Philosophy

Week of April 23

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Date Agenda Homework
Monday Ethics exam review - tomorrow 7AM and 3:10 PM
Tuesday
  • Reading time - 15 minutes - Baxter's "People or Penguins" from the paragraph marked 11 through the paragraph marked 24.
  • Group discussion of Baxter questions
  • Lecture/Discussion - Environmental ethics - Anthropocentric approaches
Ethics midterm - Friday
Wednesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Environmental ethics - ecocentric approaches
Ethics midterm - Friday
Thursday
  • Wrap up environmental ethics - discussion of ethics topic 5
  • Philosophical films note home
Ethics midterm - Friday
Friday
  • Ethics midterm

Week of April 16

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Period 1 - Chapter by chapter review of Taylor
  • Period 2 - lecture/Discussion - Taylor chapter 10
Taylor exam review - Tomorrow 7AM and 3:10 PM
Tuesday
  • Taylor Questions
  • Discussion of distributional ethics
  • Read Nozick. In your groups, explain what the basis for Nozick's distributional ethics would be. Do you agree or disagree with this basis?
Wednesday
  • Rawls activity and discussion
Thursday
  • Nozick activity and discussion
Ethics Midterm - Friday, April 27
Friday
  • Taylor midterm
Ethics Midterm - Friday, April 27

Week of April 9

Date Agenda Homework
Monday Taylor 10 due - Wednesday
Tuesday Taylor 10 due - Wednesday
Wednesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Aristotle and virtue ethics
There will be no other reading assignments done outside of class. instead, you should plan on spending at least 30-40 minutes per day working on the outlines for the midterms
Thursday
  • Finish lecture/Discussion - Aristotle's virtue ethics
  • Questions on Taylor 10

Final draft of PA - Due tomorrow;

Taylor Final - Friday, April 20;

Ethics Final - Friday April 27

Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor 10

Taylor Final - Friday, April 20;

Ethics Final - Friday April 27

Week of March 26

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • In small groups: Read your assigned document and answer the questions at the bottom of the page (focusing on 1-2)
  • Lecture/Discussion - Ethics as self interest: Contractarianism

Taylor 9 - Tomorrow

Read and annotate Rachels on egoism - Wednesday

Tuesday
  • Lecture discussion - Review of Contractarianism
  • In your groups - What is Rand's central argument? Do you agree? What questions do you have regarding the Rand document?
  • Lecture Discussion - Ayn Rand's Ethical Egoism
  • Small group discussion
Read and annotate Rachels on egoism, choosing three of the arguments he describes to make the focus of your annotation. You must conisider at least one argument for and against egoism - due Wednesday
Wednesday
  • PA guidance and rubric
  • Rachels arguments on egoism breakdown
  • Join a group - no more than four persons per group:
    • Pro egoism: Altruism is self defeating (4)
    • Pro egoism:Ayn Rand's Argument (5)
    • Pro egoism: Ethical egoism is compatible with common sense morality (7)
    • Anti egoism - Ethical egoism cannot handle conflicts of interest (10)
    • Anti egoism - Ethical egoism is logically inconsistent (12)
    • Anti egoism - Ethical egoism is unaaceptably arbitrary (13)
  • Each group should:
    • Discuss, agree to and write a three sentence "elevator pitch" for their argument.
    • Select what you consider to be the best short quote from Rachels illustrating the core of this argument.
    • Be prepared to explain why you think this argument is weak or strong using a RLS (preferably that is not from Rachels)
Final draft of PA due Monday, April 9
Thursday
  • Groups present - argument regarding egoism
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor chapter 9
Final draft of PA due Monday, April 9
Friday
  • No school! Enjoy the break

Week of March 19

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Mill on higher and lower forms of pleasure and human dignity
  • PA consultation and questions
  • I will be available for consultation during both lunches on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Make an appointment if you would like to meet with me.

