PHIL 355 Mind and Reality

Last modified November 15, 2009

Always under construction: NEWER announcements will always be added ABOVE older announcements. Look at this page over the course of the semester for information about any changes in the schedule of assignments, additional course materials made available on line, and other news about the class that may arise.
Professor Stern
Phone: (818) 677-4853
Sierra Tower, Room 508
Office hours: Tu 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM, Th 8:00 - 9:00 AM, and by appointment

New postings: final paper and revised schedule of assignments (Posted November 15, 2009)

The final paper assignment was emailed to the class on Friday, November 13. It has also been posted at
The issues there combine the earlier stand-alone list and the questions in the reading guide on Lewis.

The updated schedule of assignments and printer-friendly schedule show the changes in our reading schedule announced in class on Thursday, and the due dates for all stages of the final paper.

Schedule updated as announced in class October 22 (Posted October 26, 2009)

The schedule, revised as of October 22, remains at the same URL as before. The printer-friendly schedule has also been updated.

The update reflects changes previously announced in class:

Due date for midterm paper extended further to October 29 (Posted October 26, 2009)

As announced in class on October 22, the due date for the midterm paper is extended to October 29, not just October 27.

Due date for midterm paper extended to October 27 (Posted October 21, 2009)

As announced in the last 2 class meetings, the due date for the midterm paper has been changed to Tuesday, October 27. (The original due date listed in the assignment was October 22.) I encourage you to use the extra time to improve your paper. Take advantage of the comments that I sent to those of you who turned in your drafts on time.

Schedule updated to show furlough days (Posted August 28, 2009)

The schedule, revised as of August 28, remains at the same URL as before. The printer-friendly schedule has also been updated.

As the semester goes on, additional changes may be made as warranted by the length our discussions.

Furloughs and their consequences for this class (Posted August 22, 2009)

As you know, California's economic crisis is having an impact on the CSU system. You are absorbing part of the impact by paying higher tuition. Employees are also helping to absorb the impact. Many employees have voted for a furlough plan, which reduces pay between 9% and 10%, with a corresponding reduction in workload. This semester the whole campus will be closed on designated days. Faculty members are required to personally select nine furlough days for the semester, and certify that we will not work on those days.

In accordance with these requirements, I proposed a mix of days when this class normally meets and days when it does not as my furlough days. Furlough days when we normally meet will result on cancellation of a few class meetings over the course of the semester, and a corresponding decrease in course content. Cancellations will be evident from your schedule of assignments, where furlough days will be specified once they have been approved. Furlough days when the class does not normally meet may affect your class in a variety of less obvious ways, including delays in grading your tests, reduced availability for appointments, and fewer or less detailed handouts.

For the effects of furloughs on enrollment policies, see below.

VENT at the TENT: You are invited (Posted August 22, 2009)

Students are being asked to pay more and to receive less, with fewer classes available and a diminished experience in those that are offered.

VENT at the TENT will provide a chance to GET OUT THE WORD about the how budget cuts are affecting you.

Furloughs and enrollment (Posted August 20 and revised August 22 2009)

As you are probably aware, the budget crisis is making it more difficult for students to register for classes they need. As a result, some enrollment policies will be enforced more rigidly than in past semesters. Please note in particular:
  1. Students who miss the first two meetings of a class (one meeting for classes that meet only once a week) may be denied a right to take the class. Such students will be asked to drop the class through SOLAR. A student who does not do so will receive a WU.

  2. Students attempting to repeat the course

    Permission numbers may be given for repeating the course only if seats remain after all eligible students attempting to enroll for the first time have been given permission numbers.

    Any student who wishes to enroll in a course for a third time (initial enrollment plus two repeats) or more must get permission from the associate dean of the college of that student's major, or from the Director of Undergraduate Studies if the student is Undecided. If a student enrolls without such permission, that student may be administratively withdrawn from the class. The Associate Dean of the College of Humanities, within which the Department of Philosophy is housed, has announced her intention to implement this enrollment management tool for students in this College.

    For details on the relevant policies, see

Schedule modifications anticipated due to furlough program (Posted August 20, 2009)

You can expect some changes in the schedule of assignments to result from the employee furlough program. It is unlikely that there will be any changes before the middle of October. However, that is not guaranteed. Watch for announcements in class and on this web page.
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