Victor Valley College

5 members | 19 affiliated resources

All resources in Victor Valley College

An Introduction to Philosophy

(View Complete Item Description)

The goal of this text is to present philosophy to newcomers as a living discipline with historical roots. While a few early chapters are historically organized, my goal in the historical chapters is to trace a developmental progression of thought that introduces basic philosophical methods and frames issues that remain relevant today. Later chapters are topically organized. These include philosophy of science and philosophy of mind, areas where philosophy has shown dramatic recent progress. This text concludes with four chapters on ethics, broadly construed. I cover traditional theories of right action in the third of these. Students are first invited first to think about what is good for themselves and their relationships in a chapter of love and happiness. Next a few meta-ethical issues are considered; namely, whether they are moral truths and if so what makes them so. The end of the ethics sequence addresses social justice, what it is for one’s community to be good. Our sphere of concern expands progressively through these chapters. Our inquiry recapitulates the course of development into moral maturity

Material Type: Textbook

Author: W. Russ Payne

The Originals: Classic Readings in Western Philosophy

(View Complete Item Description)

It is important for students not only to get an appreciation and understanding of philosophy but also to be exposed to the very words and ideas of those who have shaped our thinking over the centuries. Accordingly, the title of this collection hints at the facts that these readings are from the original sources and that these philosophers were the originators of many of the issues we still discuss today. Major areas of philosophy covered here are: Ethics, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion, Ethics, Socio-Political Philosophy, and finally, Aesthetics.

Material Type: Textbook

Author: Jeff McLaughlin

Introduction to Philosophy

(View Complete Item Description)

This course introduces students to the major topics, problems, and methods of philosophy and surveys the writings of a number of major historical figures in the field. Several of the core areas of philosophy are explored, including metaphysics, epistemology, political philosophy, ethics, and the philosophy of religion. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: Identify and describe the major areas of philosophical inquiry, explain how those areas differ from and relate to one another, and place the views and arguments of major philosophical figures within those thematic categories; Use philosophical terminology correctly and consistently; Identify and describe the views of a number of major philosophers and articulate how these views are created in response to general philosophical problems or to the views of other philosophers; Explain the broad outlines of the history of philosophy as a framework that can be applied in more advanced courses; Identify strengths and weaknesses in the arguments philosophers have put forward for their views and formulate objections and counterarguments of your own invention; Apply critical thinking and reasoning skills in a wide range of career paths and courses of study. (Philosophy 101)

Material Type: Assessment, Full Course, Homework/Assignment, Lecture, Reading, Syllabus

John Rawls

(View Complete Item Description)

John Rawls (February 21, 1921 – November 24, 2002) was an American political philosopher, a long-time professor at Harvard University, and the author of several books, including A Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism. Rawls' most important and influential idea was the principle of "justice as fairness" as the basis for political liberalism. He refuted the predominant Utilitarian concepts of the time and took a much more idealistic approach to politics. Rawls' efforts, much of it inspired by the work of Immanuel Kant, led to a revival of the social contract theory, which had long been neglected by political philosophers. Rawls' theories of social justice and liberalism have become widely accepted among modern scholars, and he has become one of the key figures in shaping modern political thought.

Material Type: Reading

Words of Wisdom: Intro to Philosophy

(View Complete Item Description)

Words of Wisdom can come from anyone. In this text we discuss topics ranging from "Are Humans good by nature?" to "Is there a God?" to "Do I have the right to my own opinion?" Philosophy is the study of wisdom, and can emerge in our conversations in places like social media, in school, around the family dinner table, and even in the car. The text uses materials that are 2,500 years old, and materials that were in the news this year. Wise people come in all shapes and types, and from every culture on earth. We have poetry and folktales, sacred writings and letters. Dialogues and interviews, news columns, podcasts, Ted Talks, You Tube recordings and even comedy are all a part of the content in this text.You will be most successful using this collection this on line.

Material Type: Textbook

Author: Jody Ondich

Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking

(View Complete Item Description)

This is an introductory textbook in logic and critical thinking. The goal of the textbook is to provide the reader with a set of tools and skills that will enable them to identify and evaluate arguments. The book is intended for an introductory course that covers both formal and informal logic. As such, it is not a formal logic textbook, but is closer to what one would find marketed as a critical thinking textbook. Downloadable as a pdf file.

Material Type: Textbook

Author: Matthew J. Van Cleave

Fundamental Methods of Logic

(View Complete Item Description)

Fundamental Methods of Logic is suitable for a one-semester introduction to logic/critical reasoning course. It covers a variety of topics at an introductory level. Chapter One introduces basic notions, such as arguments and explanations, validity and soundness, deductive and inductive reasoning; it also covers basic analytical techniques, such as distinguishing premises from conclusions and diagramming arguments. Chapter Two discusses informal logical fallacies. Chapters Three and Four concern deductive logic, introducing the basics of Aristotelian and Sentential Logic, respectively. Chapter Five deals with analogical and causal reasoning, including a discussion of Mill's Methods. Chapter Six covers basic probability calculations, Bayesian inference, fundamental statistical concepts and techniques, and common statistical fallacies.

