Samples of syllabi and course plans from various sources. If you have a syllabus you would like us to consider for inclusion, please send it to us.
- Some researchers suggest that instructors should design courses around a project, rather than around texts. Michael Strawser (University of Central Florida) assigned no texts whatsoever and asked his students to work together over the semester to create their own "introductory textbook in philosophy, complete with reading selections, commentaries, study questions, and glossary" (117). See his "Creating Philosophy: Using a Cooperative Learning Approach in the Classroom," Teaching Philosophy 28.2 (2005): 115-124. Nancy Stanlick uses a somewhat similar approach for individual papers.
- An elegant web-based syllabus: Paul Weithman, Notre Dame University.
- Dan Werner from SUNY New Paltz has a syllabus for a course on The Meaning of Life.
- Russell Marcus of Hamilton College has a very attractive syllabus, note especially the integration of on-line study guides and lectures notes, and great use of supplementary web materials.
- Eve Browning at the University of Minnesota-Duluth assigns six texts (Plato, Marcus Aurelius, Chaung-Tzu, Machiavelli, Descartes, and Tolstoy). For each writer she assigns a project specifically based on the style and thinking of the writer (so for Plato she assigns a dialogue, for Descartes as meditation, etc.); none of the projects is a traditional philosophy paper, all are very creative.
- Combining web-based syllabus and on-line instructional materials, very extensive and creative: Robert Zunjic, University of Rhode Island.
- Extremely creative web-based materials, including short audio files. Impressive section on "Value of Philosophy." Taken from website of Andreas Teuber, Brandeis University.
- Interdisciplinary Introduction to Philosophy, based on the famous 1924 Leopold and Loeb case, using three films, two novels, a court transcript, and conventional texts. Extremely creative and provacative. Andrew P. Mills (Otterbein College). Teaching Philosophy. 28:1 (2005) 17-29.
- Building a course around Plato. Jack Russell Weinstein (University of North Dakota) uses three different notions of dialogue in Plato (the literal conversations, Plato's dialgoue with other philosophers, and his dialogue with the students) as a framework for readings and papers in an intro course. "Three Conversations: Teaching Plato in an Introduction to Philosophy Course." Teaching Philosophy. 26.1 (2003): 3-20.
- Syllabus with interesting blending of classical sources with contemporary continental and post-modern sources. John Carvalho, Villanova University
- Detailed syllabus using classical material plus feminism and existentialism. Dera Sipe, Villanova University.
- Philosophy of language syllabus, incorporating issues concerning gender, ethnicity, and the environment, by Jenny Earlean, Sienna College.
- Syllabus for Texas-sized intro course with over 300 students; note over 1,000 short answer questions and use of clickers. Stephen Daniel, Texas A&M University.
- The American Philosophical Association (APA) Diversity Syllabi Project has dozens of syllabi for courses dealing with issues around diversity. These are typically not introductory courses, but this site is a treasure trove of possible materials, many of which might be suitable for an intro course as well.
- Some faculty are finding problems with student decorum in classes. James Feiser, at University of Tennessee-Martin tries to anticipate some of these problems by anticipating them in his syllabus.
Update: May 4, 2011