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PHIL 309


  • Course ID:PHIL 309
  • Semesters:1
  • Department:Philosophy
  • Course Rank:Required
  • Teachers:Richard Ybarra

Description and Objectives

This course will offer a very brief and age-appropriate introduction to the subject of “metaphysics”, considered the highest and most noble of the rational sciences and the highpoint of liberal education.

In addition to giving students a nascent sense of common metaphysical realities and judgments throughout one’s normal day, the course hopes to offer students the intellectual tools by which they encounter “glimpses” of reality as the fruit of philosophical judgment and contemplation – and the beginning of wisdom.

Topics covered:

·      The term “metaphysics” 

·      Metaphysics as a “science”

·      Terms, principles, and their defense

·      Relationship between metaphysics and other sources of human knowing

·      Metaphysics and the modern mind 

·      Metaphysics & the modern university

·      Metaphysics & the fragmentation of human knowledge


  • Clavell, Luis.  Metaphysics.  Sinag-Tala Press.

Course Requirements

Course requirements and grading criteria:

  1. Tests (60% of the total/quarter).
  2. Quizzes (40% of the total/quarter).

There is a re-take policy for quizzes and is as follows:

  1. Make-up quizzes can be taken during my office hours (below).  These quizzes are not written, but oral responses to posed questions on the same material.  Students must bring the original (graded) quiz to the make-up attempt so that the new grade is recorded on that document.  The two quiz scores (written & oral) are averaged for a final score for that particular quiz grade.

Office hours:  I am available twice each week before and after school hours:  Monday from 3:05-4:05 p.m.; Friday from 7:15 a.m.-8:15 a.m.  During these times students can ask more questions about the material, take make-up quizzes, or follow-up with me for any other substantive or administrative matter.

Extra credit:  One extra-credit assignment is available each quarter.  It is a brief paper on a topic jointly chosen by myself and the student, worth a total of 15 points, and due 7 days before the end of the academic quarter.  Therefore, students who wish to take advantage of the extra credit opportunity should make arrangements with me 10 (or more) days before the end of the academic quarter.

Successful Students

The hallmark of any academically successful student is diligence.  In our circumstances, it is a “forward leaning” disposition towards academic work – its care and completion.

The acquisition of this virtue should be highly sought-after for its applicability not only to academic studies, but a host of non-academic contexts throughout one’s life.

Students can even have little interest in a given subject (like “metaphysics”), but still exhibit a diligence toward assignments or in tackling course difficulties, and yet remain academically successful within the course.