Learning Outcomes


·         A. Logical Reasoning

3. Detect, identify and evaluate deductive and inductive arguments; assess by the formal standards that apply in each case (deductive, inductive reasoning); detect, identify and support charge of, fallacious reasoning; ensure consistency of sets of claims that constitute theory or viewpoint; ensure there is no logical absurdity incurred by theoretical definitions, principles, methods or claims;

2. Detect and identify most of the above logical properties but lag in evaluation and/or carrying the burden of grounding such evaluation;

1. Present gaps across all of the above dimensions but succeed in part.

0. Comprehensive failure to meet the above standards.


·         B. Moral Reasoning

3. Identify and evaluate normative claims, arguments and theories; learn, critically discuss and master application of reigning theories and methods including Deontology, Utilitarianism, Principlism, Virtue Theory, Natural Law, Aristotelian Ethics, and Contractarianism; grasp the significance of the is/ought distinction and detect fallacies stemming from ignoring this distinction; learn, analyze and critically discuss such metaethical views as Noncognitivism, Emotivist and Wittgenstein's language-based critique of moral discourse; understand and critically discuss challenges and problems like Relativism, evolution-theoretical viewpoints, "moral luck" and paradoxes associated with trolley-problems in moral decision making.

2. Identify normative claims and theories although without a complete analysis of background support of the theories and/or without full success in application or evaluation of theories; have some understanding of key metaethical discussions, problems and challenges.

1. Succeed partly in some of the above-mentioned tasks whereas showing only halting ability with respect to the remaining tasks.

0. Comprehensive failure to meet the above standards.



·         C. Analysis of Theories

3. Show deep understanding of the criteria good theories must meet and explain why there is a match between criteria and expectations about theories; apply criteria in reasoned fashion with a view to assessing theories; grasp and apply logical criteria pertaining to theory assessment (consistency and coherence, non-trivialisability, non-falsifiability); present examples of good and bad theories and account for the assessment of the theories;

2. Show some familiarity with criteria and background reasons for theory assessment; have an inkling that there are logical criteria for theory assessment; produce some examples of good and bad theories;

1. Show some familiarity with theory assessment criteria but present weaknesses with respect to applying such criteria and/or producing examples of theory/criteria correspondences.

0. Comprehensive failure to meet the above standards.


·         D. Textual Analysis

3. Comprehend and answer penetrating questions about philosophic texts or conceptual and critical claims raised in any text; discuss text analytically evaluating cogency of arguments in the text, consistency and coherence, underlying and implied claims and presuppositions and how the text is related to other relevant texts and to philosophic and other problems in the history of thought; tolerate and react analytically and critically to creative ambiguity; detect, show, critique and eliminate, if possible, flaws like ambiguity, vagueness, formal or informal fallaciousness;

2. Show comprehension of, and answer most questions about, philosophic texts or conceptual and critical claims made in any text; discuss text by using some good arguments and react critically to it; understand that there are implied claims and presuppositions even without fully accounting for such; locate text roughly in its context; realize and look for flaws like fallaciousness, ambiguity or vagueness;

1. Present most of the above abilities, even if haltingly, while lapsing in a few - but excluding the case of being unable to identify any one of the dimensions mentioned above;

0. Comprehensive failure to meet the above standards.


·         E. Locating in Context

3. Identify key concepts, debates, historic developments, problems and solutions as well as critiques, seminal texts, and theories within relevant historical and other contexts in Metaphysics, Epistemology, Logic and Philosophy of Logic, Ethics and Metaethics, Political Philosophy.

2. Identify some of the fundamental and seminal concepts, theories, debates, problems, texts and theories while not identifying others and/or without locating in context and/or without covering substantive aspects of the debates, problems, theories, texts.

1. Show significant gaps across the board even though presenting many of the above-identified items.

0. Comprehensive failure to meet the above standards.



·         F. Research and Writing

3. Research a topic in depth on the basis of authoritative sources and produce a sustained piece of formal writing, written with supporting arguments and thorough analysis while also showing proper source documentation.

2. Conduct formal research, show proper incorporation of relevant sources, produce argument-based writing that is coherent and relevant even though not in sustained fashion and with gaps with respect to analysis, argument-based support and/or documentation.

1. Show significant gaps in any of the above-identified dimensions while demonstrating understanding as to what must be done and partially presenting the components of a research paper;

0. Comprehensive failure to meet the above standards.


·         G. Oral Presentation

3. Make a sustained and thorough presentation of a position, fully supported by good arguments, regarding a philosophic problem, viewpoint, solution or critique; answer question in analytic, detailed, fully supported fashion; pose probing questions that show grasp of the material; discuss chosen or assigned paper topic.

2. Make a presentation of a view, position, solution, or critique that meets some but not all of the above-mentioned criteria; answer or pose a question  that shows some, although not complete, understanding of the relevant aspects; present to some extent a coherent paper topic and development.

1. Succeed in part in some of the above-mentioned tasks while not completely succeeding in the other tasks.

0. Comprehensive failure to meet the above standards.


Testing for Learning Outcomes

A. Test and/or midterm examination exercises; in-class exercises and homework.

B. As A above. Reaction papers on assigned critical questions. Final examination.

C. As A above.

D. Paper on a selected problem, e.g. the free will - determinism controversy: assigned across Introduction to Philosophy classes.

E. As D above.

F. Reaction papers and, as indicated, research paper on a relevant topic; consultation with the instructor on selecting the topic and writing the paper.

        G. Use of Socratic method, selectively, in class instruction and discussion. Assignment of points for class participation. Office hours available for continuing discussion, analysis and critical debate related to subjects studied in the course.