Fall 2023 Course Syllabus
Course: PHIL-1301 (Section: 2E, CRN: 92837)
Introduction to Philosophy
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Instructor Information
Instructor Nicholas Mires
Email miresnb@lamarpa.edu
Phone (409) 984-6337
Office Madison Monroe Educational - Room: 228
Office Hours None
Additional Contact Information nbmires@lit.edu
Course Information
Description A study of major issues in philosophy and/or the work of major philosophical figures in philosophy. Topics in philosophy may include theories of reality, theories of knowledge, theories of value, and their practical applications.
Required Textbooks Textbook Purchasing Statement: A student attending Lamar State College Port Arthur is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from the college-affiliated bookstore. The same textbook may also be available from an independent retailer, including an online retailer.

1.       An Introduction to Philosophy by Russ Payne

2.       Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics edited by George Matthews

3.       Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy of Religion edited by Beau Branson
Additional Materials/Resources
  1. Use of the library, Internet, and current information sources such as newspapers, TV and journals.

Corequisites/Prerequisites None
Learning Outcomes Upon successful completion of this course, students will:
  1. Read, analyze, and critique philosophical texts.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts, major arguments, problems, and terminology in philosophy.
  3. Present logically persuasive arguments both orally and in writing.
  4. Demonstrate critical thinking skills in evaluation and application of philosophical concepts to various aspects of life.
  5. Evaluate the personal and social responsibilities of living in a diverse world.

Core Objectives
 Communication skills: Students will demonstrate effective written, oral and/or visual communication.
* Critical Thinking Skills: Students will engage in creative and/or innovative thinking, and/or inquiry, analysis, evaluation, synthesis of information, organizing concepts and constructing solutions.
* Empirical and Quantitative Skills: Students will demonstrate applications of scientific and mathematical concepts.
* Social Responsibility: Students will demonstrate intercultural competency and civic knowledge by engaging effectively in local, regional, national and/or global communities.
* Personal Responsibility: Students will demonstrate the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making.

Lecture Topics Outline
Course Introduction and Policies
Discussion of Syllabus
What is Philosophy
How to do Philosophy
Ancient Philosophy
Plato’s allegory of the cave
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Mind
Love and Happiness
Meta Ethics
Right Action
Social Justice
Aren’t Right and Wrong Just Matters of Opinion?
Can We Have Ethics without Religion?
How Can I Be a Better Person?
What’s in it for Me? On Egoism and Social Contract Theory
Kantian Deontology
Feminism and Feminist Ethics
Evolutionary Ethics
Freedom of the Will
The Intertwining of Philosophy and Religion in the Western Tradition
Reasons to Believe – Theoretical Arguments
Non-Standard Arguments for God’s Existence
Reasons Not to Believe
Debunking Arguments against Theistic Belief
From Philosophy of (Mono)theism to Philosophy of Religions

Major Assignments Schedule
Syllabus Quiz
Module 1 Discussion
Module 2 Journal
Module 3 Discussion Board
Logic Assignment
Quiz over "What is Philosophy.” "How to do Philosophy" and “Ancient Philosophy"
Quiz over Rationalism, Empiricism, and Philosophy of Science
Module 6 Discussion
Quiz over "Philosophy of Mind,” " Love and Happiness," and "Meta Ethics"
Module 7 Journal
Module 8 Discussion
Quiz over the "Right Actions,” "Social Justice", and "Aren’t Right and Wrong Just Matters of Opinion?"
Common Assignment Due 11/19/2023
Module 9 Discussion
Quiz over “Can We Have Ethics without Religion?”, “How Can I Be a Better Person?” and “What’s in it for Me? On Egoism and Social Contract Theory”
Module 11 Journal
Quiz over "Utilitarianism," "Kantian Deontology," and "Feminist Ethics"
Quiz over " Evolutionary Ethics," "Freedom of the Will," and " The Intertwining of Philosophy and Religion in the Western Tradition"
Module 13 Journal
Quiz over "Reasons to Believe," "Non-Standard Arguments for God’s Existence," and "Reasons Not to Believe"
Module 14 Journal
Final Exam
Extra credit quiz over "Debunking Arguments Against Theistic Belief"

