Philosophy

Week of October 16

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Existentialism and the crisis of the modern
Read and annotate Kierkegaard - tomorrow
Tuesday
  • Journal: 1) Based on what we discussed yesterday what is meant by the "crisis of the modern?" 2)Note down two questions you have regarding the Kierkegaard reading - then propose answers to each. Rate your understanding of the reading on a scale of 1 (least) to 10 (most)
  • Questions regarding Kierkegaard?
  • In small groups - What examples of the themes of existentialism can be seen in Kierkegaard? Identify as many as you can and be prepared to support your assertion with quotes from the document.
  • Brainstorm examples of the themes of existentialism from Kierkegaard
  • Lecture/Discussion - Four keys to understanding the thought of Soren Kierkegaard
Read and annotate Nietzsche - Thursday
Wednesday
  • Journal - How does the view of human nature suggested by Kierkegaard ompare and contrast with the other five perspectives on human nature that we have examined?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Four Keys to Kierkegaard (finish)
  • Supplemantal reading - Abraham and Isaac
  • How does this story illustrate Kierkegaard's perspective?
  • Reading time - Nietszche (time allowing)
Read and annotate Nietzsche - Thursday
Thursday
  • Journal (in small groups) 1) What questions do you have regarding Nietzsche? 2) How does Nietzsche reflect the themes of existentialism? Identify specific examples. 3) What similarities do you see between Nietzsche and Kierkegaard?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Nietzsche
Read and annotate Sartre - Tuesday, October 24
Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Finish Nietzsche
Read and annotate Sartre - Tuesday, October 24

Week of October 9

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Finish Buddhist conceptions of human nature
Tuesday
  • In small groups:
    • Read your assigned chapter(s) of the Tao Teh Ching.
    • Discuss the chapter with your group and decide what you think the meaning of the chapter is.
    • Using this link, look up your assigned chapter(s) and read through the three additional translations. How do the translations differ in terms of meaning? Which translation seems clearest? In light of the four translations together, how has your assessment of the meaning of the chapter changed?
    • Be prepared to share 3 observations and pose one question regarding your chapter
  • Group share out - 3 observations and a question
Wednesday
  • Finish 3 observations and a question
  • Lecture/Discussion - Historical context for Taoism
  • Taoism concept sorting activity
Thursday
  • Sit in the circle with your group members
  • Taoism and the paradoxical nature of humanity - Discussion - each group should explain one of their contrasting pairs. What does Taoism seem to be saying with this contrast? Is there a paradox in this pairing? Explain (Does Taoism share the societal assessment (or Confucian assessment) of the relative value of each concepts in this pair?) What is the meaning of the seeming paradox?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taoism and human nature
Read Kierkegaard - Tuesday, October 17
Friday
  • Journal - Which theory of human nature is Taoism most similar to? With which is it most at odds? Explain your answer.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Introduction to existentialism
Read Kierkegaard - Tuesday, October 17

Week of October 2

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Label the Hobbes excerpts A-D. Then individually, read each passage, underlining what you consider to be the critical sections of each
  • In your groups, discuss each passage and agree on what you believe the main idea of each section is. Record this on your document
  • Discuss/brainstorm main ideas from Hobbes document (whole class)
  • In your groups, discuss the following questions, 1) What does Hobbes suggest about human nature? 2) Is the outline of Human nature suggested by Hobbes similar to or different from each of the two theories on human nature we have discussed so far? Be prepared to explain your group's answer

Read and annotate Wilson document - Tomorrow;

