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General Information

Contact Info

Professor: Abe Stone ( abestone@ucsc.edu1)
Office: Cowell Annex A-106
Phone (office): 459-5723
AIM: abestone3
Open Facebook group: UCSC Phil 100B Winter 2014
Office hours: Tues. and Thurs., 3-4pm.

Teaching Assistant: Jav Cardoza-Kon (

Course Requirements

Participation in discussion sections (good participation will be possible grounds for raising course grade, especially if it is on a borderline).

“Metaphysics exercises” (kind of a short take-home multiple choice quiz), due most class days (all exercises together are worth 35% of the final grade; graded heavily on a curve). These will be made available on-line via the “Tests & Quizzes” tool on ecommons.

Two short papers (2-3 pages), due Tues., Feb. 4 and Tues., Feb. 25 (worth 15% each of the final grade).

One longer paper (6-8 pages) (worth 35% of the final grade). The paper is due Tues., Mar. 18, but you must hand in an introductory paragraph and brief outline (approximately one sentence per paragraph of the proposed complete paper) at some time on or before Tues., Mar. 11. Your TA will send this back to you as soon as possible with suggested changes, which you should take into account. This preliminary assignment will not be separately graded, but if you do not hand it in at all or if it is wholly unsatisfactory, your grade on the final paper will be reduced by one half step (e.g. A to A-).

All paper assignments are available on-line, and there are links to them from this syllabus as well as from my main course page. I will discuss the assignments in class when the due date draws near. You can find answers to some commonly asked questions about my assignments and grading in this FAQ.

Papers are to be handed in, as attachments, via the “Assignments” tool on ecommons. Please submit in MSWord format (.doc or .docx), or in a format easily convertible to MSWord (e.g., plain text or RTF). The system will accept late submissions, but late papers may not receive full credit. The system is not set up to allow resubmissions: once you press the “submit” button, it will not let you change your response. If, however, you mistakenly submit something and want to change it, please contact me and I can make an exception.

As noted above, the ME's will be accessed and submitted on-line via ecommons. (The system will accept late submissions, but credit -- possibly reduced -- will only be given up until the time that the correct answers are announced, either in section or on-line.)

All assignments are due by mindight on the due date.


Descartes, Selected Philosophical Writings, tr. J. Cottingham, R. Stoothoff and D. Murdoch (Cambridge).
Most, if not all, of the assigned readings from this text are available, in a different translation, on Google Books.
There are LibriVox recordings (again, in a different translation) of the Discourse on the Method and the Meditations.

Leibniz, Philosophical Essays, ed. R. Ariew and D. Garber (Hackett).
This collection is available on-line (free to read, but costs to download) at Scribd. Many of (but not all) of the assigned readings are to be found free on Google Books.
There is a LibriVox recording of the Monadology.

Spinoza, The Ethics, Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect, and Selected Letters, tr. S. Shirley, ed. S. Feldman (Hackett).
Again, there are free versions of the Ethics on Google Books and LibriVox, though not in the same translation.
There is also a LibriVox recording of the Theologico-Political Treatise.

The above texts should be available at the Literary Guillotine, and they will also be put on reserve at McHenry. Readings not from texts on the above list are available on ecommons.


Please feel free to contact the instructor and/or your TA with questions about the substance of the course (philosophical issues, questions about the meaning of the texts, questions about paper topics, etc.). On administrative issues (grades, lateness/extensions, due dates, section times, etc.) please try your TA first.

next up previous
Next: Readings Up: Phil. 100B, Winter 14 Previous: Phil. 100B, Winter 14
Abe Stone 2014-03-27