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The Concept of Freedom
  时间:2015-11-25 16:01:47  作者:

 The Course Syllabus for Undergraduate

Studies at Shantou University

 

 

    名(COURSE TITLE):

The Concept of Freedom

 

课程代码(COURSE CODE):

CIS6039A

 

        分(CREDIT VALUE):

2

 

课内课时(CONTACT HOURS):

32

 

先修课要求(PREREQUISITES

English level 3 or equivalent

 

开课单位(DEPARTMENT/UNIT):

 

Center for Global Studies,         College of Liberal Arts

 

        本(VERSION):

 

 

 

课程负责人(COURSE COORDINATOR):

Kelly Nicholson, PhD.

 

 

    人(APPROVER):

(签章)

 

 

审核日期(APPROVE DATE):

 

 

 

 

College of Liberal Arts, Shantou University

 

 

2014 Spring


1  Course Description

 

This course will be devoted to the concept of freedom as a vital part of our thinking about ethics, psychology, and human agency.  It will examine freedom in terms of social structure, individual life development, and the fundamental autonomy or “freedom of the will” that enters into much of traditional philosophy. 

 

This is an advanced course with a relatively high expectation of language competence and a largely seminar format that will emphasize in-class participation and each student’s responsibility to steer discussion in at least one weekly class session 

 

It will raise questions like (i)  What does it mean to be “free” in relation to one’s own environment and society?  (ii)  To what extent does this freedom make life more desirable?  (iii)  How is freedom of agency relevant to our moral thinking?  (iv)  Can a willfully chosen attitude, such as optimism, shape our lives for better or for worse?  (v)  Is our radical “cognitive” freedom presupposed by theoretical activity of every kind? 

 

Included in the reading will be selections from Bernard Berofsky’s Free Will and Determinism, Joel Feinberg’s Social Philosophy, and Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, as well as works by William James and Jean Paul Sartre. 

 

 

 

2  Course Requirements

 

The course requirements will be determined to some extent by the class makeup (student language skills, maturity level, etc.) and the possibilities that it allows.  It is intended to have a largely seminar format, and with less emphasis, accordingly, on the usual devices of quiz and exam.  Good standing at the end of the term will presuppose regular (not necessarily prefect) attendance and carefulattentiveness to the subjects at hand during the class sessions.   

 

 

2.2  Expected Learning Outcomes

 

The intended learning outcomes of the course

 

Learning Objectives(knowledge units/ skill specification ) 培养目标(知识单元/能力标准)

Knowledge points or skills (decomposed below x.x.x level)

知识点或x.x.x级以下的能力标准

The Intended Learning outcomes (to be filled by the teaching group

相关学习结果(由教研组完成)

 

  1. Apply integrative thinking to complex academic and social situations

   1.1.1  Have a clear conception of argument a providing evidence or reasons in support of a conclusion.

   1.1.2  Be able to identify the premise(s), conclusion, and type of reasoning of an argument in a variety of argumentative contexts.

   1.2.4  Provide criticism of an argument that falls short, in regard to one or more of these standards.

 

   Students will examine and demonstrate comprehension of how freedom enters into thinking about human activity with regard to social issues, moral theory, philosophy of life, and the actual process of reasoning itself.

 

  

 

 

 

  3. Understand how their lives intersect between the local and the global

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.1.2  Understand the right and responsibilities of a global citizen and act upon this understanding.  

 

 

 

 

 

 The course deals to a great extent in freedom as it relates to ethics, and to social philosophy. Accordingly, students will provide adequate evidence of their comprehension of written materials by means of their performance on one quiz, one extended essay exam, and an individual class presentation.)

  

 5. Understand, think, and write in English or other international languages.

 

 5.1.2  Become familiar with academic communication in written and oral forms.

  5.1.3  Demonstrate understanding of the academic learning process.

  5.1.7  Create written and oral projects that utilize communication

Skills to express their own ideas and research.

 The course will be taught in English and most of the reading will be available only in English - all written work will be done likewise in English, and the class presentation will be done in English, with reliance upon Chinese as an aid to audience understanding.

 

 7. Obtain discipline related proficiencies.

 

 

 

 Students will gain skills relevant to philosophy as a whole, and particular knowledge from philosophical texts, including some classic selections from modern moral thinkers.

 

 

 

Prerequisites  There is no formal prerequisite for the course - students, however, are expected to have adequate English language skills, both written and oral, and an adult level willingness to confront serious textual matter in a sustained fashion.  

