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Winter 2017


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Philosophy (PHIL)
211 Susan Campbell, 541-346-5547
College of Arts & Sciences
Course Data
  PHIL 123   Internet, Soc, & Phil >2 4.00 cr.
Introduction to philosophical problems of the Internet. Primary focus on social, political, and ethical issues with discussion of epistemological and metaphysical topics.
Grading Options: Optional; see degree guide or catalog for degree requirements
Instructor: Sheehey BE-mail
Additional Web Resources AvailableWeb-related Resources: Syllabus for PHIL 123
How to Use Wait-listing on DuckWeb
Course Materials
  CRN Avail Max Time Day Location Instructor Notes
  24983 4 35 0900-0950 mtwr 189 PLC Sheehey B Additional Web Resources Available
Academic Deadlines
Deadline     Last day to:
January 8:   Process a complete drop (100% refund, no W recorded)
January 15:   Drop this course (100% refund, no W recorded)
January 15:   Process a complete drop (90% refund, no W recorded)
January 16:   Drop this course (75% refund, no W recorded; after this date, W's are recorded)
January 16:   Process a complete drop (75% refund, no W recorded; after this date, W's are recorded)
January 18:   Add this course
January 18:   Last day to change to or from audit
January 22:   Withdraw from this course (75% refund, W recorded)
January 29:   Withdraw from this course (50% refund, W recorded)
February 5:   Withdraw from this course (25% refund, W recorded)
February 26:   Withdraw from this course (0% refund, W recorded)
February 26:   Change grading option for this course
Caution You can't drop your last class using the "Add/Drop" menu in DuckWeb. Go to the “Completely Withdraw from Term/University” link to begin the complete withdrawal process. If you need assistance with a complete drop or a complete withdrawal, please contact the Office of Academic Advising, 101 Oregon Hall, 541-346-3211 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday). If you are attempting to completely withdraw after business hours, and have difficulty, please contact the Office of Academic Advising the next business day.

Expanded Course Description
What are the new forms of ethical, social and political interaction that the Internet enables? What new ways of knowing and practices of scientific research emerge in an Internet-focused context? What old forms does it render obsolete, problematic, or perhaps even impossible? This course focuses primarily on engaging some of the most pressing social, ethical and political problems posed by the Internet. The course will also cover some of the epistemological, metaphysical, and ontological difficulties and challenges raised by the Internet. While the course will consider ways in which philosophy might enable us to respond to these problems, the aim will not be to deliver definitive solutions by the end of the course. The focus rather will be on the preliminary, challenging and critical task of finding ways to articulate the problems emerging around us. What we need are concepts that help us understand the massive transformations we are all living in the midst of. Since philosophy involves, among other things, the practice of inventing, analyzing and criticizing concepts, the goal of the course will be to practice philosophy for the sake of better understanding the contemporary world in which we live.

The practice of philosophy in this course will involve both traditional methods (the reading of texts, the discussion of ideas, the analysis of cultural phenomena) and newer collaborative methods facilitated by our increasingly web-based world (online and in-class collaborative research projects, the opportunity to develop an individual research project in an online context). The goal is to both expose the Internet to traditional philosophical analysis and to expose philosophical practice to new Internet technologies and practices.

As a course that will satisfy the Group 2 (Social Science) general education requirement, Internet, Society & Philosophy will present a variety of approaches to studying contemporary social phenomena, with a focus on the Internet and new media as the privileged topics for this course. The course will present students with a representative cross-section of philosophical perspectives and modes of analysis used by philosophers and social scientists working in the field. Readings will be drawn primarily from philosophy, but will also include selections by legal theorists, political scientists, sociologists, and various areas in cultural studies. Students who successfully complete the course will have an understanding of what makes the Internet a worthy topic of philosophical investigation; an understanding of recent theoretical developments in the field of Internet students; improved reading, writing and critical thinking skills; and awareness of contemporary political, ethical, legal and policy issues.

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