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All meetings will be held in Seminar II B3107

Program Covenant (please read)

Handout for first class

Seminar organization



1. Gain a strong introduction to the most seminal work in the theory of knowledge, perception and metaphysics done in the 20th c.

2. Develop an understanding, from a philosophical perspective, of the complex relationships between language, perception and thinking.

3. Strengthen skills at writing argumentative essays, exploring abstract concepts, and uncovering the hidden assumptions behind common sense views of what it means to be human.

4. Explore a related issue or topic independently and engage others in developing your own understanding.


1. Close reading – overall, we will read fewer pages closely rather than many quickly. We will be reading for depth rather than breadth.

2. Thoughtful, thought-provoking conversation – class time will be devoted, by and large, to small group discussion. Mini-lectures will be given by students much more often than by the instructor.

3. Regular, writing: both expository and argumentative.

4. Rewriting: development of skills to rework and strengthen first drafts.

5. Independent project – this will constitute about a quarter of the work done in the program. Topics will be suggested and the latitude of possible topics kept wide: a topic might be narrowly philosophical or it might explore an interdisciplinary vein.Note: The independent project can be replaced by a four-credit course. In other words, a 12 hour option is possible.

The Evergreen State College
Last Updated: 06/02/2004