Read and annotate the excepts from Buddhist scripture - Wednesday, October 4

Tuesday
  • Label the paragraphs of the Wilson article with letters in alphabetical order. The items in the bulleted list should be labeled as separate paragraphs. Your list should go to U.
  • Journal: Individually, in one sentence write down what you consider to be Wilson's argument in this article. Identify the paragraph that you believe best expresses/supports this argument. Be prepared to share a quote.
  • Small group scored discussion of Wilson
Read and annotate the excepts from Buddhist scripture - Wednesday, October 4
Wednesday
  • Journal: What questions do you have regarding the Buddhist documents?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Buddhism and human nature
Thursday
  • In small groups:
    • Read your assigned chapter(s) of the Tao Teh Ching.
    • Discuss the chapter with your group and decide what you think the meaning of the chapter is.
    • Using this link, look up your assigned chapter(s) and read through the three additional translations. How do the translations differ in terms of meaning? Which translation seems clearest? In light of the four translations together, how has your assessment of the meaning of the chapter changed?
  • Debrief small group investigation
Friday
  • Group share out - Three observations and a question on the Tao
Read and annotate Kierkegaard - Wednesday, October 11

Week of September 25

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal: Based on the documents you read on Friday, what is the monotheistic view of Human nature? To what extent is this view different from that of Plato and Kant?
  • Lecture/Discussion - The monotheistic view of Human Nature
Read and Annotate The logical problem of evil - Tomorrow
Tuesday
  • Journal: 1) What is the logical problem of evil?
  • Lecture/Discussion - The logical problem of evil
  • Line up activity - The problem of evil proves there is no perfect God (Agree = 1, Agree with reservations = 2, disagree with reservations = 3, disagree = 4)
  • In small groups, brainstorm and discuss arguments for your position. Make sure to include examples to support your stand. Be prepared to make a 2 minute presentation (as a group) to explain your position.

Read Augustine and answer the following question: What is Augustine's response to the problem of evil?;

Read and annotate EO Wilson - Tuesday, October 3

Wednesday
  • Whole class debate/Discussion of Logical problem of evil:
    • Discussion theme: Does the problem of evil logically disprove the existence of God? How might the problem of evil be repaired (think ACAR)?
    • Group presentations followed by questions and discussion after each presentation
    • Keep in mind we are discussing ideas, not beliefs. Questioning an idea is not the same as questioning a belief
Read and annotate EO Wilson - Tuesday, October 3
Thursday
  • Journal: What are your reactions to yesterday's discussion? What point/observation/argument struck you the most ?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Debriefing the problem of evil discussion
Read and annotate EO Wilson - Tuesday, October 3
Friday
  • Journal: On a separate sheet of paper, make a T-chart labeled positive results of digital technology and negative results of digital technology. Brainstorm as many examples as you can.
  • FFF - Technology
Read and annotate EO Wilson - Tuesday, October 3

Week of September 18

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal - Plato's Allegory of the Cave
    • In small groups - 1) Plato's Allegory can be viewed as a journey. In your groups, discuss and agree to the steps of this journey. What is the defining characteristics of each step? 2) Based on this journey, what do you think Plato's argument is about the defining element of human nature? 3) From Plato's perspective, What counts as true knowledge? What does this mean for the Human condition? 4) Questions regarding the AotC?
  • Discuss Plato's AotC
Read and annotate Kant - Wednesday
Tuesday
  • Journal: Many of you suggested that morality was the defining aspect of human nature. What do you think Plato would consider to be the basis of morality? What basis would he reject?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Plato's conception of Human nature
Read and annotate Kant - Wednesday
Wednesday
  • Kant small group questions
Thursday
  • Journal/Discussion - To what extent does Kant build upon and develop the ideas of Plato? Explain.
  • Discussion of Kant's "What is Enlightenment"
  • Lecture/Discussion - Assessing reason as the basis of Human nature
Read and annotate Augustine - Monday, September 25
Friday
  • Journal: Read the excerpts from Christian/Jewish scripture from your packet. In small groups, discuss (and record) what these excerpts suggest is the monotheistic view of Human nature. To what extent is this view different from that of Plato and Kant?
  • Lecture/Discussion - The monotheistic view of Human Nature
Read and annotate Augustine - Monday, September 25

Week of September 11

Date Agenda Homework
Monday

Art and human nature posters due - Wednesday;

Read and annotate Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" - Monday

Tuesday
  • Art and human nature work time
  • Make sure you have prepared and organized how you will present you poster. Please do not simply read the poster to the class.

