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Course/Section: PHL 100/106
Title: Introduction to Philosophy
Time: Tuesday & Thursday 11:20AM-12:50PM
Location: Arts & Letters 414
Instructor: Khafiz Kerimov
Office Hours: Tuesday 1:30PM-3:30PM or by appointment
Location: 2352 N. Clifton, Suite 150, Room 26
This course is an introduction to philosophy through study and discussion of the foundational
texts of the history of philosophy. Owing to the time constraints, we will study only some of the
foundational texts of Western philosophy from the standpoint of a specific philosophical
question. This specific question is simply What is philosophy? Unlike most other kinds of
learning, philosophy does not take its meaning, objectives, and methods for granted, but inquires
after them in a self-reflecting manner. To ask what philosophy and/or a philosopher is is a
uniquely philosophical task, which will afford us a unique insight into the nature of philosophical
inquiry. Therefore, I will not provide you with a ready-made definition of philosophy at the
outset; instead, what we will do in this course is try to work out for ourselves what philosophy is.
We will do so by looking at the following major works of philosophy: first, Aristotles
Nicomachean Ethics, then Ren Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy along with the
letters of Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia to Descartes, and finally Baruch Spinozas Treatise on
the Emendation of the Intellect.
At the conclusion of this course, in addition to gaining familiarity with some of the major
figures, problems, concepts and methods of Western philosophical tradition (which is required
for further academic study of philosophy and many other disciplines), students should be able:
1. Think critically and evaluate problem sand questions analytically
2. Analyze texts from various methodological and historical perspectives
3. Communicate verbally and in writing about complex issues
4. Form arguments and take position on an issue

Needless to say, the importance of the skills listed above is not limited to a specialized study of
philosophy. They will prove useful in a successful performance of every task in every sphere of
life, regardless of your career goals.
Everyone in the class is required to have the following texts, to study them carefully, and to bring
them to class in accordance with the schedule:
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (Tr. Joe Sachs, Focus Philosophical Library); ISBN-13: 9781585100354
Ren Descartes, Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy (Tr. Donald A.
Cress, Hackett Classics, 4th Edition); ISBN-13: 978-0872204201
Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia, Letters to Descartes [May, June, July 1643] (D2L)
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics: with the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect and Selected Letters
(Ed. Seymour Feldman, Tr. Samuel Shirley, Hackett Classics, 2nd Edition); ISBN-13: 9780872201309
Harry Frankfurt, Two Motivations for Rationalism: Descartes and Spinoza (D2L)
Note: All of the required texts are either available at DePaul bookstore (although you can
purchase them elsewhere) or on D2L. It is very important that you have the translations/editions
listed above. I may assign a number of other shorter readings, all of which I will make available
on D2L, depending on how the course goes.
All students are expected to come to each particular class well prepared, which means that you
have done the assigned readings and are prepared to discuss them in class.
Arriving late is disruptive of class, so please make every effort to arrive on time.
Please do not leave the room once class has started (unless you have a legitimate excuse).
The use of electronic devices is allowed in class, provided that it is done for academic purposes
only and does not disturb other students or the instructor, but absolutely no electronic
communication during class will be tolerated. If caught on using an electronic device for nonacademic purposes, first, you would be given a warning by e-mail and then, if caught again, that
session of class would be counted as missed by you.
Attendance will be taken into consideration in calculating your final grade: If you miss more
than two 90-minute classes, your grade will be automatically lowered by one grade point for
each additional absence (unless you have a legitimate excuse). For example, if you are on a B for
the course, 3 absences will reduce your grade to a B-.

