Javascript is currently disabled in your browser.
Please adjust this setting and refresh this page to continue using this system.

User login

Some content is restricted to university students and faculty. You may log in using your campus username to show the additional content.



PHL 100 Section 001

Fall 2013, Lecture

Dr. H Hestevold

Office Hours and Contact Information

Office Hours:  1:00-2:00 PM, MWF; 329 ten Hoor

Telephone:      348-1912


Course Website: → click link to PHL 100-001


UA Course Catalog Prerequisites

No prerequisites or none listed.

Not open to students who have had PHL 191.

Course Description

UA Course Catalog Information


Core Designations:

Student Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, students who have mastered the material should be better able to formulate and evaluate reasoned views regarding several classic philosophical problems, including the justification of government, the nature of right and wrong, free will, the nature of mind, and the existence of God.

Required Texts

UA Supply Store Textbook Information


Exams and Assignments

One’s course grade will be determined by four multiple-choice examinations:


% of course grade

Exam date

First Exam


September 11  (tentative)

Second Exam


October 2 (tentative)

Third Exam


October 30   (tentative)

Final Exam


Tuesday, December 10; 9 AM (not  8 AM)


A zero will be recorded for any examination not taken for whatever reason. Note: students will need No. 2 pencils for each examination.

Policy on Missed Exams & Coursework

The opportunity to make up an examination is at 4 PM on Wednesday, November 20 in Room 103 ten Hoor. At this time, students may make up one or more of the first three examinations not taken for whatever reason. Students who have extraordinary excuses (e.g. a death in the immediate family, hospitalization, court subpoena) for having missed both the original exam and make‑up exam may petition for special consideration. Such petitions must be submitted to the professors in writing and accompanied by appropriate documentation. Make‑up final examinations will be given on the date officially scheduled by the Office of Records and Testing.

Attendance Policy

There is no attendance requirement, but students will likely find great utility in attending class regularly, prepared to discuss critically the assigned readings. If ever the class fails to prepare an assignment, the instructor assumes that students have chosen to master it without the benefit of classroom discussion.

Grading Policy

Plus/Minus Grade Determination:

97-100 = A+       87-89 = B+      77-79 = C+       67-69 = D+        <60 = F

93-96   = A         83-86 = B         73-76 = C         63-66 = D

90-92   = A-        80-82 = B-       70-72 = C-        60-62 = D-

Outline of Topics


I.   Introduction to Philosophy

Handouts 1 & 2

PQT: 1-6 (Russell)


II.  Introduction to Logic

Handout 3

PQT: do readings as assigned in Handout 3


III. Political Philosophy

A.  Anarchism

Handout 4

PQT: 27-31  (Wolff)

B.  Classical Liberalism

Handout 5

PQT: 32-38  (Locke)


IV.   Ethics

A.  Ethical Objectivism versus Ethical Relativism

1.  The dispute between objectivists and relativists

Handout 6, Sections I-VII

PQT: 44-47.L.8       (Rachels)

2.  Arguments for ethical relativism

Handout 6, Section VIII

PQT: 39-44              (Benedict)

PQT: 47.L.9-48.L.4 (Rachels)

3.  Ethical Objectivism

Handout 6, Section IX

PQT: 48.R.1-49.R.2 (Rachels)


B.  If EO is correct, what makes right actions right?

Handout 7

PQT: 56.R.1-61.R.4     (Bedau)

IV.  Free Will

A. Hard Determinism

1.  Handout 8, Section I

  PQT: 70.L.1-R.1 (Section 1 of Chisholm’s essay)

  Handout 8, Sections II-III

  PQT: 64-69  (d'Holbach)

2.  Handout 8, Section IV

B. Libertarianism [Freewillism]

1.   Handout 8, Section V

PQT: 72.R.3-73.R.2 (Sections 4-6 of Chisholm’s essay)

2.   Handout 8, Section VI


C.  Compatibilism [Soft Determinism]

Handout 8, Section VII


V.   Philosophy of Mind

A.  Interactionism (Descartes)

1.  Skepticism

Handout 9, Sections I‑II

PQT: 79-84.L.2

2.  Souls

Handout 9, Sections III-IV

PQT: 84.L.3-85.R.2, 86-92.R.2

3.  God, matter, and causal interaction

Handout 9, Sections V‑VII

Review PQT: 92.L.1-92.R.2

PQT: 92.R.3-93.R.3

4.  Is interactionism correct?

B.  Reductive Materialism

1.  The Identity Theory

a.  Handout 10, Sections I-III

 PQT: 94-96.R.3 (Churchland)

b.  Handout 10, Section IV.A.