Art and human nature posters due - Wednesday;

Read and annotate Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" - Monday

Wednesday
  • Presentation and discussion of art and human nature posters
Read and annotate Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" - Monday
Thursday
  • Journal: Of all the issues raised yesterday, which one stands out the most to you regarding human nature? Explain.
  • Lecture/discussion - What is meant by Human nature - preview of unit 2
  • Reading time for Plato/Kant

Read and annotate Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" - Monday, September 18;

Read and annotate Kant - "What is Enlightenment?" - Tuesday, September 20

Friday
  • FFF - Technology: Blessing or curse?

Read and annotate Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" - Monday, September 18;

Read and annotate Kant - "What is Enlightenment?" - Wednesday, September 20

Week of September 4

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • No School!
Tuesday
  • Journal - What does Chalmers mean when he writes of the "easy" and "hard" problems of consciousness? What questions do you have regarding the Nagel document?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Chalmers, Nagel and the problem of consciousness

Read and bring questions about Dennett - Tomorrow;

Unit 1 Exam - Friday, September 8

Wednesday
  • Journal - In small groups: What is Dennett's argument? What questions do you have about the reading?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Dennett on Consciousness
Unit 1 Exam - Friday, September 8
Thursday
  • Wrap up consciousness
  • Review for exam
Unit 1 Exam - Friday, September 8
Friday
  • Unit 1 exam

Week of August 28

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Two solutions to the mind: 1) Get rid of it (Behaviorism), and 2) claim it's something else (Mind-Brain Identity) (Finish)

Read and annotate pp. 10.4-13.1 - Thursday (may annotate on document itself);

Read and annotate Chalmers/Nagel - Tuesday, September 5;

Unit 1 Exam - Friday, September 8

Tuesday

Read and annotate pp. 10.4-13.1 - Thursday (may annotate on document itself);

Read and annotate Chalmers/Nagel - Tuesday, September 5;

Unit 1 Exam - Friday, September 8

Wednesday
  • Journal - Play a game of chess with a partner. Be creative - try to avoid what your neighbors are doing.
  • Debrief journal.
  • Functionalism reading - In small groups, read excerpt. How is functionalism different from MBI? Explain
  • Lecture/Discussion - Functionalism
  • Complete your impromptu philosophy guide for the exam stimulus. Try to be as specific as possible.

Read and annotate pp. 10.4-13.1 - Thursday (may annotate on document itself);

Read and annotate Chalmers/Nagel - Tuesday, September 5;

Unit 1 Exam - Friday, September 8

Thursday
  • Journal - In small groups, discuss and list the functions of a mind. Which functions are necessary and which collection of necessary functions is sufficient for something to be called a mind?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Functionalism

Read Searle (p 20) and describe what his objection to functionalism is; - Tomorrow

Read and annotate Chalmers/Nagel - Tuesday, September 5;

Unit 1 Exam - Friday, September 8

Friday
  • Journal - What is the point of Searle's Chinese room thought experiment?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Problems of Functionalism
  • Outlining the exam

Read and annotate Chalmers/Nagel - Tuesday, September 5;

Unit 1 Exam - Friday, September 8

Week of August 22

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Minimum solar eclipse day! (8:36, 9:22)
  • Lecture/Discussion - Descartes' Systematic doubt and substance dualism

Read and annotate Jackson - Tuesday, August 23. Guiding questions:

  • Physicalism is a synonym for materialism. Does Jackson agree with this idea?
  • Does Jackson agree or disagree with Descartes?
  • What are quality? (try to put into your own words)
  • Jackson uses two thought experiments: Fred and Mary. What is the point to these?
Tuesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Review of dualism and its implications
  • In small groups - 1) Does Jackson agree with Descartes' dualism? Provide a quotation to support your argument. 2) Put Jackson's argument into standard form. 3) How might you refute Jackson's argument? 4)What questions do you have from the Jackson reading
  • Discussion - Jackson and Descartes
  • Journal: What counter arguments could you raise against Descartes' theory of substance dualism?
Wednesday
  • Journal: Without consulting the reading packet, what counter arguments could you raise against Descartes' theory of substance dualism?
  • Journal - Read 6.2 - 7.3. Identify and briefly describe three weaknesses of dualism described in the reading.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Weaknesses of substance dualism
Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Materialist philosophies of mind - introduction
  • Journal: (West) Read 8.3-9.1 - How does logical behaviorism explain the mind? What is the basis for this claim? (East) 9.4-10.2 How does Mind Brain identity explain the mind? What is the basis for this claim?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Two solutions to the mind: 1) Get rid of it (Behaviorism), and 2) claim it's something else (Mind-Brain Identity)
Would Jackson agree with MBI? Explain your answer in 100-150 words. Support your argument with at least one quote from Jackson - Due tomorrow
Friday
  • FFF: Race and Privilege

