What's Up Philosophy 125 Spring 2014


Hi everybody, check the schedule sometime after 4PM and you'll find your first introductory video entitled: What is Philosophy?   Also by late this afternoon you'll find the study questions for chapters 1-3 as well as your first journal question.  You will not be able to enter your first question into your journal until you receive your journal through Google Docs, of course.  This will happen within the next few days.  Please be sure you have created your Gmail account and shared it with me. Remember that's Gmail, not just Email. Some of you have still not corrected that!  


Hi everybody, please read everything below and follow the instructions for sharing your Gmail address with me.  Some of you have shared other email addresses, and these will not work.

I have just uploaded a class orientation video.  You'll find it at the top of the schedule page.


Hi everybody, and welcome to Philosophy 125: Philosophy of Science.  

This is a fully online class and this What's Up page will be your main source of new information about it.  You will want to make a habit of visiting this space at least once a day in order stay abreast of new developments.

As I've already explained in an e-mail to those of you who registered last year, there are a few factors critical to your success in this course.  

A.  It is very important that you be fully competent and confident in using computers, electronic media, e-mail, chat, Blackboard and other internet resources.  You must also have easy access to a reliable computer and a stable internet connection. If you think of yourself as "just not a computer person" or if you generally find using electronic and internet media frustrating or dissatisfying, this course will not be a good experience and you should consider dropping it right away.

B.  This course requires regular work.  There will never be specific times that you must be online (except to chat with the instructor or fellow students, which is optional) but if you only have a couple of days during the week that you can devote to this class, or if there will be periods of a week or more during the semester where you will be unavailable to engage the material, this class is absolutely not for you.  Please study the syllabus very carefully to understand exactly what I mean.  If a course with a schedule like this one does not suit your current needs, please drop it right away.

C. Please be aware that online courses tend to have a higher than average failure rate.  This is not because they are more difficult, but because the absence of defined physical meeting times makes it very easy to forget to keep up with the work.  Some students also find them to be very lonely experiences. I will be doing my best to mitigate these problems as much as possible, but it is important to be aware of them and take them seriously from the beginning. I am really not trying to discourage people from taking this class. I just want everyone in it to have a good experience.

Monday assignments

Your assignments for Monday 1/27 are as follows.

1. Read the syllabus very carefully, familiarize yourself with the schedule and the requirements, and be sure that this course is right for you.  If you decide that it is not, please drop it right away, as there are still many students who would like to add it.
2. Get the textbook if you have not already done so. 
3. Watch the Journal Instructions Video, which is at the top of the Schedule page for this class.
4. If you have not already done so, create a Gmail account as instructed in the video. Then go to this link and follow the directions. 
  • Important!  Some of you you have entered other email accounts on this page such as Yahoo or Hotmail.  These will  not work!  Please create a Gmail account through Google. Then revisit this page, find your name, and enter your Gmail address.
5. Watch the Introductory Videos at the top of the schedule. (These may not be ready until Monday afternoon)
6. Read Chapter 1 of the textbook and listen to the corresponding supplement in the schedule (Belief Systems, by Jonathan Glover.)  Study questions for this material will be available on the Study Questions page (at the top of the Schedule Page) by Monday evening at the latest.

That's a start!  Soon online lectures will begin appearing on the Schedule page and quizzes and tests will start to become available on Blackboard.  Everyone should find their Google Journal page in their Google Docs by the end of the week. 

Welcome, and stay tuned!