First draft of PA - due tomorrow (for guaranteed return by 3.29)

Taylor 8 - Due Tomorrow

Tuesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Mill, dignity and the greater good
Wednesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Wrap up Mill.
  • Journal - In your groups, brainstorm strengths and weaknesses of utilitarianism as an ethical theory (consider utilitarianism as a whole
  • Lecture/Discussion - Strengths and weaknesses of utilitarianism
Thursday
  • Taylor chapter 8 - Questions and discussion

Egoism Readings - Due Monday

Taylor 9 - Due Tuesday

Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor 8

Egoism Readings - Due Monday

Taylor 9 - Due Tuesday

Week of March 12

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Finish Taylor chapter 6
  • Lecture/Discussion - Introduction to JS Mill
Taylor 7 - Due tomorrow
Tuesday
  • Journal - Based on your reading of Mill, what appears to be the major difference between Bentham and Mill?
  • Lecture/Discussion - The happiness principle and standards of happiness
  • PA formatting guidelines

PA draft - due March 20 for a guaranteed march 29 return, March 27 for a guaranteed April 9 return;

Final PA - due April 11

Wednesday
  • Journal (boxed in your notes) - Today many have called for a national student walkout. How can ethics inform the decision of whether to walk out or not? In a larger sense, is it ever justified to violate the law/rules? If your answer is yes, under what conditions is this justified? How might the ethical theorists we have examined inform decisions on this question?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Mill on higher and lower pleasures

PA draft - due March 20 for a guaranteed march 29 return, March 27 for a guaranteed April 9 return;

Final PA - due April 11

Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion Taylor 7

Mill 6-9 - Due Monday

Taylor chapter 8 - Due Tuesday;

PA draft - due March 20 for a guaranteed march 29 return, March 27 for a guaranteed April 9 return;

Final PA - due April 11

Friday
  • Taylor chapters 1-7 review activity

Mill 6-9 - Due Monday

Taylor chapter 8 - Due Tuesday;

PA draft - due March 20 for a guaranteed march 29 return, March 27 for a guaranteed April 9 return;

Final PA - due April 11

Week of March 5

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Return PA topic proposals
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor 5
Tuesday
  • Journal (Boxed in notes) - List the three ethical theories we have discussed prior to this unit. Describe the basis of each in one sentence per theory.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Introduction to and overview of utilitarianism, Bentham and Mill
  • Rauhut reading time/PA consult time
Read and annotate Rauhut pp. 331-336
Wednesday
  • Journal/in small groups - Answer the following questions:
    • Are Bentham’s ideas intended to be descriptive or normative? Explain.
    • What is the principle of utility?
    • According to Bentham, what constitutes right and wrong? Why?
    • Identify what your group considers to be the key difference between Kant and Bentham.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Bentham's utilitarianism

Taylor 7 reading guide - Due Tuesday, March 13;

Read and annotate Mill 1-5 - Monday, March 12

Thursday
  • Discussion - Taylor 6

Taylor 7 reading guide - Due Tuesday, March 13;

Read and annotate Mill 1-5 - Monday, March 6

Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor 6
  • Minimum day

Taylor 7 reading guide - Due Tuesday, March 13;

Read and annotate Mill 1-5 - Monday, March 6

Week of February 26

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor Chapter 4
Tuesday
  • What is required in a PA proposal
  • Journal - Define Horizons of significance and significant others as they are used in Taylor chapter 4. What role do these concepts play in Taylor's overall argument.
  • Finish Lecture/Discussion - Taylor chapter 4
  • What questions do you have for Taylor chapter 5?

PA Proposals - Due Thursday

Read and Annotate Bentham - Thursday

Wednesday
  • Questions on PA?
  • Journal: What do you think Taylor's argument is in chapter 5? How does this relate to his argument in chapter four regarding horizon's of significance and his argument in chapter one regarding the three malaises? What questions do you have regarding Taylor chapter 5
  • Discussion of Taylor chapter 5

PA proposals - Due Thursday

Read and annotate Bentham - Tomorrow;

Taylor 6 reading guide due Monday

Thursday
  • Journal/in small groups - Answer the following questions:
    • Are Bentham’s ideas intended to be descriptive or normative? Explain.
    • What is the principle of utility?
    • According to Bentham, what constitutes right and wrong? Why?
    • Identify what your group considers to be the key difference between Kant and Bentham.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Bentham's utilitarianism

Taylor 6 reading guide due Monday;

 

Friday
  • No School

Week of February 19

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • No School
Tuesday
  • Journal - What is Levinas' central critique of Kantian ethics?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Levinas (finish)
  • Journal (in your notes) Which is more important for the development of ethics and ethical behavior, reason or emotion/empathy? Explain the reasons for your position.
  • Reading time - Taylor chapter 4
Taylor, chapter 4 reading guide - due tomorrow
Wednesday
Thursday
  • Small group discussion - those who walk away from Omelas
Taylor chapter 5 study guide - Due Monday, February 26
Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor chapter 4
Taylor chapter 5 study guide - Due Monday, February 26

