Philosophy: Intro Phil: Death & Dying

PHIL 010 OL1 (CRN: 60506)

3 Credit Hours

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About PHIL 010 OL1

Courses introducing philosophical argument and analysis in a variety of ways. Content, readings and assignments vary by section. Not repeatable for credit. Credit not awarded for more than one Philosophy course numbered below 100, except that credit will be given for PHIL 013 in addition to one other course numbered below 100.


Michael Ashooh ()


Dates: May 19 - June 13, 2014; Credit not awarded for more than one PHIL course below 100 except 013;

More Information

Section Description

We are all going to die. Everyone we know and everyone we care about is going to die. This, at least, is one truth we must all confront. But what should the prospect of our death mean to us? Should we fear it, loathe it, despair at its inevitability? Should we prepare for it and how could we? Will we cease to exist at our death or move on to something else? Can thinking about death be good for us? We will begin the course with some ancient arguments regarding the nature of death and whether it should be feared. We will discuss what philosophical reflection is and how we might begin to reflect on the nature and significance of death. We will explore Socrates? claim that philosophy teaches us how to die. We will then move on to some contemporary debates regarding these arguments, their role in philosophical reflection, and what they are meant to teach us about what are attitudes toward death should be. We will explore how philosophical reflections on the nature of death and dying might help us to both live better and die better. We will consider other contemporary debates related to this topic regarding whether life after death is possible, whether it would be desirable, how knowledge of our eventual death influences how we live and our self-conception. We will consider end of life decision making and various ethical implications regarding how we confront our own deaths and the deaths of others. And we will consider whether and how the prospect of death relates to questions of ?the meaning of life? or whether death renders life meaningless.

Section Expectation

Hours per day: You should expect to put about 15 hours of work into this course per week on average. This includes time to read the assignments, time to participate in the online portions of the course and time for other writing assignments. Some days may require more and some less, but the work requirements will be significant and we will move very quickly through the material. Discussion: I expect everyone to make at least one post per module and to respond to at least one of your classmates posts per module. That means you can expect to write at least 12 posts for the course. At least one of your own posts and one of your response posts should be substantial. Journal Reflections: I expect everyone to make 5 Personal Reflection journal entries in this course. Instructions are given within the course modules where they are expected. The style of writing may be informal, but I expect them to be well-written (no shorthand or slang) and clearly expressed. Quizzes: You will take 3 periodically scheduled quizzes online. The link to the quizzes appears in the module as a folder, usually just below the lecture or journal assignment description. Click on the link and you will be taken to the online quiz. The quizzes are essentially reading quizzes and cover material from the text and lectures. They are objective questions (i.e., multiple choice and true/false). You may use any resources that you would like to complete the quizzes; however, you only have 25 minutes to complete 20 questions. Once you begin the quiz, you must complete it in 25 minutes. You can only take the quiz on the day assigned for them; the link will close after that. Final: There will be a final paper assignment of 2000 words, submitted at the end of the course. Paper requirements are listed under the folder link for the final paper.


Grades will be calculated in the following way: Regular participation in Discussion Boards: 25% Writing in your Philosophical Reflections Journal: 30% Final paper: 30% Online quizzes 15%


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