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Online · College of Arts & Sciences · Philosophy

Philosophy and Contemporary Ideas

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 09/30/2022

Course Description

A survey of the major positions and figures in philosophy and the cultural worldviews and practical applications that derive from them, focusing specifically on theism, naturalism and humanism in contemporary thought.


For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The purpose of this course is to help the student become a better disciple of Christ by introducing the major topics, branches, problems, and thinkers in philosophy and thereby preparing the student to better “make a defense…for the hope that is in you” (I Peter 3:15) by “destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and…taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5).

“To be ignorant and simple now—not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground—would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.” —C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1. Recognize the major philosophical ideas and personalities in the history of philosophy.
    2. Critically evaluate deductive arguments using logical concepts.
    3. Analyze, from the viewpoint of the Christian worldview, the influence of philosophy on culture.
    4. Summarize the main philosophical beliefs and strengths of Christianity as a worldview.
    5. Give examples of the uses of reason in the life of the Christian.

Foundational Skill Learning Outcomes (FSLOs): Critical Thinking (CT)

    1. Critical Thinking
      1. Determine the validity and logical consistency of claims and/or positions, using reading comprehension strategies when relevant.
      2. Structure an argument or position using credible evidence and valid reasoning.
      3. Compare and contrast the biblical worldview with a non-biblical worldview, evaluating the influence of assumptions and contexts on ethics and values.
      4. Plan evidence-based courses of action to resolve problems.
      5. Relate critical thinking and ethics to participation in God’s redemptive work.
    2. Civic and Global Engagement
      1. Apply the Christian principles and general practices for effectively engaging people from different social and/or cultural backgrounds.
    3. Communication and Information Literacy
      1. Analyze and assess various forms of information and expression to determine their meaning, employing technology when relevant.

Course Resources

Click on the following link to view the required resource(s) for the term in which you are registered: Liberty University Online Bookstore.

Additional Materials for Learning

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Canvas recommended browsers
    4. Please note, technical skills for this course include:
      • Creating and submitting files in Microsoft Word
      • Basic Canvas navigation skills

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the purpose of the Discussions is to generate interaction among students in regard to relevant current course topics. For each Discussion, the student will create a thread of at least 350 words. In addition to the thread, the student will also write a reply of at least 200 words to the thread of at least 1 classmate (CLO: A, B, C, D, E; FSLO: CT 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Response Essay Assignment

The student will complete short readings on the problem of evil. The student will then write an essay of at least 1,000 words addressing the questions provided. Research and use of outside sources is encouraged, but not required (CLO: A, B, C, D. E; FSLO: CT 1, 2, 3, 5, CGE 1 and CIL 1).

Extra Credit – General Education Assessment Assignment

The student will complete a 28-question General Education Assessment that will be used to measure the values, knowledge, and skills he/she currently possesses. The student will answer 4 or 5 questions that are drawn from each of the six key foundation skill areas upon which our general education curriculum is built (Civic & Global Engagement, Communication & Information Literacy, Christianity & Contexts, Critical Thinking, Social & Scientific Inquiry, and Technological Solutions and Quantitative Reasoning). No test preparation is required; no books or notes are necessary. The student is strongly encouraged to answer every question to the best of his/her ability. 1 extra credit point will be awarded for each correct response. Extra credit points earned will be automatically factored into the student’s scores but will not alter total points possible for the course (1010).

Quizzes (8)

The student will take a quiz in each module of the course. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes and will cover the course material for the assigned module. The student will have 45 minutes to answer 25 multiple-choice, true/false, and/or essay questions (CLO: A, B, C and CIL 1).

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist 


Discussions (2 at 100 pts ea)


Response Essay Assignment


Quizzes (8 at 75 pts ea)




Course Policies

Instructor Feedback and Response Time

Responses to student emails will be provided within 48 hours and assignment feedback will be given within 1 week from the assignment due date.


Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussions, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

900-1010 800-899 700-799 600-699 0-599

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


Course calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes
Course Overview
Student Acknowledgements

Course Requirements Checklist

Module 1: Week 1

Read: 8 items

Watch: 3 items


Quiz: Philosophy's Meaning and Importance

Module 2: Week 2

Read: 10 items

Watch: 2 items


Quiz: Logic, Fallacy and Argument

Module 3: Week 3

Read: 7 items

Watch: 3 items


Discussion: Epistemology

Quiz: Knowledge and Its Sources

Module 4: Week 4

Read: 6 items

Watch: 3 items


Quiz: Skepticism, Certainty and Virtue

Module 5: Week 5

Read: 6 items

Watch: 2 items


Discussion: Metaphysics

Quiz: Reality, Freedom and Personhood

Module 6: Week 6

Read: 5 items

Watch: 1 item


Quiz: Faith, Reason and Science

Module 7: Week 7

Read: 5 items

Watch: 2 items


Response Essay Assignment

Quiz: God and Evil

Module 8: Week 8

Read: 5 items

Watch: 1 item


Quiz: Ethical Foundations and Norms