121 Syllabus (JCCC)

Johnson County Community College

Department of Philosophy and Religion

Philosophy 121: Introduction to Philosophy

Summer 2015


Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

1. Identify and explain basic philosophical definitions and concepts.

2. Identify, explain, and analyze classical theories of metaphysics, epistemology and ethics.

3. Demonstrate logical and critical thinking abilities by constructing sound arguments and evaluating traditional and contemporary philosophical arguments.

4. Apply philosophical methods to contemporary problems and questions and evaluate the arguments and theories given in response.


Instructor information:

  • Dr. Brandon Gillette
  • Office Hours: by appointment
  • Office OCB 261H (though I’m more often at Revocup Coffee)
  • Email: [email protected] (you may also use my jccc email, but this email also goes to my phone so I am likely to see your email sooner)
  • Note: Email is the best way to contact me. A distant second is the department mailbox (if you can even find it).You may also talk to me or email to set up an appointment.


  • Take-home writings (7 in all)
    • 10% each
    • 70% of total grade collectively
  • Final Exam
    • 30% of total grade


Course information, including the assignment schedule, is available at www.bgillette.com


Grading Scale:

The numerical scores corresponding with the letter grades will be as follows. When final scores are calculated, I will round to the nearest whole number. Grades will be posted on the Learning Management Software

  • 100-90 A
  • 89-80 B
  • 79-70 C
  • 69-60 D
  • 59-0 F


I will keep track of attendance for my records. While there is not a grade specifically assigned to attendance, I will not accept exams, papers, or assignments outside of class (see Lateness/Make-Up policy below). Poor exam grades are likely if you do not attend regularly. I do realize that, on occasion, some things are more important than class. I do not need to know what these things are in your individual cases unless some arrangements between us are necessary.  Due to the pace of a summer course, regular attendance is even more important.

Make-up Policy:

Make-up exams will be permitted in extreme circumstances at the discretion of the instructor, and may be offered for reduced credit. The earlier I am notified about an absence due to extreme circumstances on an exam day, the more likely it is that a make-up exam will be allowed.  In the event that you know you will miss an exam day, you may be permitted to take an exam early, provided I am notified well in advance.

Course Text:

JCCC publication “From Wonder to Wisdom”, Other readings available online

Academic Honesty:

I will abide very strictly to the College’s policies on academic honesty. Violations of academic honesty policies can result in loss of credit for exams or assignments, and in some circumstances can result in loss of credit for the course.