Introduction to Philosophy
|Unit 1 Discussion Board
The Discussion Board (DB) is part of the core of online learning. Classroom discussion in an online environment requires the active participation of students and the instructor to create robust interaction and dialogue. Every student is expected to create an original response to the open-ended DB question as well as engage in dialogue by responding to posts created by others throughout the week. At the end of each unit, DB participation will be assessed based on both level of engagement and the quality of the contribution to the discussion.
At a minimum, each student will be expected to post an original and thoughtful response to the DB question and contribute to the weekly dialogue by responding to at least two other posts from students. The first contribution must be posted before midnight (Central Time) on Wednesday of each week. Two additional responses are required after Wednesday of each week. Students are highly encouraged to engage on the Discussion Board early and often, as that is the primary way the university tracks class attendance and participation.
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The purpose of the Discussion Board is to allow students to learn through sharing ideas and experiences as they relate to course content and the DB question. Because it is not possible to engage in two-way dialogue after a conversation has ended, no posts to the DB will be accepted after the end of each week.
One thing that unites all humans—despite culture or time period—is the desire to be happy. Since the beginning of Western philosophy, philosophers have been asking the question, “How can I find happiness?”
In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle asserts that all things have their own primary purpose, or end. He says that the good, or happiness, can be achieved by reaching that primary purpose. For example, an acorn’s primary purpose or end is to grow into an oak tree. An airplane’s primary purpose is to fly. And according to Aristotle, a human’s primary purpose is to develop reason and intellect—and to develop this intellect to its fullest potential. If this can be done, he says that happiness will be found, and the individual will be living the good life. And yet, Aristotle says, the “common run of people” (i.e., the Average Joe) look for happiness through pleasure, wealth, or honor. Consider the following passage from Nichomachean Ethics (Baird & Kaufmann, 2000):
Take a moment to reflect on this passage, and then write 2–3 paragraphs in response to the following questions:
In your own words, please post a response to the Discussion Board and comment on other postings. You will be graded on the quality of your postings.
For assistance with your assignment, please use your text, Web resources, and all course materials.
Baird, F. E., & Kaufmann, W. E. (2000). Ancient philosophy. Upper Saddle River, NJ:
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