Week of February 12

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • No School
Tuesday
  • With your group, review what you considered to be the strengths and weaknesses of Kant and his ethical system. Be prepared to share with the class
  • Lecture/Discussion - Assessing Kant
  • Final words on Taylor chapter three
Read and annotate Levinas article - tomorrow
Wednesday
  • Small group discussion of the Levinas article
Thursday
  • How do the ethical ideas of Levinas seem to differ from those of Kant? Explain.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Levinas: Totality, Infinity and our utter subordination to the other
Friday Omelas Questions - Due Tuesday, February 22

Week of February 5

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal (In your notes) - Put Kant's categorical imperative into your own words. Then explain how it defines what Kant calls duty.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Hypothetical and categorical imperatives: The distinction between desire and duty

Read and annotate Kant E - Tuesday, February 6;

Read and annotate Kant F - Wednesday, February 7;

Taylor, chapter 3 reading guide - Due Friday, February 9

Tuesday
  • Review of Kant thus far
  • In your small groups: Examine the four situations in section E. What does Kant say differentiates these four examples in terms of duty and the categorical imperative? Discuss and record in your notes.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Perfect and imperfect duties

Read and annotate Kant F - Wednesday, February 7;

Taylor, chapter 3 reading guide - Due Friday, February 9

Wednesday
  • Journal: I have made the argument that Kant lays the groundwork for our modern understanding of human rights. Using the information from section f (and the rest of Kant), explain why this might be true. Can you make a flow chart that illustrates this connection?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Dignity, human rights and the second version of the Categorical imperative

 

Taylor, chapter 3 reading guide - Due Friday, February 9

Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Kant's second categorical imperative
  • In small groups, make a t-chart in your notes. Brainstorm as many strengths and problems with Kant's theory as you can. Make specific paragraph reference to the document whenever possible.
  • Discussion: Does Kant effectively describe a system by which right and wrong can be objectively determined?

Taylor, chapter 3 reading guide - Due Friday, February 9

Friday
  • Questions on Taylor, chapter 3
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor 3

Week of January 29

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal: According to Alan Blum (the man referenced at the beginning of chapter 2) What is the problem with modern youth (remember he is writing in 1989)?
  • Lecture discussion - The quest for an objective system of ethics: Duty, Reason and Kant (overview of Kant)
Read and annotate Kant section A - Tomorrow
Tuesday
  • In Small groups: 1) From your own experience (not Kant), make a list of things that are valuable/good. Then explain why each of the things you have listed is valuable or good. Be prepared to share with the class 2) What is the difference between intrinsic and instrumental value?
  • Lecture/discussion - Kant and the good will
  • In your groups - How do the ideas discussed by Kant in section A relate to issues raised by Taylor in chapter 1? Try to provide specific examples and quotations from both documents to illustrate you points.
  • Reading time Kant pt. B (time allowing)
Read and annotate Kant B - Wednesday
Wednesday
  • In small groups: Recall this situation from the ethics opening activity:

    John was captured in a country that supports terrorism against the US. The US government believes that John has knowledge of a terror plot that, if successful, would kill thousands of people in New York City. The government wants to imprison John in a secret prison, and torture him to gain information about the plot. This would violate US law. If they do, there is a 75% likelihood that the attack will be avoided. As advisor to the President, what do you recommend?

    Based on the sections of Kant you have read so far, what principles and ideas might Kant provide the President if he were advising them? Explain your answer with reference to the Kant document.

  • Discussion of Kant/torture situation
  • Lecture/Discussion - Kant, intent and consequences

Based on our discussion today, list two actions you have taken in the last year for each of Kant's four categories. Be prepared to explain why you categorized them as you did (nothing deeply personal or confidential, please);

Read and annotate Kant C-D -Monday, February 5;

Read and annotate Kant E - Tuesday, February 6;

Read and annotate Kant F - Wednesday, February 7;

Taylor, chapter 3 reading guide - Due Friday, February 9

Thursday
  • Discussion of Kant situations
  • Finish lecture discussion Kant intent and consequences
  • Questions on Taylor chapter 2

Read and annotate Kant C-D -Monday;

Read and annotate Kant E - Tuesday, February 6;

Read and annotate Kant F - Wednesday, February 7;

Taylor, chapter 3 reading guide - Due Friday, February 9

Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor chapter 2

Read and annotate Kant C-D -Monday;

