The following schedule is subject to modification, inasmuch as some topics may take more time, or less, to address than others.
1. Introduction to Philosophy
(a) Define Philosophy and review subfields, as the acronym MEAL (Metaphysics,
Epistemology, Axiology and Logic) defining the subfields of the discipline, applied as the acronym BWRITES (Being in the World, Writing, Reading, Thinking and Speaking) and the SAC method (determining if a given framework makes Sense, is based off of reasonable Assumptions, to assess its likely Consequences) focused on the skills that will be developed in the class.
(b) Read Stephen Law’s text “Introducing Philosophy” (handout, will be put on course-
reserve at the Thurgood Marshall Library; Law, 1 – 21).
- For more information on the branches of philosophy, see “Chapter 1: Web Links” Philosophy the Power of Ideas (McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2007) http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0073535729/student_view0/chapter1/web_links.html (accessed January 24, 2008).
1. Socrates, The Socratic Method and Praxis
(a) Read “Socrates: The Masterly Interrogator” (20 – 23) in required text The Story of
(b) Read, Benjamin Jowett’s translation of Plato’s “Apology” (The Internet
Classic Archive, 2000) http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/apology.html (January 24,
(c) View, “Cornel West” highlighting Socrates and the 2005 text Democracy Matters
(webcast) (Youtube.com, at
- For further reference, view, “Socrates” (webcast), in History: In Our Time (BBC Radio 4, September 27, 2007)
(accessed January 24, 2008).
- For further reference on the Socratic Method, see Ken Samples text “The
Socratic Method” (Stand to Reason, 2008)
http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5631 (accessed January
WEEKS 3 - 5
1. A Philosopher’s Tool Kit
(a) Read the text at the web-link “Logic and Fallacies” in Philosophy the Power of Ideas
(McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2007) http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0073535729/student_view0/chapter1/web_links.html (accessed January 24, 2008).
2. Comparative History of Philosophy
(a) Midterm review; read “The History of Philosophy” (handout, will be put on course-
reserve at the Thurgood Marshall Library, Stephen Law, 24 – 43).
(b) Read “The African Origin of Philosophy” (handout, will be put on course-reserve at
the Thurgood Marshall Library, Theophile Obenga, 50 – 101).
WEEKS 6 - 9
1. Read, The Story of Philosophy (Required text, Bryan Magee).
(a) Week 6: read “Introduction;” “The Greeks and Their World” (the
Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, The Cynics, The Sceptics, The Epicureans and The Stoics); “Christianity and Philosophy” (
(b) Week 7: Midterm presentations; read “The Beginnings of Modern Science”
(c) Week 8: read “Revolutionary French Thinkers” (Voltaire, Diderot and Rousseau); “A
Golden Century of German Philosophy” (Kant, Schopenhauer, Eastern and
Western Philosophy Compared, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche).
(d) Week 9: read “Democracy and Philosophy” (The Utilitarians and The American
Pragmatists); “20th Century Philosophy” (Frege and Modern Logic, Russell and
Analytic Philosophy, Wittgenstein and Linguistic Philosophy, Existentialism, Bergson and Recent French Philosophy, Popper and The Future of Philosophy).
- For access to comprehensive links on Western Philosophy and full-texts, see Brooke Moore and Kenneth Bruder’s companion website to the text Philosophy: The Power of Ideas, 7/e (McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2007) http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0073535729/student_view0/ (accessed January 24, 2008).
WEEKS 10 - 13
1. Read the following chapters in Africana Studies (Required text, ed. Mario
(a) Week 10: Final examination review; read, “
(R. Hunt Davis, Jr.); “Legitimate Trade, Diplomacy and the Slave Trade” (M. Alpha Bah); “Diaspora Africans and Slavery” (Raymond Gavins);
(b) Week 11: read “European Exploration and Conquest of Africa” (Mario Azevedo);
“Civil War to Civil Rights: The Quest for Freedom and Equality” (Marsha Jean Darling); and (optional) “The Caribbean: From Emancipation to
(c) Week 12: read “Africa’s Road to
“The Pan African Movement” (Michael Williams).
(d) Week 13: read “The Contemporary African World” (Luis B. Serapiao) and
“Contemporary Diaspora and the Future” (Alphine W. Jefferson).
WEEKS 14 - 16
1. Read the following chapters in African Philosophy (Required text, ed.
Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze) and web-links.
(a) Week 14: Final examination review; read “African, African American, Africana
Philosophy” (Lucius Outlaw);
and “Modern Western Philosophy and African Colonialism” (E. Chukwudi Eze).
(b) Week 15: see “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”
(http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h2927t.html) (Frederick Douglass); read “The
Illusions of Race” (Kwame Anthony Appiah); see “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to
Break Silence” (http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm) (Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.).
(c) Week 16: Final Research paper reviews; read “Black Women Shaping Feminist
Theory” (bell hooks); “Colonialism and the Colonized: Violence and Counter-Violence” (Tsnay Serequeberhan); see “Executive Summary” of In Larger Freedom (Kofi Annan) (http://www.un.org/largerfreedom/summary.html); read “Prophetic Pragmatism” (Cornel West) on course-reserve.