Modern European Philosophy Syllabus & Schedule

Nietzsche Warhol

PHIL 20B Spring 2017 – Class Code: 21172

Room: BCC 424 – Thursdays 6:30 – 9:20 PM

Instructor: Eric Gerlach – email:

Office Hours: Fridays 12-1 PM @ K’s Coffee

Course Description: This course introduces students to the history of modern European philosophy from Rationalism to Postmodernism, focusing on key influential ideas.

Texts: The readings for each lecture will be posted in the lecture notes or distributed via email list a week before we cover each topic.

Assignments: Two 3-5 page essays (50%) & a final 6-10 page paper (50%)


Jan 26 – The Origins of Modern Philosophy

Feb 2 – Descartes

Feb 9 – Spinoza

Feb 16 – Locke – 1st Paper Assigned

Feb 23 – Hume

Mar 2 – Berkeley – 1st Paper Due

Mar 9 – Kant

Mar 16 – Hegel

Mar 23 – Schopenhauer

Mar 30 – Nietzsche – 2nd Paper Assigned

Apr 6 – Heidegger

Apr 13 – No Class – Spring Break

Apr 20 – Positivism- 2nd Paper Due

Apr 27 – Pragmatism

May 4 – Wittgenstein – Final Paper Assigned

May 11 – Foucault

May 18 – Postmodernism

May 25 – No Class – Final Paper Due May 28th

Essay Grading Policy:  For each essay, state the question you are answering and take a clear position at the beginning, then argue with clear and focused points for the required page length.  Do not summarize material that is irrelevant.  You can include personal experience, examples from fiction or material from outside the course.

This class is acceptable for credit at UC and CSU. It counts towards GE AA/AS area 3; CSU area C2; and IGETC area 3. It can be used as an elective for the Liberal Arts with an Emphasis in Arts and Humanities, Associate in Arts Degree Program and the Liberal Arts: Intersegmental General Education Transfer (IGETC) Certificate of Achievement and the Global Studies AA Degree.

Student Learning Outcomes

Information Competency: Students will evaluate positions and arguments in essays.

Critical Thinking: Students will argue for and against positions and arguments in essays.

General Student Requirements: Students are expected to come to class prepared to ask questions and participate in discussions. All readings and assignments should be completed by the beginning of class on the day they are discussed. This class is run as a lecture/discussion course.  Students are responsible for all class material, even if they miss class. It is your responsibility to ask if you missed something; it is not the instructor’s responsibility to remind you. If a student has any extenuating circumstances which may affect full participation in the class, the student must speak to the instructor as far ahead of any due date as possible. All assignments must be completed and all requirements must be met in order to pass the class. You must turn in all assignments (even if they are late) in order to be eligible to receive a “C” grade or higher.  There are no exceptions, under any circumstance.

Plagiarism, “to use another person’s ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source” (MLA Handbook,  5th ed., §1.8)—will not be tolerated. Plagiarists, intentional or inadvertent, will receive a zero on the assignment in question; repeat offenders will get an F for the course and will be subject to college disciplinary action. Students are encouraged to review plagiarism policies in the current catalog.

Disabled Student Program and Services (DSPS) services are provided for any enrolled student who has a verified disability that creates an educational limitation that prevents the student from fully benefiting from classes without additional support services or instruction. Please let the instructor know if you require any support services or would like more information about DSPS.

The syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor. Any changes will be announced in class. Additional handouts of required readings may also be added.

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