Week of August 14

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal: What were your thoughts on the discussion Friday? What went well and what could be improved? What was your most significant take away from the discussion.
  • Debrief Russell discussion
Mind body project - due Tuesday, August 16
Tuesday
  • Move desks to quad formation
  • Display you project face up on your desk
  • Circulate around the room examining the other theories and completing your investigation template. Remember to rate how close each theory is to you own. Very close = 1, almost opposite = 10. No fives.
  • Last 15 minutes. Find people whose theories are most similar to yours (6 max). In these groups identify what your key similarities are. Then construct a 140 character statement that concretely describes your group's theory on the relationship between the mind and the body (including key definitions). Your theory must address what composes the various elements. Put your completed statement on a post it note and post on the front board. Be prepared to present your statement in discussion tomorrow.
Wednesday
  • Theory group work time - Complete 140 character statements. Make sure you have a copy of your 140 character theory. Also, what does your group consider to be the strongest argument against your theory? Explain.
  • Unit 1 reading packet
  • Place your post it on the continuum on the white board based on how consistent the theory is with the statement written on the board. Circle desks, but remain with your groups. Mind Body Discussion.

Tonight is back to school night;

 

Thursday
  • Remaining theory presentations
  • Unit 1 reading packet
  • Journal - Read the unit 1 packet from 1.2 to 2.4. What is the "problem" at the center of the mind-body problem? Explain your answer and then answer the ten true-false questions on 2.4
  • Poll and discussion of questions on 2.4
Read and annotate Descartes (pp. 14-15 in the packet) - Tomorrow
Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Ontology/Descartes and Doubt
  • Journal - In groups of three-four discuss and answer the following questions:
    • What questions do you have about the excerpt? Try to be as specific as possible by identifying particular passages from the document.
    • What is Descartes' purpose in these passages? What is he trying to demonstrate?

Read and annotate Jackson. Does Jackson agree or disagree with Descartes? - Tuesday, August 23;

 

Week of August 7

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Sit with the people who have the same topic as you
  • Diving into philosophy activity
  • The ACAR method and the multiple perspectives approach to philosophical analysis and writing (Testing and assessment in this class)
Tuesday
  • In your groups discuss and be prepared to share what the group considers to be the most significant/interesting issue that arose from yesterday's discussion. Choose one person to briefly share this with the class.
  • Diving into philosophy presentations and structure of the class
  • Impromptu philosophy (time allowing)
Wednesday Read and Annotate Russell - Friday
Thursday
  • Annotating philosophical texts
  • Lecture/Discussion - Bertrand Russell
  • Getting ready for tomorrow's discussion
  • Russell Reading time (time allowing)
Read and Annotate Russell - Friday
Friday
  • In small groups from the first day activity, 1) each person should share the passage that most struck them from the document and explain why this passage is is significant. 2) Then the group should discuss and agree to what they consider to be Russell's central argument and how he supports this argument. 3) Finally identify as many of the metaphors Russell uses as you can. Is their a patter to Russell's use of metaphor? What role do these metaphors play in his argument?
  • Circle desks. Make two scratch paper cumple-ees. When you speak throw one crumple-ee into the middle. Everybody gets a bonus point if everyone speaks at least once. Whole class discussion of - Russell's "The Value of Philosophy"
Mind body project - due Tuesday, August 16