Material Type: Textbook

Author: Matthew Knachel

Introduction to Political Philosophy

(View Complete Item Description)

This course is intended as an introduction to political philosophy as seen through an examination of some of the major texts and thinkers of the Western political tradition. Three broad themes that are central to understanding political life are focused upon: the polis experience (Plato, Aristotle), the sovereign state (Machiavelli, Hobbes), constitutional government (Locke), and democracy (Rousseau, Tocqueville). The way in which different political philosophies have given expression to various forms of political institutions and our ways of life are examined throughout the course.

Material Type: Assessment, Full Course, Lecture, Lecture Notes, Syllabus

Author: Steven B. Smith

Introduction to Western Political Thought

(View Complete Item Description)

Political thought, otherwise known as political theory or philosophy, is the study of questions concerning power, justice, rights, law, and other issues pertaining to governance. This course examines major texts in the history of political thought and asks how different views on human nature inform the design of government. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: summarize the passage of political thought through the classical, Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods and based on the works of Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Tocqueville, and Marx; compare and contrast the differences between Plato and Aristotle with regard to their understandings of the nature of the person, ethics, society, citizenship, and governance; explain the historical and intellectual context in which the political thought that helped to develop the modern state came to be; compare and contrast the concepts of justice, freedom, equality, citizenship, and sovereignty in the works of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau; explain the different versions of, and importance of, 'the state of nature' to political thought; identify the influences of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau on the development of the United States Constitution; summarize the thoughts of Alexis de Tocqueville on the American political landscape, particularly with regard to religion and equality, and why this has importance beyond the American context; explain Karl Marx's world view, with particular regard to his critique of democracy and the modern, politically liberal, state; how it came to be; and its fundamental link to capitalism. (Political Science 201)

Material Type: Assessment, Full Course, Lecture, Lecture Notes, Reading, Syllabus

Ancient Civilizations of the World

(View Complete Item Description)

In this course, the student will study the emergence of the major civilizations of the ancient world, beginning with the Paleolithic Era (about 2.5 million years ago) and finishing with the end of the Middle Ages in fifteenth century A.D. The student will pay special attention to how societies evolved across this expanse of time - from fragmented and primitive agricultural communities to more advanced and consolidated civilizations. By the end of the course, the student will possess a thorough understanding of important overarching social, political, religious, and economic themes in the ancient world, ranging from the emergence of Confucian philosophy in Asia to the fall of imperial Rome. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: Identify and define the world's earliest civilizations, including the Neolithic Revolution, and describe how it shaped the development of these early civilizations; Identify, describe, and compare/contrast the first advanced civilizations in the world - Mesopotamia and Egypt; Identify and describe the emergence of the earliest civilizations in Asia: the Harappan and Aryan societies on the Indian subcontinent and the Shang and Zhou societies in China; Identify and describe the emergence of new philosophies - Daoism and Confucianism - during the Warring States period in China. Identify and describe the subsequent rise of the Qin and Han dynasties; Identify and describe the different periods that characterized ancient Greece - Archaic Greece (or the Greek Dark Ages), classical Greece, and the Hellenistic era; Identify and describe the characteristics of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic, and Imperial Rome; Analyze the emergence of the Mauryan and Gupta empires during the 'classical age' in India; Identify and analyze the Buddhist and Vedic (Hindu) faiths; Identify and describe the rise of civilizations in the Americas, particularly in Meso and South America; Analyze and describe the rise of Islam in the Middle East; Identify and describe the emergence of the Arab caliphate, the Umayyad dynasty, and Abbasid dynasty; Identify and describe the rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire; Identify and analyze key facets of medieval society in Western EuropeĺÎĺĚ_ĺÜthe Catholic Church, feudalism, and the rise of technology and commerce; Analyze and interpret primary-source documents that elucidate the exchanges and advancements made in civilizations across time and space. (History 101)

Material Type: Assessment, Full Course, Lecture, Reading, Syllabus

Immanuel Kant

(View Complete Item Description)

Born in Königsberg, East Prussia, Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804) was a German philosopher and scientist (astrophysics, mathematics, geography, anthropology) from East Prussia. Quite generally regarded as one of history’s truly great thinkers, Immanuel Kant is known for the historical synthesis of his transcendental method. His philosophy brought together the two major currents competing at the time of the Enlightenment, the metaphysical approach and the empirical approach. Through his “Copernican revolution,” Kant moved the criterion of truth from assertions about an external reality to the immediacy of the knowing self. His contribution practically put an end to philosophical speculation as it had been practiced for centuries, it established a firm basis for factual knowledge (in particular the scientific method), but it also opened the way to agnosticism on ultimate issues. For better or for worse, his legacy has never been entirely transcended to this day.

