Philosophy 206 Summer 2020 Welcome Letter

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Philosophy 206: Introduction to Philosophy

Summer Semester 2020

CRN# 50505

Instructor: Pauline Wishart

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Although this course was originally scheduled to meet face-to-face TWTh, it is now a fully online course.  There are no specific times and days when you will be required to be present.

Welcome to Philosophy 206!

I am looking forward to meeting you this summer. I love teaching philosophy, and though these are challenging times for everyone, and like many of you I am new to Distance Education, I am excited to be discovering new ways to approach the course material.   

This course is designed to introduce you to Western philosophy and to specific philosophical issues through the study of a variety of philosophers from the ancient Greeks to your own contemporaries. Our topics will include free will, moral values, social justice, and knowledge itself.  If it sounds as if these topics will be difficult, and any answers we consider will be controversial, that’s good!  This course is intended to encourage you to think for yourself instead of simply accepting other people’s answers. It will be important for you to know what the philosophers we study have to say, but at least as important for you to think critically about what they have to say.

The issues we will discuss have intrinsic interest for many people, but the method of thinking deeply and critically which is central to examining them from a philosophical perspective will help you in other areas as well.

Contact information

Email Address: (once you are enrolled, please use the Canvas interface to send email)

Office Location/ Hours: Since this and all summer courses are fully online, I will be happy to meet with you by appointment via Zoom or Canvas chat.

Instructor Contact Expectations

To contact me once you are enrolled in the course, please send an email using the Canvas interface.  During the work week, I will try to respond within 24 hours, though it may sometimes take a bit longer. I generally do not respond in the evenings and over the weekend. I will check my email only occasionally during semester breaks.

Course Environment

This online course will be using a Web-based Learning Management System Canvas as the method to disseminate information. Canvas provides the framework for the course including PowerPoint presentations, student data files, the tools to receive and send course materials, and a grade book. Using the communication tools, you can communicate using e-mail, and you can share materials and ideas with other course participants via the discussion forums and groups.

Course dates

This course will begin on Monday, June 15th and ends on Friday, July 24th.

Prior to June 15th, you will receive an email to your address providing you with a reminder that class will be starting and with log in procedures for Canvas, the learning management system (LMS) used to deliver course content. You can also expect to be able to login to the course and begin looking over the course content no later than Friday, June 12th.

Accessing Canvas

You can access Canvas by logging into MyCuesta, then clicking on the Resources Tab, then clicking on Canvas in the Online Learning Channel, or by typing the Canvas address ( into your browser address bar. Do not bookmark / favorite the canvas site after your login, or you will get an error message next time you try to log in. You must access the Canvas log in directly.

If you are not familiar with logging into Canvas, please refer to the Canvas Quick Reference Guide.Links to an external site. Once logged into Canvas you will be directed on where to get started. Be sure to read all the direction on the course home page.  

If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas after June 15th and need assistance please email me or technical support at this email address:

Online Learning

If you have never taken an online class or this is your first experience with Canvas, please be patient with yourself. Online classes are not inherently easier, although they may be much more convenient for many students. You should expect to spend at least as much time (if not more) on this course as you would on a course that meets face to face. Since there is no standard lecture component, much of this time will be self-directed and there will be a substantial amount of reading, viewing, studying, and writing required. This course is completely online using Canvas; all coursework (discussions, assignments, quizzes) is submitted online. There are no face-to-face meetings.  Please be prepared to spend 8 - 12 hours per week on coursework for this class


Please go to the Online Readiness ResourcesLinks to an external site. to take a "self-assessment”. There are many resources that were designed to help you understand the basis for an online class and the skills necessary for success. (If the tutorials do NOT describe you, then taking this class online is NOT for you and I strongly suggest that you drop the online class and enroll in a traditional classroom section.)

Regular Effective Contact policy

Regular and effective instructor will be met through weekly instructor initiated threaded discussion forums, weekly announcements to students, timely and effective feedback on student assignments, email and virtual office hours and group discussions.

Please plan to login to the class two or three times a week.

Course Description

Introduces the ideas and methods of major philosophers through the critical reading of selections from primary texts. Emphasis will be placed on the philosophical sub-fields of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. May also include philosophical examination of topics in religion, science, language, art, or politics. Advisory: Eligibility for ENGL 156. Transfer: CSU; UC.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete a course in Introduction to Philosophy at Cuesta College will have demonstrated the ability to:

  • Interpret primary source texts in philosophy
  • Express, explain, and defend philosophical ideas in writing and/or verbally
  • Distinguish between the basic concerns and questions at issue in the three major branches of western philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics
  • Understand how western philosophy has changed and developed over the course of history
  • Identify, explain, and evaluate philosophical theories and arguments


Cahn (ed), Exploring Philosophy

ISBN 0-19-020441-9 5th edition

Computer Requirements and Technical Support

Cuesta students are encouraged to direct all technical support inquiries to If you are having issues with Canvas, you should contact the Canvas Support Hotline at (877) 921-7680, or click on the help button on the Canvas Navigation to report a problem.

If you are having difficulty viewing the course or logging in, it may be because you are not using the correct URL, or because you are using your phone or an unsupported browser. Use

Your learning environment is best accessed from a desktop or laptop computer, using Firefox or Chrome.  This may solve your problem!  Please review the browser requirements and minimum computer specificationsLinks to an external site..


This course is designed using an accessible Learning Management System, and course materials have been created with ADA compliance in mind. If you have a disability and might need accommodations in this class such as extended time on exams or other resources, please contact the instructor as soon as possible so that you can receive appropriate accommodations in a timely manner. You should also contact using this link DSPS (Disabled Student Programs & Services)Links to an external site. or at 805-546-3148.

College & Course Policies

Academic Honesty Policy: At my discretion, students caught being academically dishonest may receive a failing grade on the assignment in question, be dropped from the class, or be failed in the course. My expectation is that all the work you submit will be your own and in your own words. It is not acceptable to use another student’s answer.  You may quote the textbook or another source but only if you properly acknowledge the source and also attempt to paraphrase it in your own words.

In addition to this specific course policy, please note all students attending San Luis Obispo County Community College District at any district site and when representing Cuesta College in any off-campus activity assume an obligation to conduct themselves in an acceptable manner compatible with the Student Code of Conduct. Please review the Cuesta College Student Code of ConductLinks to an external site..

Add / Drop Policies: I will drop no-shows and students who are inactive for an extended period of time, especially during the time leading up to the Census Date.  If problems arise with logging in regularly, please notify me via email as soon as possible to avoid being dropped.  Please review Cuesta’s general Add / Drop Policies for more information:

Waitlist Policy: Please review Cuesta’s waitlist procedure and instructionsLinks to an external site.:  

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