If you need to miss a class, please make sure that you get the reading assignment on D2L (all
assignments will be posted there as well as announced in class).
Late assignments (e.g., final papers) will be penalized by one grade point per day, unless you
have a legitimate excuse.
Computer-related problems are not an excuse for failure to submit an assignment on time. It is
your responsibility to keep back-up copies of your work, and never leave printing to the last
minute. If you submit a file that does not meet requirements and therefore I cannot open it, it is
considered a late assignment until you submit a new file that I can open.
If the celebration of a religious holiday interferes with class attendance, please contact me in
advance and we will find a solution.
Students seeking disability related accommodations are required to register with DePauls Center
for Students with Disabilities (CSD). The Center will enable students to access accommodations
and support services. There are two office locations that can provide you with enrollment
information, or you can inquire via email at
Loop CampusLewis Center #1420(312) 362-8002
Lincoln Park CampusStudent Center #37 (773) 325-1677
Students are also invited to contact me privately to discuss how I may assist with any
accommodations. This should be done earlier rather than later in the quarter.
Please make use of my office hours to approach me with any questions or concerns about this
course. I will hold extended office hours before major assignments and exams. You are welcome
to contact me by e-mail with shorter questions that can be answered in 3 or 4 lines. Students are
expected to be professional in all communication with the instructor. In particular, all email
communication should be in complete sentences with a proper salutation and conclusion. Doing
otherwise will guarantee that you will not receive a response. A university course is an excellent
opportunity to learn professional communication. It will prove very valuable in your future
All students are expected to abide by DePaul's Academic Integrity Policy (AIP) as a condition of
your enrollment. You can review the AIP in the Student Handbook or by visiting Academic
Integrity at DePaul University (
Instances of plagiarism will result in an automatic Fail for the entire course and reported to the
University Administration. If you are unclear about what constitutes plagiarism even after
consulting the AIP, please speak to me.

Your grade in this class will be determined as follows:

20% Attendance & Participation
20% In-Class Written Exam #1
20% In-Class Written Exam #2
40% Final Paper
It is not enough to just show up in classyou must be ready to participate in classroom
discussions with thoughtful remarks and questions. In the event that I feel the class has stopped
preparing the assigned readings for class, I reserve the right to give unannounced short reading
quizzes, which would affect the Attendance & Participation section of your grade. No makeups for these quizzes will be given.
There will be two in-class written exams at the end of the sections on Aristotle and Descartes
respectively. There will be a choice of three questions, each of which will ask you a question
based on one of the texts read thus far. You will have to answer only two question out of the three
offered. You will be allowed to have access to the primary text or texts as well as your notes. I
will return your exams with a grade and some comments. No make-ups for the in-class exams
will be given.
The final paper will be due on November, 2 to be submitted electronically in .docx format to
D2L. The paper should be 4-6 pages in length, type-written in 12p. Times New Roman font,
double-spaced throughout and have 1 inch top, bottom, left, and right margins. I will announce
possible topics and questions for the final paper in advance in class. We will talk at length about
how to write a philosophical paper in class before the final papers are due.
Grade Distribution:
A: 93.00-100.00

C+: 77.00-79.99

D-: 60.00-63.99

A-: 90.00- 92.99

C: 73.00-76.99

F: 59.99 or below

B+: 87.00-89.99

C-: 70.00-72.99

B: 83.00-86.00

D+: 67.00-69.99

B-: 80.00-82.99

D: 63.00-66.99

COURSE PLAN (subject to change)

Week 1
Thursday, September 8: Introduction
Week 2
Tuesday, September 13: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Thursday, September 15: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

Week 3
Tuesday, September 20: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Thursday, September 22: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Week 4
Tuesday, September 27: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Thursday, September 29: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Week 5
Tuesday, October 4: In-Class Exam #1
Thursday, October 6: Ren Descartes, Meditations
Week 6
Tuesday, October 11: Ren Descartes, Meditations
Thursday, October 13: Ren Descartes, Meditations
Week 7
Tuesday, October 18: Ren Descartes, Meditations
Thursday, October 20: Ren Descartes, Meditations
Week 8
Tuesday, October 25: Princess Elizabeth, Letters to Descartes [6 May 1643; 10 June 1643; 1
July 1643]
Thursday, October 27: In-Class Exam #2
Week 9
Tuesday, November 1: Baruch Spinoza, Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect
Thursday, November 3: Baruch Spinoza, Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect
Week 10
Tuesday, November 8: Baruch Spinoza, Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect
Thursday, November 10: Harry Frankfurt, Two Motivations for Rationalism: Descartes and
Week 11
Tuesday, November 15: Review
Final paper due date: Tuesday, November 22
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The syllabus is designed to meet the educational objectives of the
course and is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.