Material Type: Reading

Modern Philosophy

(View Complete Item Description)

This is a textbook (or better, a workbook) in modern philosophy. It combines readings from primary sources with two pedagogical tools. Paragraphs in italics introduce figures and texts. Numbered study questions (also in italics) ask students to reconstruct an argument or position from the text, or draw connections among the readings. And I have added an introductory chapter (Chapter 0 – Minilogic and Glossary), designed to present the basic tools of philosophy and sketch some principles and positions. The immediate goal is to encourage students to grapple with the ideas rather than passing their eyes over the texts. This makes for a better classroom experience and permits higher-level discussions. Another goal is to encourage collaboration among instructors, as they revise and post their own versions of the book.

Material Type: Textbook

Authors: Dunn, Alexander, Ott, Walter

Buddhist Art

(View Complete Item Description)

This course serves as an introduction to the Buddhist artistic traditions of South, Southeast, and East Asia, as well as the Himalayas. It starts with the core tenets of Buddhism, Buddhist iconography, and early Buddhist art and architecture in India, then progresses to Southeast Asia. The course then focuses on Vajrayana Buddhism and its artistic traditions in the Himalayas, then examines Mahayana Buddhist art and architecture in China, Korea and Japan. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: identify the core beliefs of Buddhism, major Buddhist schools, and basic Buddhist iconography; identify major works of Buddhist art and Buddhist monuments from South, Southeast, and East Asia, as well as the Himalayas; identify the major developments in Buddhist doctrine and Buddhist art and architecture, as well as the relationship between the two as the religion spread throughout Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Himalayas. (Art History 406)

Material Type: Assessment, Full Course, Homework/Assignment, Lecture, Lecture Notes, Reading, Syllabus

Six Ways of Being Religious

(View Complete Item Description)

The book proposes the hypothesis that six generic ways of being religious may be found in any large-scale religious tradition such as Christianity or Buddhism or Islam or Hinduism: sacred rite, right action, devotion, shamanic mediation, mystical quest, and reasoned inquiry. These are recurrent ways in which, socially and individually, devout members of these traditions take up and appropriate their stories and symbols in order to draw near to, and come into right relationship with, what the traditions attest to be the ultimate reality.

Material Type: Textbook

Author: Dale Cannon

Conversations with History: Islamic Societies, with Ira Lapidus

(View Complete Item Description)

Ira Lapidus, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Berkeley, and the founding Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies on the Berkeley campus joins Harry Kreisler to discuss Islam, its relation to politics, the treatment of women in Islamic societies, and how an understanding of Islamic history might inform U.S. foreign policy. (54 min)

Material Type: Lecture

Islam, The Middle East, and The West

(View Complete Item Description)

This course will introduce the student to the history of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the twenty-first century. The course will emphasize the encounters and exchanges between the Islamic world and the West. By the end of the course, the student will understand how Islam became a sophisticated and far-reaching civilization and how conflicts with the West shaped the development of the Middle East from the medieval period to the present day. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: identify and describe the nature of pre-Islamic society, culture, and religion. They will also be able to describe the subsequent rise of the prophet Muhammad and his monotheistic religion, Islam; identify and describe the elements of Islamic law, religious texts and practices, and belief systems; identify and describe the rise of the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties in the Middle East. Students will also be able to compare and contrast the two empires; identify and describe the emergence of the Umayyad dynasty in Spain. Students will also be able to analyze the conflicts between Muslims and Christians on the Iberian Peninsula; identify and describe the Crusades. They will be able to describe both Muslim and Christian perceptions of the holy wars; identify and describe the impact of the Mongol invasions on the Middle East; compare and contrast the Ottoman and Safavid empires; analyze the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the beginning of European imperialism/domination of the Middle East in the 1800s; identify and describe how and why European powers garnered increased spheres of influence after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the end of World War I; analyze and describe the rise of resistance and independence movements in the Middle East; identify and describe the rise of Islamic nationalism and the emergence of violent anti-Western sentiment; analyze (and synthesize) the relationship between the Middle East and the West between the 600s and the present day; analyze and interpret primary source documents that elucidate the exchanges and conflicts between the Islamic world and the West over time. (History 351)

Material Type: Assessment, Full Course, Lecture, Lecture Notes, Reading, Syllabus, Textbook

Colonial Religion

(View Complete Item Description)

This collection uses primary sources to explore religion during the Colonial period of US History. Digital Public Library of America Primary Source Sets are designed to help students develop their critical thinking skills and draw diverse material from libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. Each set includes an overview, ten to fifteen primary sources, links to related resources, and a teaching guide. These sets were created and reviewed by the teachers on the DPLA's Education Advisory Committee.

Material Type: Primary Source

Author: Adena Barnette

Conversations with History: Biblical Insights into the Problem of Suffering

(View Complete Item Description)

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes biblical scholar Bart Ehrman for a discussion of his intellectual odyssey with a focus on how the Bible explains the problem of human suffering. The conversation includes a discussion of the challenges of biblical interpretation when confronting this age old problem of the human condition. Included are topics such as the contribution of the prophets, a comparison of the old and new testaments, the book of Job, and the emergence of apocalyptic writers. (57 minutes)

Material Type: Lecture