Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Course Requirements

Reading, discussing, and writing about the assigned material are the central activities of this class. There is a reading assignment for each lecture. Some are quite difficult and demand careful study. You should complete the assigned readings before each lecture as the lecture will often presuppose familiarity with the material in the texts. Attendance at all lecture and all recitation sections is required. Lectures will introduce important material not in the readings. Participation in section is an important component of the course, helping students develop their critical and communicative skills.

Summary of Assignments and Deadlines

First Short Exercise: Four days after Lec #4 (2 pages)

First Essay: Two days after Lec #12 (8 pages)

Second Short Exercise: Two days after Lec #17 (2 pages)

Second Essay: Two days after Lec #23 (8 pages)

Overall Assessment

24.01 is a HASS CI Subject. Such subjects require at least 20 pages of writing (5000 words) divided among the different assignments. One assignment must be revised and resubmitted. HASS CI subjects also offer students substantial opportunity for oral expression, through presentations, student-led discussion, or class participation. In 24.01, Classics in Western Philosophy, these criteria are satisfied as follows:

Recitation Grade 20%
Two Essays 60%
Final Exam 20%

Recitation Grade: Based on attendance, preparation, contributions to discussion, and any written or oral assignments, including the 2 short exercises. Each exercise should be 2 pages long.

Two Essays: Essay topics will be distributed in advance and will ask students to analyze and discuss material covered in class. Each essay should be 8 pages long. The first essay must be rewritten and resubmitted. Due dates for revisions will be set by your TA. Your grade for the revised paper will be the average of the grades for the two versions. (Revised papers are held to a higher standard.)

Final Exam: A 3-hour final exam on material covered throughout the term. The exam will be closed-notes and closed-books. The time and date will be set by the Schedules Office Final Examination Schedule. Be sure to check this schedule early and notify the Schedules Office of any conflicts. There is no midterm exam.

Note: Students must take the final exam at the scheduled time unless permission has been granted by the Schedules Office to take the exam at an alternative time. Permission to take the exam early will not be given to students who simply want to leave town early, even if this is your only exam. Don't book flights home before you know the exam schedule.

All written assignments (except any completed in class) must be typed or word-processed. Assignments are to be handed to your TA in section. Please keep a copy of all work you turn in, and in addition please submit an electronic copy of your work to your TA. Late work will be accepted only under exceptional circumstances, and will be penalized unless an extension is granted in advance. Failure in any of the three grading areas listed above will result in failure of the course.

How to Cite a Source

If your assignment quotes or discusses a work from the prescribed text, you may cite it by giving, in the body of your writing, the page number where it appears in the prescribed text. Supply your assignment with a bibliography, which includes a full reference for all sources cited and consulted. If you cite material in the bibliography other than the prescribed text, you may use either 'Scientific Style' (which cites the work in the body of your writing); or 'Humanities Style' (which uses a footnote to cite the work), e.g. as described by the Chicago Manual of Style:

Humanities Style

Blackfoot, Emery. Chance encounters. Boston: Serendipity Press, 1987.

First Footnote:
Blackfoot, Emery. Chance Encounters. Boston: Serendipity Press, 1987.

Next Footnotes:
Blackfoot, 102.

Scientific Style

Blinksworth, Roger. 1980. Converging on the evanescent. San Francisco: Threshold Publications.

In Text:
(Blinksworth 1987, 23)

See the Chicago Manual of Style for more details about how to create and cite your bibliography.


Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in this or any other course. If in doubt about what counts as plagiarism, or about how to properly cite a source, consult the instructor or your TA. Other forms of academic dishonesty include: cheating on exams, double submission of papers, aiding dishonesty, and falsification of records. If academic dishonesty is proven, at the very least you will fail the course and a letter will be sent to the Committee on Discipline documenting your dishonesty. If you are tempted to plagiarize because you are in crisis, don't succumb: it is always better to get advice from your TA, professor, advisor, academic deans, or the counseling center.

Statement Regarding Academic Misconduct*

To put it bluntly, plagiarism is theft and fraud -- it is the theft of someone else's ideas, words, approach, and phrasing; it's fraud because the writer is trying to profit (a grade) by claiming as his/her own someone else's work. Because plagiarism can have severe disciplinary consequences, it is crucial to understand the concept. Just as scientists demand complete and accurate information about experiments so that they duplicate and check those experiments, so scholars and readers demand complete information so they can check your use of sources and accuracy in reporting what others said. In all academic writing, then, you must give complete citations (e.g., author, title, source, page) each time you use someone else's ideas, words, phrasing, or unusual information. An insidious form of plagiarism is the 'patchwork paper' - some words and ideas taken from source A are stitched together with words and ideas from source B and source C and so on. Your essays should be your own work, although you are encouraged to seek writing advice from the Writing and Communication Center. If there is any question about whether the student's paper is his or her own work, TAs have been directed to bring the paper directly to the professor. Every effort will be made to determine whether the paper is plagiarized. This is an attempt to be fair to the teachers and the other students in the course. There are 4 guidelines for using sources in your essays:

  1. There is never a good reason to paraphrase a source-either summarize it in your own words or quote it exactly (citing the source in either case).
  2. When you quote, quote exactly, use quotation marks, and cite the source.
  3. When you use information that might not be considered common knowledge, cite the source.
  4. When in doubt about whether or not to give a citation, always give a citation.

Additional Information: Citing and Using Sources

*This statement has been issued by the HASS Committee on Discipline.


1-4 Plato First short exercise due 4 days after Lec #4
5-8 Aristotle  
9-14 Descartes First essay due 2 days after Lec #12
15-17 Hume Second short exercise due 2 days after Lec #17
18-20 Kant  
21-22 Russell  
23-24 Sartre Second essay due 2 days after Lec #23