 

Textbooks and Other Learning Resources

 

 

The course will employ recent or current editions of the following:

 

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

Joel Feinberg, Social Philosophy

Bertrand Russell, Religion and Science

William James, The Will to Believe and other essays

Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking

Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

John Hick, The New Frontier of Religion and Science

Clarence Darrow, Attorney for the Damned

Bernard Berofsky, ed., Free Will and Determinism

  

      Video:  Good Will Hunting 

 

Course Website: Please visit MySTU

 

  2.3  Teaching and Learning Activities

 

lecture

hours

tutorial

hours

experiment

hours

seminar

hours

Social practice

hours

project

hours 

On-line learning

hours

other

hours

in

out

in

out

in

out

in

out

in

out

in

out

in

out

in

out

32

 nil

nil

32

nil

nil

nil

nil

nil

nil

nil

16

nil

16

nil

nil

 

 

2.4

 

Assessment component

Content

Unit/topic

ILO to be assessed

weightage

%

Class Participation

All units

of the course

1.  Apply integrative thinking to complex academic and social situations. 

2.   Be creative thinkers who can approach issues from multiple perspectives. 

5. Understand, think, and write in English or other international languages.

20

Quiz

Unit One:

  Causality in ancient and modern theory

1.  Apply integrative thinking to complex academic and social situations.

2.  Be creative thinkers who can approach issues from multiple perspectives.

5.  Understand, think, and write in English or other international languages.

10

 

 

 

 

Essay Exam

Unit Two:

Freedom in ethics and existential philosophy

1.Apply integrative thinking to complex academic and social situations.

2.  Be creative thinkers who can approach issues from multiple perspectives.

3.  Understand how their lives intersect between the local and the global.

5.  Understand, think, and write in English or other international languages.

40

Individual student presen-

tations

Unit Three:

 

Comprehensive in course scope

1.Apply integrative thinking to complex academic and social situations.

2. Be creative thinkers who can approach issues from multiple perspectives.

3.  Understand how their lives intersect between the local and the global.

5. Understand, think, and write in English or other international languages.

30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.5  Course Schedule

 

Week

Hours

Activity

Week 01

2

    

Introduction & course policy:

This session is devoted to personal introductions, course format, and course policy, and an introduction to basic ideas integral to philosophy     

 

Week 02

2

 

The second week introduces the ideas of causality and determinism,

ancient and modern  (Terence Irwin, Classical Thought, pp. 43 –

 52; Henri d’Holbach, The System of Nature, as assigned; Bertrand

 Russell, Religion and Science, as assigned)

 

Week 03

2

 This session examines modern and recent thinking about causality

 and moral freedom  (Clarence Darrow, Attorney for the Damned,

 as assigned; John Hospers, “What Means This Freedom?”)

 

Week 04

2

 Week 4 continues the prior discussion with materials that

 examine the idea of freedom as a “postulate” of moral

 reason  (Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, as

 assigned; William James, “The Dilemma of Determinism”; Kelly

 Nicholson, Body and Soul:  The Transcendence of Materialism,

 pp. 92 - 98)

 

Week 05

2

 Week 5 examines freedom in its social dimension: 

the relation of state and individual in modern thought  (John Stuart

 Mill, On Liberty, as assigned; Joel Feinberg, Social Philosophy, chs 1

 & 2)

   

Week 06

2

This week is devoted to the idea of freedom as it appears in modern

 existentialist thought  (Jose Ortega y Gasset, History as a System,

 as assigned; William Barrett, Irrational Man, pp. 239 – 244; Jean

 Paul Sartre, “Existentialism is a Humanism”)

 

Week 07

2

This session is devoted to mid-term exam review

Week 08

2

 

Week 09

2

This week examines freedom as it relates to religious belief (John

 Hick, Evil and the God of Love, pp. 253 – 261; Death and Eternal

 Life, pp. 156 - 166)

 

 

 

Week 10

2

This session introduces the idea of self-transcendence (particularly through love and humor) as found within general life, as well as life with the confines of a concentration camp in Frankl’s “logotherapy” (Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, as assigned; Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning, pp. 39 – 45)   

Week 11

2

Week 11 is examines the idea of “cognitive” freedom as a postulate

 of rationality  (John Hick, The New Frontier of Religion and

 Science, pp. 112 – 123; Kelly Nicholson, Body and Soul:  The

 Transcendence of Materialism,)

 

Week 12

2

This week is devoted to the idea of optimism as a freely chosen and

 life-shaping attitude that aids in the process of life discovery and

 fulfillment optimism  (William James, “The Will to Believe” and “Is

 Life Worth Living?”)

 

Week 13

2

This session continues the theme of optimism and its role in

 “positive thinking” (Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive

 Thinking, pp. 93 – 108)

 

Week 14

2

This week and the week following are devoted to individual student projects:  in-class presentations based upon the student’s own research (class-related or independent) and reflection  

Week 15

2

(continued)

Week 16

2

This week will be devoted to freedom and film drama (several candidates, including Good Will Hunting)   

Weeks 17-18

 

 

 

 

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