Final Exam Date December 14, 2023 - 8:40 AM   Through  December 14, 2023 - 10:40 PM
Grading Scale
  • 90-100     A
  • 80-89       B
  • 70-79       C
  • 60-69       D
  • 0-59         F

Determination of
Final Grade
Final grades will be calculated according to the following criteria:
  1. Tests and Quizzes                                                            45%
  2. Assignments                                                                    40%
  3. Common Assignment                                                      15%

Course Policies
Instructor Policies
  1. All assignments must be submitted through Blackboard.
  2. All homework must be typed and use MLA format for citations:
Use MLA formatting for the Common Assignment

  1. All homework, papers, and tests must be the work of the student only. The first offense of plagiarism will result minimally in a zero on the assignment. A second offense will result in dismissal from the course. (Student not dropped from the course.)
  2. Pen/pencil and paper are required for face-to-face classes
  3. Mature behavior is expected at all times.
  4. Access to Blackboard and your LIT email is required. Frequently check for any new announcements.
  5. Late work will not be accepted except in the case of a documentable emergency beyond the student’s control. Complete assignments and submit them by the due date. You may turn them in early but not after the due date. Technical difficulties and any other issues must be resolved before the due date, and they will not result in a time extension. If you have issues with Blackboard, use the Technical Support link. Any emails requesting assistance with an assignment must be sent to me on a weekday 48 hours before the assignment is due. You must include your name, course, and class section in your email. Example of course and section: PHIL 1301 3A1
  6. I drop the lowest discussion, journal, and quiz grades. You may turn assignments in early, but not after the due date.

Attendance Policy None
Additional Information
Institutional Policies
MyLSCPA Be sure to check your campus email and Course Homepage using MyLSCPA campus web portal. You can also access your grades, transcripts, academic advisors, degree progress, and other services through MyLSCPA.
Academic Honesty Academic honesty is expected from all students, and dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated. Please consult the LSCPA policies (Academic Dishonesty section in the Student Handbook) for consequences of academic dishonesty.
ADA Considerations The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the the Office for Disability Services Coordinator, Room 231, in the Madison Monroe Building. The phone number is (409) 984-6241.
COVID 19 Information The Lamar State College Port Arthur (LSCPA) Student Code of Conduct COVID 19 Policy requires students who have been diagnosed with COVID 19 to report their condition directly to their local health department. Students should also contact their course faculty to report their quarantine status. In addition, this policy requires all students to wear face coverings when directly exposed to COVID 19 in compliance with the criteria included in the policy. For more information please refer to the COVID 19 link on the LSCPA website.
Facility Policies No food or tobacco products are allowed in the classroom. Only students enrolled in the course are allowed in the classroom, except by special instructor permission. Use of electronic devices is prohibited.
HB 2504 This syllabus is part of LSCPA's efforts to comply with Texas House Bill 2504.
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect As per Texas law and LSCPA policy, all LSCPA employees, including faculty, are required to report allegations or disclosures of child abuse or neglect to the designated authorities, which may include a local or state law enforcement agency or the Texas Department of Family Protective Services. For more information about mandatory reporting requirements, see LSCPA's Policy and Procedure Manual.
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct LSCPA is committed to establishing and maintaining an environment that is free from all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other forms of sexual misconduct. All LSCPA employees, including faculty, have the responsibility to report disclosures of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault (including rape and acquaintance rape), domestic violence, dating violence, relationship violence, or stalking, to LSCPA's Title IX Coordinator, whose role is to coordinate the college's response to sexual misconduct. For more information about Title IX protections, faculty reporting responsibilities, options for confidential reporting, and the resources available for support visit LSCPA's Title IX website.
Clery Act Crime Reporting For more information about the Clery Act and crime reporting, see the Annual Security & Fire Safety Report and the Campus Security website.

Grievance / Complaint / Concern If you have a grievance, complaint, or concern about this course that has not been resolved through discussion with the Instructor, please consult the Department Chair.
Department Information
Inmate Instruction
Chair:Steven Zani
Phone:(409) 984-6431