Philosophy Course Planning Tools

A short description of these tools:
The Philosophy Department's course offerings are stored in an Access database housed at the university's special "Circe" server, which also accomodates the ColdFusion markup language of the ".cfm" files used to edit the database. The links shown in the bottom half of this page will take you to these files, which enable you to change data (times, days, etc.) for the semester indicated. Each link takes you to a web site that not only displays a grid of the courses you plan to offer in a given semester but also enables you to change the information in the database (by clicking on the "REVISIONS" link at the bottom of that page). You will see these changes when you refresh the display grid by hitting cntl-R. Note that none of this information comes from or goes back to LOCUS. This procedure is simply a convenient way of seeing how the courses for a given semester can be evenly distributed.

A note on the architecture of the Circe database:
The exact title of the database is "PHILcourses.mdb" and (actually, you don't need to know this) its full web address is\Inetpub\wwwroot/faculty/twren/PHILcourses.mdb. (Note the special backslash before the segment "Inetpub" -- this is not a typo!) What I call the "authoring files" that you will use to manipulate the data are stored in a subdirectory located at\ ... twren/CourseDescriptions. Fortunately, you should not need to open these files, since they are already set up for the next two years: just click on the link below and a data entry screen will open. As you can see below, there are separate authoring files for each semester, which have generic names (e.g., "spring-oddyear.cfm" and "fall-oddyear.cfm") so that they can be reused by making just a few small changes in the underlying computer code. The following chart provides the links to the authoring files for the next several semesters.

A few more tips:
(1) You should keep track of non-philosophy courses (e.g., Honors courses)taught by our faculty in order to avoid conflicts with their philosophy assignment. This is best done by inserting a period at the beginning of the course label, e.g., ".HON 101," which places the non-philosophy course at the top of the list for that time-slot. (2) Since each of the daytime slots (up to but not including courses taught after 4:00 PM) must use the same number of rooms, you should indicate once-a-week classes by putting something like "389/422 continued" in the overflow slots. (3) For classes that meet at odd times it is wise to include the day(s) in the field containing the teacher's name, e.g., "Meyers (T)" or "Parks (MW)". (4) Keep in mind that although it's convenient to show Honors and any other non-philosophy course on the grid, these courses are not actually scheduled by our department and therefore aren't included in the number of rooms needed for philosophy courses taught at LSC in any time slot. Also remember that WTC courses (shown with asterisks) aren't counted either. (5) For more information contact Tom Wren (

Click on the appropriate link to construct or revise the schedule of philosophy course offerings for a given semester:

Spring 2013

Fall 2013

Spring 2014

Fall 2014

Spring 2015 (to be edited)

Fall 2015 (to be edited)