Taylor, chapter 3 reading guide - Due Friday, February 9

Week of January 22

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • In small groups: What does Rachels assert are the problems of the relativist position?
  • Lecture/discussion - Weaknesses and lessons of cultural relativism
Read and annotate the Article from the Harvard Political Review
Tuesday
  • In your small groups - HPR article discussion
  • Lecture/Discussion - Introduction to Charles Taylor and the Ethics of Authenticity
Be prepared to ask questions about Taylor chapter 1 - Tomorrow
Wednesday
  • Journal: Review your notes. What questions do yo wish to ask about the first chapter of Taylor? Be prepared to make a specific page reference so we can all focus on the section you are asking about.
  • Taylor chapter 1 discussion - Questions and discussion questions

 

Taylor chapter 2 reading guide - due Monday, January 29;

Read and annotate Kant, pt. 1 - Tuesday, January 29

Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor chapter 1
  • Notes check (counts as an annotation)
  • Reading time for chapter 2 (time allowing)

Taylor chapter 2 reading guide - due Monday, January 29;

Read and annotate Kant, pt. 1 - Tuesday, January 29

Friday
  • No School

Week of January 15

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • No School
Tuesday Read and annotate Rachels pt. 1 (to 2.4) - Tomorrow
Wednesday
  • Journal: What are the strengths and benefits of the cultural relativist model? Explain in specific terms
  • Lecture/Discussion - Cultural relativism
Read and annotate Rachels pt. 2 (to end) - Tomorrow
Thursday
  • Journal: What are the weaknesses of cultural relativism? Explain in specific terms.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Weaknesses and problems with cultural relativism
Friday
  • Activity - Objectivism and relativism in the real world - case studies

Week of January 8

Date Agenda Homework
Monday Read and annotate Hume - Wednesday
Tuesday
  • THS academic honesty policy
  • Journal - See questions from presentation
  • Lecture/Discussion - Self and culture
  • Hume Reading time (time allowing)
Read and annotate Hume - Wednesday
Wednesday
  • Journal - What is Hume's argument? What questions do you have regarding the Hume reading?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Illusion theory of personal identity
Thursday
  • Get Taylor books
  • Lecture/Discussion - Introduction to Charles Taylor's The Ethics of authenticity
Friday
  • FFF - Introduction to ethics situations

Week of January 1

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • No School
Tuesday
  • Elderly killer activity
  • Core theme 5 - the problem of personal identity - readings packet
Read and annotate textbook readings and body and soul theory, Rauhut 173-180
Wednesday
  • Wrap up elderly killer discussion
  • Journal - What, if anything, makes you the same person today that you were when you were five? Explain
  • Lecture/Discussion - The problem of personal identity - introduction
Read and annotate Locke - Tomorrow
Thursday
  • Journal - Consider the following: A great and powerful Djinn offers you the following bargain: When you wake up tomorrow, you will be the world's richest and most powerful person. The only catch is you will have no memory of your past life and no possible way of recovery those memories. Do you take the Djinn's offer? Why or why not?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Psychic continuity theory
Read and annotate "the social self -tomorrow
Friday
  • Journal: In your own words, explain Locke's theory of personal identity. How does the thought experiment yesterday illustrate the claim of this theory?What questions do you have regarding Locke?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Memory theory of personal identity
  • Journal: Based on the social self reading and your own ideas, answer the following questions:
    1. What are the social/historical factors that push us toward a definition of self that is individual or contained within us?
    2. How does the article argue for a social rather than an individual definition of self? What are the major points of this argument?
    3. From your perspective, which is more important in defining the authentic self - the self or social and cultural factors?
    4. Are the following aspects of our identity generated internally (by our thoughts or our biology) or socially:
      • Political attitudes
      • Ethics
      • Gender
      • Sexuality
  • Lecture/Discussion - Self and culture
Read and annotate Hume - Tuesday, January 8

Week of December 11

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Lecture/Discussion - finish Kane
Two bonus participation points for anyone who has a completed, typed outline (two sides - single spaced) by class tomorrow
Tuesday
  • Review for final
Wednesday
  • Final exam
Thursday
  • No class
Friday
  • No class

Week of December 4

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Finish Stace and traditional compatiblism
 
Tuesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Strengths and weakneses of Stace
  • Small group discussion of Frankfurt
Read and annotate Chisholm - tomorrow
Wednesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Finish Frankfurt
  • Journal: What is Chishom's argument? How is it different from that of Stace/Hume/Frankfurt? Questions on Chisholm?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Introduction to libertarianism
Read and annotate Kane A - Thursday
Thursday
  • Wrap up soft determinism
  • Lecture/Discussion - Chisholm
Read and annotate Kane B - Friday
Friday

 

