PHILOS 4F03 Issues In Continental Philos
Academic Year: Fall 2015
Instructor: Dr. Diane Enns
Phone: 905-525-9140 x
Office Hours: Thursdays 12:00-2:00 p.m. or by appointment
- Course Objectives
- Textbooks, Materials & Fees
- Method of Assessment
- Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties
- Additional Policies and Statements
- Topics and Readings
- Other Course Information
Class time: Mondays 11:30 a.m. – 2:20 p.m., KTH 107
In this course we will explore Hannah Arendt's abiding interest in the relationship between political experience and the life of the mind, or between acting and thinking. We will focus on those texts that best explore the content and conditions of political life—human freedom, plurality, appearing and acting "in concert"—and on those that analyze the activity of thinking. Where these come together most dramatically is in Arendt's coverage of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi war criminal whose "thoughtlessness" led to unforgiveable atrocities, and provoked her question: can thinking prevent evil? Our task will be to ask, in the context of our times: What is thinking? What is politics? What is philosophy?
Textbooks, Materials & Fees:
Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil
Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition
Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind
Method of Assessment:
1. Three short essays, 6-8 pp. each (1800-2400 w) = 30% each
Each essay must consider a question or issue arising from the course content, rely on the course readings only, and develop an argument supported with references to the text(s). Suggested topics will be distributed in advance. Papers are due on the following dates:
Essay 1: Friday, October 9, 1:00-2:00 pm in UH 318.
Essay 2: Monday, November 16 at the start of class
Essay 3: Friday, December 11, 12:00-1:00 pm. UH 318
Essays will not be accepted in the Department of Philosophy office, under my office door, or electronically. Extensions will be granted only for medical emergencies or other extenuating circumstances if requested in advance. Penalties for late papers without extensions will be 3% per day including weekends. You must retain copies of all work submitted.
2. Participation = 10%
This class is a seminar, so there will be a fair amount of discussion. It is expected that all students will attend and participate actively and reflectively. You will be graded on the quality of your contributions to discussion, how well they reflect an engagement with the course material, not on how often you speak. To participate you have to show up to class; attendance is expected and will be taken into account in the final grade. If you are kept from class due to illness or an emergency, please let me know. If you miss 3 or more classes without medical documentation, you will get 0 for participation whether you participated in the other classes or not.
Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.
Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
- Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
- Improper collaboration in group work.
- Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Email correspondence policy
It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.
Modification of course outlines
The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)
In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.
Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities
Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail email@example.com. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.
Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances
Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.
Topics and Readings:
Sept 14: Introduction to course
Sept 21: "The Decline of the Nation-State and the End of the Rights of Man," Origins of
Sept 28: "Ideology and Terror," Origins of Totalitarianism (courseware)
Oct 5: The Human Condition, chs. 1-2 (pp. 7-78)
* Essay #1 due Friday, October 9 in UH 318, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Oct 12-17: FALL BREAK
Oct. 19: The Human Condition, chs. 3-4 (pp. 79-174)
Oct 26: The Human Condition, ch. 5 (pp. 175-247)
*Short Essay #2 due in class
Nov 2: Eichmann in Jerusalem, chs. 1, 2, 7, 10, 14, 15, Epilogue and Postscript
Nov 9: “Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship,” Responsibility and Judgment,
Nov 16: The Life of the Mind, "Thinking" (pp. 19-65; 69-98)
*Essay #2 due
Nov 23: The Life of the Mind "Thinking" (pp. 141-193)
Nov 30: The Life of the Mind, "Willing" (pp. 3-39; 125-146)
Dec 7: The Life of the Mind, "Willing" (pp. 195 -217)
*Essay #3 due Friday, December 11, 12:00-1:00 pm., UH 318
Other Course Information:
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF):
This is an on-line, self-reporting tool for students to report absences due to minor medical situations that last up to 5 days and to request accommodation for any missed academic work that is worth less than 30% of the final grade. Please note that this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. It is the prerogative of the instructor to determine the appropriate relief for missed term work. You may submit a maximum of one request per term. The form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence. It is your responsibility to follow up with your instructor immediately (within two working days) about the nature of the accommodation.
If you are absent for more than 5 days, have missed academic work worth 30% or more, or exceed one request per term, you must see Shelley Anderson or Rebecca Bishop in the Arts & Science Program office (C-105). You will be required to provide supporting documentation.
Email Contact and Student Responsibility:
The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of students to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes. Announcements will be made in class and by using the course email distribution list.
Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities:
Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.