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Teaching Assistants | Office Hours | Section Meetings | Requirements | Web | Course Texts | Online Readings

Teaching Assistants

The TAs for this class are Andrew Irvine and David Weininger. I have asked them to provide a quick introduction to themselves here.

Andrew Irvine (andrewoz@bu.edu)

G’day! You might think of me as the senior partner in this venture, as I arrived at BU a semester earlier than Professor Wildman. I, too, am Australian. I will, however, make allowances for the rest of you. I grew up on a farm near a small town, and led a double-life through books—any subject matter would do, as long as I was reading.

I graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts in 1990. I majored in English literature there. Later that year I started work with the Australian Council of Churches. I was a writer and fund-raiser for partner-led projects all around the so-called Third World. If you’re interested, you can find one of our productions in the STH library: "Tourism and the Third World." The two-and-a-half years with the Council coincided with the Seventh Assembly of the World Council of Churches, which was a horizon-expanding experience for me. Traveling to a remote community with church representatives from across the globe to meet with and listen to Aboriginal people talk about life after dispossession was especially moving.

I came to Boston University in the Spring of 1993. I have an MTS in New Testament Studies and an STM in Theology, both from BU. I am now in the third year of the Ph.D. program, like Robert, and I’m thinking of writing on repentance for the dissertation.

What do I think of philosophy? Sometimes, I’d like to think it just takes innate talent. But then come times when I suspect I didn’t inherit that talent. L In fact, my experience is this: putting in the hard work I can philosophize, too; no, more than that . . . I love to! Without philosophy, how could I even begin to make sense of the beloved assortment of opinions and commitments I have accumulated over the years? The discipline that philosophy demands also requires that I try to listen more carefully and respectfully to others. I hope you find the course helps you, too, in understanding your own ideas, and learning from one another. Get into it!


David Weininger (dgw@bu.edu)

David's introduction will be posted soon.

Office Hours

Andrew Irvine: T 3-4 and R 3-4 in STH 419

David Weininger: T 2-3 and R 2-3 in STH 419

Prof. Wildman during Fall Semester, 1999: Tuesday 2:00-3:00, Thursday 10:30-11:30 in room STH 335 (sign up for appointments using sheet on door)

Section Meetings

The purpose of section meetings is to allow you to discuss the ideas and readings of the course in a small group with the help of a TA. This helps you to become more familiar with the course material and gives you a chance to ask questions and debate the course concepts in a less formal environment than the lectures.

Sections will meet beginning in the second week of classes. Signups for section groups will occur suring the first class of semester. The sections will meet at the following days and times, with the TA indicated, at places to be determined:

Tuesdays 8-9 am, room STH 306

Wednesdays 5-6 pm, room STH 441


There will be lectures by the instructor and TAs (1.5 hours twice each week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:00 and 10:30, in CAS 324) and discussion sections with TAs (at times and places as listed above); attendance at lectures and section meetings is required, as is active participation in section discussions and on the web site for the course (attendance and participation count for 15% of final grade). Each class will presuppose the reading assigned for that class.

There will be mid-term and final examinations (20% of final grade each).

There will be brief, in-class or in-section tests, and there may be brief writing assignments for section meetings (10% of final grade).

A paper is required dealing with the theological and philosophical significance of a major thinker from Part I or Part II of the course (35% of final grade). An outline, first draft, and final version are submitted successively (see the schedule), and suggestions are made to help you maximize the quality of your essay; you will need to take advantage of this process as the teaching staff have high expectations. Discussion of expectations occurs in lectures and sections. Do not plagiarize; if you are uncertain what plagiarism is, ask the teaching staff or consult the Office of the Dean of Students for information. Do not be late. Late outlines and first drafts may not be read and will incur a penalty; late final drafts are subject to a penalty (one grade step per day).

Incompletes are not given, by STH policy, except under extraordinary circumstances (a death in your immediate family that forces you to travel, or the ebola virus in your house might qualify). Speak to Prof. Wildman about your extraordinary situation as soon as possible. Since most requests are denied, do not leave it to the last minute to ask. Also, remember that the STH Registrar has paperwork requirements.


This course makes extensive use of web support. Every student is provided with free access to the web and email. You can also have access to these services from your home computer using a modem to dial in to the university. Participation in web-based course activities helps students learn the course material at their own pace and more effectively. Web involvement is also an important aspect of the participation portion of the course grade.

Course Texts

You will need to purchase the TT704 Bound Course Packet from the Boston University Bookstore at Kenmore Square. The required texts are also available there.

Required Texts: Philosophy

Paul Helm, ed. Faith and Reason (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999; 0-19-289290-8)

Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1977; 0-915144-25-5)

Required Texts: Other

Gordon Harvey, Writing with Sources: A Guide for Students (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1998; 0-87220-434-0)

Anthony Weston, A Rulebook for Arguments, 2nd ed. (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1992; 0-87220-156-2)

Strongly recommended (useful supplements to assigned readings):

Diogenes Allen, Philosophy for Understanding Theology (Louisville: W/JK, 1985; 0-8042-0688-0)

In addition to the Diogenes Allen book, you might like to consult another book for a light-hearted yet informative introduction to philosophy (it has cartoons!): Richard Osborne, Philosophy for Beginners (New York: Writers and Readers, 1992).

Online Readings

For a selection of online readings of philosophical texts, click here.

The information on this page is copyright 1994-2010, Wesley Wildman (basic information here), unless otherwise noted. If you want to use ideas that you find here, please be careful to acknowledge this site as your source, and remember also to credit the original author of what you use, where that is applicable. If you want to use text or stories from these pages, please contact me at the feedback address for permission.