 PQT: 97.L.1-2

2  Functionalism and the functionalist objection to the Identity Theory

Handout 10, Sections IV.B & V

PQT: 100.R.3-102.L.2

C.  Can computers think?

Handout 10, Section VI

PQT: 110-115.R.4, 117.R.1-2 (Searle)

D.  Nonreductive Materialism

Handout 10, Sections VII & VIII

PQT: 119-121 (Chalmers)

PQT: 122-124.L.1; 124.R.2-126.R.2; 128.L.1-2 (Nagel)




 VI.  Philosophy of Religion

A.  Evidence that God exists

1.  The cosmological argument

a.  Handout 11, Introduction & Sections I-III

  PQT: 133.L.2  (Thomas Aquinas; The Second Way)

b.  PQT: 136.R.2-137.R.2  (Edwards)

2.  The argument from design

a.  Handout 12, Sections I & II

  PQT: 145-147   (Paley)

b.  Handout 12, Sections III & IV

   PQT: 148-154  (Hume)

c.  Handout 12, Sections V & VI

3.  The ontological argument

a.  Handout 13, Section I

PQT: 155-157.L.2   (Anselm)

b.  Handout 13, Sections II & III

  PQT: 157.L.3-158  (Gaunilo & Anselm)

B.  Evidence that God does not exist

1.  Is it impossible that God exists?

2.  The problem of evil

a.   Handout 14, Sections I-IV.A.

b.   Handout 14, Sections IV.B-G.

PQT: 159-161.R.1  (Hick on the Augustinian view)

PQT: 165-169        (Dostoevsky)

PQT: 169-174        (Johnson)

c.   Handout 14, Section IV.H.

PQT: 161.R.2-164 (Hick)

d.   Handout 14, Section V

VII. Overview

Review Handout 1

Reread  PQT: 1-6 (Russell)



Severe Weather Guidelines

The guiding principle at The University of Alabama is to promote the personal safety of our students, faculty and staff during severe weather events. It is impossible to develop policies which anticipate every weather-related emergency. These guidelines are intended to provide additional assistance for responding to severe weather on campus.

UA is a residential campus with many students living on or near campus. In general classes will remain in session until the National Weather Service issues safety warnings for the city of Tuscaloosa. Clearly, some students and faculty commute from adjacent counties. These counties may experience weather related problems not encountered in Tuscaloosa. Individuals should follow the advice of the National Weather Service for that area taking the necessary precautions to ensure personal safety. Whenever the National Weather Service and the Emergency Management Agency issue a warning, people in the path of the storm (tornado or severe thunderstorm) should take immediate life saving actions.

When West Alabama is under a severe weather advisory, conditions can change rapidly. It is imperative to get to where you can receive information from the National Weather Service and to follow the instructions provided. Personal safety should dictate the actions that faculty, staff and students take.

The Office of University Relations will disseminate the latest information regarding conditions on campus in the following ways:

  • Weather advisory posted on the UA homepage
  • Weather advisory sent out through UA Alerts to faculty, staff and students
  • Weather advisory broadcast over WVUA at 90.7 FM
  • Weather advisory broadcast over Alabama Public Radio (WUAL) at 91.5 FM
  • Weather advisory broadcast over WVUA-TV/WUOA-TV, and on the website at WVUA-TV Home Team Weather provides a free service you can subscribe to which allows you to receive weather warnings for Tuscaloosa via e-mail or cell phone. Check for more details and to sign up for weather alerts.

In the case of a tornado warning (tornado has been sighted or detected by radar; sirens activated), all university activities are automatically suspended, including all classes and laboratories. If you are in a building, please move immediately to the lowest level and toward the center of the building away from windows (interior classrooms, offices, or corridors) and remain there until the tornado warning has expired. Classes in session when the tornado warning is issued can resume immediately after the warning has expired at the discretion of the instructor. Classes that have not yet begun will resume 30 minutes after the tornado warning has expired provided at least half of the class period remains.

Disability Statement

If you are registered with the Office of Disability Services, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible to discuss any course accommodations that may be necessary.

If you have a disability, but have not contacted the Office of Disability Services, please call (205) 348-4285 (Voice) or (205) 348-3081 (TTY) or visit 133-B Martha Parham Hall East to register for services. Students who may need course adaptations because of a disability are welcome to make an appointment to see me during office hours. Students with disabilities must be registered with the Office of Disability Services, 133-B Martha Parham Hall East, before receiving academic adjustments.

Policy on Academic Misconduct

All students in attendance at The University of Alabama are expected to be honorable and to observe standards of conduct appropriate to a community of scholars. The University of Alabama expects from its students a higher standard of conduct than the minimum required to avoid discipline. At the beginning of each semester and on examinations and projects, the professor, department, or division may require that each student sign the following Academic Honor Pledge: “I promise or affirm that I will not at any time be involved with cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, or misrepresentation while enrolled as a student at The University of Alabama. I have read the Academic Honor Code, which explains disciplinary procedure resulting from the aforementioned. I understand that violation of this code will result in penalties as severe as indefinite suspension from the University.”

See the Code of Student Conduct for more information.

UAct: Ethical Community Statement

The University of Alabama is committed to an ethical, inclusive community defined by respect and civility. The UAct website ( provides extensive information on how to report or obtain assistance with a variety of issues, including issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, sexual violence or other Title IX violations, illegal discrimination, harassment, child abuse or neglect, hazing, threat assessment, retaliation, and ethical violations or fraud.