Plato, Confucius, Kant, Nietzsche, Wollstonecraft, Sarte, etc. and explain their contributions to philosophical thought.
    • Explain specific philosophical issues like the mind and body problem, the problem of evil, social contract theory, justice, the definition of knowledge, etc. and express a well-reasoned stance on each issue.
    • Analyze a specific philosophical question or problem from multiple points of view, including utilitarianism, Kantian categorical imperatives, existentialism, etc.


    Student Requirements
    If you have not already received login information for Canvas/T-BirdWeb Portal/E-mail, you will need to contact the Enrollment Management office at (575) 492-2546.

    Check first-time login page for instructions at

    Canvas Assistance

    You must have access, on a regular basis, to a computer that supports the Canvas minimum specifications and has an active connection to the Internet. See the minimum computer specification requirements at


    Class Policies:
    1. Regular class attendance and participation is essential to the objectives of this course. Daily participation is required. Any student who misses a consecutive week of class or misses a total of two weeks of class without making prior arrangements with Dr. Hulsey will receive permanent zeros for any work submitted to Canvas until meeting with Dr. Hulsey to arrange and sign an attendance contract. If a student chooses to stop attending class regularly, the student must withdraw from the class. The instructor will not drop students from the course.
    2. The student is responsible for reading assignments, quizzes, tests, or any other assignments. Students should keep close track of all announcements and the course calendar. Quizzes, tests, and other assignments have specific due dates. It is the student's responsibility to keep up with all assignments.

    3. .Any form of academic dishonesty, cheating, unauthorized collaboration, or plagiarism will result in a grade of ‘F’ for the semester. Whether intentional or accidental, plagiarism is theft and a violation of academic honesty. Plagiarism includes submitting assignments you did not write or taking portions of your assignment from a source without giving credit. Plagiarism also occurs when altering wording while retaining the ideas of an uncredited source (paraphrasing). Submitting an assignment or part of an assignment done for another course without the permission of both instructors is a violation of academic honesty. If you wish to submit work originally created for another course, you must receive written permission from both professors. To avoid plagiarism, use quotation marks to enclose phrases and sentences from sources. Use MLA parenthetical citations and works cited entries for all paraphrases and quotations. For additional information about plagiarism and citing sources in MLA format, refer to the OWL. Your papers are analyzed for plagiarism by and added to the database when you submit them. Students who wish to appeal a professor’s decision regarding this policy should use the Academic Dishonesty Process published in the New Mexico Junior College Student Handbook.

    4. College level courses include readings and discussions that may include “adult” topics and language.

    5. Bookmark for direct access to Canvas even if the NMJC website is down.

    6. I generally respond to Canvas messages with questions in less than twenty-four hours. If twenty-four hours passes, and you have not heard from me, please resend your message.


    Students will be held responsible for the information on these pages.

    Academic Honesty
    Each student is expected to maintain the highest standards of honesty and integrity in online academic and professional matters. The College reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, against any student who is found guilty of academic dishonesty or otherwise fails to meet these standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, dishonesty in quizzes, tests, or assignments; claiming credit for work not done or done by others; and nondisclosure or misrepresentation in filling out applications or other College records. Cheating or gaining illegal information for any type of graded work is considered dishonest and will be dealt with accordingly.

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
    Any student requiring special accommodations should contact the Special Needs Student Services Coordinator at (575) 492-2576 or by e-mail at

    Attendance Policy and Participation Expectations
    It is expected that you regularly log into class at least three times weekly and check your Canvas mail to ensure you have not missed any changes/updates. Students are expected to complete discussions/quizzes/tests/ assignments before deadlines expire.

    Canvas Help
    If you experience difficulty with Canvas you may reach the Canvas Helpdesk at, or by calling the 24 hour helpdesk phone at (575) 399-2199.

    The professor is responsible for monitoring and evaluating student conduct and student behavior within the Canvas course. By registering for this class, the student is assumed to have entered into an agreement with New Mexico Junior College and the professor to log into the class regularly and to behave in an appropriate manner at all times. Disruptive behavior may result in the student being removed from the class and dropped for the semester. For comprehensive information on the common rules of netiquette and other online issues, please review the NMJC Online Student Handbook.

    Online Learning Environment
    By participating in an online class, you undertake responsibility for your own progress and time management.

    Offering the work of another as one’s own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines and other reference works, or from the themes, reports, or other writings of a fellow student, is guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism violates the academic honesty policy and is considered cheating.

    Tutoring Assistance
    Free tutoring services are available to all NMJC students through Brainfuse and the Academic Success Center located at the Pannell Library on the 1st floor.

    Withdrawal Policy
    The instructor has the right to drop any student who has failed to log on to Canvas for two weeks or more, but it is not guaranteed that the instructor will drop you. If the student chooses to stop attending a class, he/she should withdraw from the class by accessing your student account in the T-Bird Web Portal at, or submitting the required paperwork to the Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. Failure to withdraw yourself from a course by this date may result in your receiving an “F” in the course. All students are encouraged to discuss their class status with the professor prior to withdrawing from the class.


    Course Outline

    The following outline is intended to provide you with a rough overview of major assignments. It does not include daily assignments like quizzes, discussion posts, and the like, which are due on a regular basis starting in the first week of class. You will receive detailed instructions on these smaller assignments in each Canvas learning module, and due dates always appear in Canvas.

    Week 1: Syllabus / Introductory assignments

    Week 2: What Are We Doing in This Class: Is Philosophy Possible?

    Week 3: Truth is Beauty, Beauty is Truth: Rationalist Epistemology

    Week Four: Exam I; What You See is What You Get: Empiricist Epistemology

    Week Five: Who’s on First, What’s on Second: Ontology

    Week Six: Exam II; Mount Olympus, Mount Moriah, and other Godly Places: Philosophy of Religion

    Week Seven: The Largest Airline in the Free World: Philosophy of Freedom

    Week Eight: Exam III; Thou Shalt Become Perfected: Ethics

    Week Nine: Ethical Case studies

    Week 10: Extreme Measures; Response paper due

    Week 11: Different Strokes for Different Folks: Critiques of Traditional Ethical Theories

    Week 12: Exam IV; Let Them Eat Cake: Political and Social Philosophy

    Week 13: But is it Art?: Philosophy of Art

    Week 14: Exam V

    Week 15: The Matrix

    Week 16: Discussion of The Matrix; Webcast Presentation Due

    Week 17: Final Exam