PHI 2010            TR 12:15- 1:30 p.m.
                              TR   9:30-10:40 a.m.

Spring 2003                                                                                                                                               

INTRODUCTION AND COURSE OBJECTIVES: This course is your philosophy component in your General Education at UNF. 

This course is an introduction to the history of Western philosophy and a thematic survey of various methodological approaches to the technologies of reason: deductive logic, inductive logic, transcendental method, dialectical thought, the borrowing of images, the constructing of images, the forming of opinions, the skills of fantasy.  The objectives of this class are to introduce students to basic philosophical acts and to train them in critical analysis. This course requires at least 3000 words of evaluated writing and partially fulfills the Gordon Rule Writing Requirement of the State of Florida. 

GOALS OF THE COURSE AND PREDICTED OUTCOMES: Upon successful completion of this class, students will be able to recognize various philosophical positions within their historical contexts and offer analysis based upon methodological approaches within the discipline of philosophy.

The Student WILL LEARN to focus not only on the statements of philosophers but more importantly on the mental acts leading to those statements and methods, and the mental habits they create. The key lesson of the course is to develop the ability to focus on what philosophers do to say the things they say. This focus will enable the students to see how history is made, how individual thinking is conditioned by the past, how we have used in history and education certain mental acts only and left others unused. Writing papers, presentations in class and dialogue with one another will help the students join the conversation of philosophers and with each other so that the common and individual challenges are more easily overcome.


                -attend classes

                -read assigned sections

                -participate in class discussions

                -complete assignments (listed below) with passing scores


                The methods of instruction shall be lecture and class discussion.  The grading practices are as follows:

                Three written papers………………………60%

                Communal presentation…………………. 30%

                Attendance………………………………….. 10%

The grading scale is as follows: (on a 4.0 scale)

A=3.6-4.0;  B= 2.6-3.5;  C=2.0-2.5;  D=1.6-1.9; F=below 1.6

POLICY ON ATTENDANCE AND PLAGIARISM:  (see College Catalog for general policy.)

The professor reserves the right to fail any student who misses three or more classes. Plagiarism shall not be tolerated and shall result in AT LEAST a failing grade for the course.


Students experiencing difficulties that interfere with their learning should contact the instructor as soon as possible to arrange assistance. Examples of these difficulties might include: ineffective study skills,  preoccupation with emotional issues, or problems with stress management.


           -de Nicolas, A.T. Habits of Mind. Iuniverse. 2002

           -de Nicolas, A.T. Moksha Smith: Agni’s Warrior-Sage, 2002


WEEKS ONE AND TWO: A film presentation of neurobiology and how the brain works. This will help the student to keep as a background or mental image the discussion of philosophers and their truth and falsity value as we proceed with the course. Handouts will be also given in class to better understand the film presentation.

WEEKS THREE AND FOUR: All the readings are found in Habits of Mind, de Nicolas

How the Medievals injected in us the first habit of mind with their use of Aristotle.

The ideology of the time.


Scholastic Logic, de Nicolas

Scipio’s Dream, from On the Republic by Cicero

The Myth of Er, from The Republic by Plato.

WEEKS FIVE AND SIX: Modernity with Galileo, Descartes, Newton.

Modern Logic

Some Logical Terms, Definitions, Axioms, Formulae.

Text: “The Sciences have Masks on Them,” by Colin M. Turbayne

WEEKS SEVEN AND EIGHT: The Narratives: Locke, Rousseau, Marquis de Sade


“Some Thoughts Concerning Education,” John Locke.

Emile, Jean Jacques Rousseau.

“Dialogue between a priest and a dying man,” The Marquis de Sade

WEEKS NINE AND TEN: The Critics: Voltaire, Vico, Dewey, Ortega y Gasset.


Candide, Voltaire

Experience and Education, John Dewey

The Revolt of the Masses and Mission of the University, Jose Ortega y Gasset.

The first five chapters of Habits of Mind.

WEEKS ELEVEN AND TWELVE: The return to the origins of philosophy: Plato, the Poets, Pythagoras, Indic Texts.


“Translating Plato: Some reflections on Rhetoric,” John Bremer

The Republic, Plato

Daedalus and Icarus,

The Golden Verses of the Pythagoreans

Katha Upanishad

Bhagavad Gita. de Nicolas translation.