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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - PHP6405

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Current Status: Approved by SCNS - 2013-07-01
Campus: Tampa
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):
Comments: to GC for Philosophy Program Changes; need text confirmed. Emailed. Updated - back to GC. GC apprvd 3/4/13. to USF Sys 3/5/13. to SCNS 4/22/13. Apprd eff 6/1/13. Nmbr 6400 apprd as 6405

  1. Department and Contact Information

    Tracking Number Date & Time Submitted
    2677 2011-11-18
    Department College Budget Account Number
    Philosophy AS 1251000
    Contact Person Phone Email
    Roger Ariew 8139748207

  2. Course Information

    Prefix Number Full Title
    PHP 6405 Seminar in Descartes' Philosophy

    Is the course title variable? N
    Is a permit required for registration? N
    Are the credit hours variable? N
    Is this course repeatable?
    If repeatable, how many times? 0

    Credit Hours Section Type Grading Option
    4 D - Discussion (Primarily) R - Regular
    Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum)
    Course Online? Percentage Online
    C - Face-to-face (0% online) 0



    Course Description

    Examination of Descartes' major philosophical texts.

  3. Justification

    A. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course.

    Needed for program/concentration/certificate change

    B. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service?

    MA/PhD Students are required to take at least one course in the area of early modern Philosophy

    C. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times?


    D. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.)

  4. Other Course Information

    A. Objectives

    This course has at least three objectives. The first is that students will

    acquire an extensive and expert knowledge of some of Descartes' major

    texts. The second is to expand and to refine the students' abilities to

    engage in critical analyses of philosophical texts and the

    arguments these texts present. The third is to write a paper worthy of

    presentation to a professional audience or publication in a

    professional journal.

    B. Learning Outcomes


    will have demonstrated the ability to (1) read, interpret, and analyze

    philosophical texts, (2) to write philosophical papers, and in so

    doing, to develop theses in response to philosophical questions and to

    defend their theses in carefully reasoned arguments, (3) to recognize,

    diagnose, and address inadequate reasoning about philosophical concepts,

    and (4) to engage in oral discussion, presentation, and debate.

    Finally, students will demonstrate (5) fluency in the historical and

    philosophical context of these ancient texts, and (6) understanding of

    the processes and effects of change in philosophical concepts and

    language and (7) a grasp of the complexities (conceptual, historical,

    cultural) of understanding philosophical texts, and the variety of

    disciplinary approaches required to address them.

    C. Major Topics


    about the knowledge of nature raised in René Descartes's Rules for the

    Direction of the Mind, Discourse on Method, Meditations on First

    Philosophy, with Objections and Replies, and Principles of Philosophy,

    and theoretical responses to these questions found in these works.

    D. Textbooks

    there is no textbook required because students use primary sources written by the author(s) to whom the seminar is dedicated

    E. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases

    René Descartes, Rules for the Direction of the Mind

    René Descartes, Discourse on Method

    René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, with Objections and Replies

    René Descartes, Principles of Philosophy

    F. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy

    Seminar presentation and participation 20%

    Research paper 80%

    G. Assignments, Exams and Tests

    Seminar presentation and participation 20%

    Research paper 80%

    H. Attendance Policy

    Course Attendance at First Class Meeting – Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation – Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

    I. Policy on Make-up Work

    There is no opportunity for make up work since the paper is due at the end of the semester.

    J. Program This Course Supports

    Philosophy Graduate Program (MA and PhD)

  5. Course Concurrence Information

    World languages, History, Religious Studies, Humanities, and English

- if you have questions about any of these fields, please contact or