Philosophy and Contemporary Ideas – PHIL 201

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

A survey of the major positions and figures in philosophy and the cultural worldviews and practical applications that derive from them, focusing specifically on theism, naturalism and humanism in contemporary thought.


ENGL 101


The purpose of this course is to help the student become a better disciple of Christ by introducing the major topics, branches, problems, and thinkers in philosophy and thereby preparing the student to better “make a defense…for the hope that is in you” (I Peter 3:15) by “destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and…taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5).

“To be ignorant and simple now—not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground—would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” —C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1. Recognize the major philosophical ideas and personalities in the history of philosophy.
    2. Critically evaluate deductive arguments using logical concepts.
    3. Analyze, from the viewpoint of the Christian worldview, the influence of philosophy on culture.
    4. Summarize the main philosophical beliefs and strengths of Christianity as a worldview.
    5. Give examples of the uses of reason in the life of the Christian.

Foundational Skill Learning Outcomes (FSLOs): Critical Thinking (CT)

    1. Critical Thinking
      1. Determine the validity and logical consistency of claims and/or positions, using reading comprehension strategies when relevant.
      2. Structure an argument or position using credible evidence and valid reasoning.
      3. Compare and contrast the biblical worldview with a non-biblical worldview, evaluating the influence of assumptions and contexts on ethics and values.
      4. Plan evidence-based courses of action to resolve problems.
      5. Relate critical thinking and ethics to participation in God’s redemptive work.
    2. Civic and Global Engagement
      1. Apply the Christian principles and general practices for effectively engaging people from different social and/or cultural backgrounds.
    3. Communication and Information Literacy
      1. Analyze and assess various forms of information and expression to determine their meaning, employing technology when relevant.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the purpose of the Discussion Board Forums is to generate interaction among students in regard to relevant current course topics. For each forum, the student will create a thread of at least 350 words. In addition to the thread, the student will also write a reply of at least 200 words to the thread of at least 1 classmate (MLO: A, B, C, D, E; FSLO: CT 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).


The student will complete short readings on the problem of evil. The student will then write an essay of at least 600 words addressing the questions provided. Research and use of outside sources is encouraged, but not required (MLO: A, B, C, D. E; FSLO: CT 1, 2, 3, 5, CGE 1 and CIL 1).

Quizzes (8)

The student will take a quiz in each module/week of the course. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes and will cover the course material for the assigned module/week. The student will have 45 minutes to answer 25 multiple-choice, true/false, and/or essay questions (MLO: A, B, C and CIL 1).

Extra Credit – General Education Assessment Test

Students will complete a 28-question General Education Assessment Test that will be used to measure the values, knowledge, and skills they currently possess. Students will answer 4 or 5 questions that are drawn from each of the six key foundation skill areas upon which our general education curriculum is built (Civic & Global Engagement, Communication & Information Literacy, Christianity & Contexts, Critical Thinking, Social & Scientific Inquiry, and Technological Solutions and Quantitative Reasoning). No test preparation is required; no books or notes are necessary. Students are strongly encouraged to answer every question to the best of their ability. 1 extra credit point will be awarded for each correct response. Extra credit points earned will be automatically factored into students’ scores but will not alter total points possible for the course (1010).