PHIL401 Summer Quarter 2007
Prof. Michael Rosenthal
purpose of this course is to acquaint the student with the central
traditional Jewish philosophy. It is
during the medieval period, for the most part in the Islamic world,
philosophy first developed and flourished. It
was through the work of the great Islamic philosophers
Averroes, Avicenna, and Al-Ghazali) that Jewish thinkers rediscovered
Greek philosophy, which in turn had an enormous impact on how they
their own tradition. We shall look at
how the most important Jewish philosophers of this age--
Assignments and Grading Policy
The course requirements are as follows. All students are expected to have read the assigned material in advance of the class period in which it will be discussed. I will base on your grade on the three following assignments:
1) DAILY READING RESPONSE PAPER (100 points total): Each day at the beginning of class on Thursday you will hand in a typed response to one of the questions listed under the topic heading for each day’s assignment. (Since we are spending more than one day on several topics, you can write your second or third response on a different philosopher.) You ought to consider the response of one or two of the philosophers we have read that week. You must refer to the readings as part of the response.
Each response paper will be graded as either “good” (5 points), “satisfactory” (4 points), or “unsatisfactory” (2 points). You will receive a satisfactory grade on each assignment if you: (a) write a minimum of 250 words; (b) present the material systematically (i.e., state the problem and the response to it) with reference to the readings; and (c) show a minimal degree of comprehension. The first time that you turn in an unsatisfactory guide I will give you the opportunity to rewrite it (within two days after it has been handed back) in order to receive a satisfactory grade. Each time that you do not turn in a study guide you will receive 0 points. Except in the case of documented illness late papers will receive a maximum of 3 points. You can turn in a late paper up to two days after the original due date. After that point I will no longer accept them. There are 20 papers due for a possible total of 100 points. A minimum overall score of 53 points is required to pass this assignment.
2) MID-TERM TAKE-HOME EXAM (150 Points): You will be required to answer several questions in short essay form. The exam questions will be distributed in class on Friday, June 29th, and will be due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, July 3rd. This will be an open-book exam. Late exams will be penalized. A mininum of 80 points is required to pass this assignment.
3) FINAL IN-CLASS EXAM (150 Points): The final exam will take place on Wednesday, July 18th, in Savery 341. It will cover material from the whole course but will focus on material from the second half of the course (i.e., after the midterm). This will be a closed-book exam. A mininum of 80 points is required to pass this assignment.
Final Grade: Your final grade will be computed on the basis of the
assignments you have turned in. There is a total possible point
400 points. Below you will find a conversion table. The
column represents total points for the course. The second column
represents the grade for total of weekly papers. The
third column represents the grade for
either the midterm or the final exam.
The fourth column represents the approximate letter grade
Nota Bene: (1) In order to pass this course students are required to: a) have enough total points (i.e., at least 212 points); and also b) pass (i.e., receive at least 53 points in) in two of the three components of the course (i.e., the weekly response paper, the midterm exam, and the final exam). If you have enough total points to pass but do not pass two of the three components you will fail the course. Absolutely no exceptions will be made to this policy.
(2) In some cases, when I calculate the final grade, I will also consider such factors as improvement and class participation.
(3) Academic Misconduct. Cheating in any form (including plagiarism, of course) will result in automatic referal to the Dean’s office. You are assumed to understand the university rules concerning inappropriate academic conduct, including what constitutes plagiarism. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the instructor.
Disabled Student Services. If you would like to request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, (206) 543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating you have a disability that requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to me within the first week of the course so we can discuss the accommodations you might need for the class.
There are three required texts for this class and they are on sale at the University Bookstore.
Frank, O. Leaman, and C. Manekin (eds.), The
2) H. Lewy, A. Altmann, and I. Heinemann (eds.), 3 Jewish Philosophers, Toby Press (ISBN: 978-1592641475) [abbreviated TJP]
3) I. Twersky, A
Maimonides Reader, Behrman, (ISBN: 0-87441-206-4) [abbreviated MR].
The reading and lecture schedule will be roughly as follows. The week's topic is listed first with some questions that we will discuss and to which you will respond in your weekly assignment. Next to the topic are the tentative dates when this topic will be discussed in class.
INTRODUCTION: What is
2. REASON AND
REVELATION (June 18, 19)
2. REASON AND
REVELATION (June 18, 19)
--Mishnah Torah (in MR): pp. 35-48, 65 (sec. 11-12), 71-76, 83-85, 95 (Mezuzah ), 145-6 (Trespass 8:8), 149-50 (Substitute ), 154 (Immersion ), 112-3 (New Moon ).
--Commentary on Mishnah: Helek (in MR): pp. 401-423.
--Guide: Dedication and Introduction (MR: 234-246), III: 51-2 (MR: 341-350), I: 31-35 (MR: 252-265)
Bk. I (all), IV: sections
1-23, V: 15, 21 (TJP).
Contact the instructor at: firstname.lastname@example.org