Week of November 27

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Substitute - Read and annotate Stace (pages marked 11-14 in the packet and online). This will be due on Wedensday
Read and annotate Stace - Wednesday
Tuesday
  • Journal: What flaws can you identify with d'Holbach's argument about freedom?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Hard Determinism
Read and annotate Stace - Wednesday
Wednesday
  • Journal - Answer the following questions in writing with your group based on your reading of Stace:
    • Questions on Stace?
    • What Does Stace mean when he says on p. 420 that the “dispute (over freedom) is merely verbal”? In this vein, explain what Stace means by the five legged man example.
    • Explain what Stace means when he says that the question of whether the world is deterministic or indeterministic is “wholly irrelevant to the problem of free will.”
    • Based on Staceʼs definition of free will, what makes an action free?
    • According to Stace, is punishment compatible with determinism? Why or why not?
  • Discussion of Stace
Read and annotate Frankfurt - Monday
Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Finish d'Holbach
  • Journal - Answer the following questions in writing with your group based on your reading of Stace:
    • Questions on Stace?
    • What Does Stace mean when he says on p. 420 that the “dispute (over freedom) is merely verbal”? In this vein, explain what Stace means by the five legged man example.
    • Explain what Stace means when he says that the question of whether the world is deterministic or indeterministic is “wholly irrelevant to the problem of free will.”
    • Based on Staceʼs definition of free will, what makes an action free?
    • According to Stace, is punishment compatible with determinism? Why or why not?
  • Discussion of Stace
Read and annotate Frankfurt - Monday
Friday
  • Journal: In what ways is Stace's position on freedom similar to and diffeernet from that of d'Holbach?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Compatiblism
  • Journal - What qustions do you have regarding Frankfurt?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Deep self compatiblism
Read and annote Chisholm - Monday

Week of November 13

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal: What is Turing's argument? How is this argument similar to and different from the argument made by Descartes?
  • Lecture/Discussion - The Turing test
  • Rose conversation - Have a brief conversaton with Rose. To what extent is she convincing? What is it about her use of language that makes it clear she is not human.
Midterm - Wedensday
Tuesday
  • Journal - In your groups, prepare to offer a brief explanation of your chosen objection and explain how Turing responds to this objection.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Objections to AI
Midterm - Wedensday
Wednesday
  • Midterm

Read Kane, pt. 1;

Read and annotate D'Holbach - Friday

Thursday
  • Read Kane article and answer the questions below
  • Kane Questions:
      1. Is Walden II a good society? Would you want to live there? Are the Waldonians free?
      2. What conditions does Kane argue must be present for people to be responsible for their actions? Is it possible that these conditions can exist (The second part of this question is asking for your opinion.)
      3. Why does Kane believe that if determinism is true then free will is impossible?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Introduction to the question of freedom
Read and annotate D'Holbach - Friday
Friday
  • Journal - In small groups, answer the following questions:
    • What struck you about the article? What questions do you have (try to identify a quote to support this observation)
    • Put d’Holbach’s argument into standard form (numbered premises and a conclusion).
    • What evidence does d’Holbach present for each of the components of this argument? Be specific and use quotations from the document.
  • Lecture/Discussion - d'Holbach's argument for hard determinism
Read and annote Stace - Tuesday, Novemeber 28

Week of November 6

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Singer/Descartes discussion - What is our ethical obligation to animals?
  • Questions/Discussion of Carruthers
  • Midterm stimuli

Read and annotate Turing pt. 1 - Wednesday;

Turing pt. 2 - Thursday

Tuesday
  • Journal: How would Carruthers respond to Singer's argument? Explain
  • Lecture/Discussion - Carruthers

Read and annotate Turing pt. 1 - Wednesday;

Turing pt. 2 - Thursday

Wednesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Carruthers
  • Midterm review activity (group)
Midterm - Wednesday, November 15
Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Alan Turing and intelligent machines
Midterm - Wednesday, November 15
Friday
  • No School

Week of October 30

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Substitute!
  • Unit 3 reading packets for those who don't have them
  • Read, annotate and answer questions for Descartes (first article in packet)
Read and annotate Descartes - Wednesday
Tuesday
  • Journal: What is the existentialist view of Human nature? Describe in one well-crafted sentence.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Finish Sartre
  • Review of unit 2
Read and annotate Descartes - Wednesday
Wednesday
  • Journal: In small groups, identify and discuss the two factors Descartes claims would clearly give away a machine disguised as a human being. Find two supporting quotations from the document (one for each factor referenced in question two). Do you agree with Descartes' argument in this regard?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Descartes on animals and machines
Read and annotate marked sections of Singer - Tomorrow
Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Finish/summarize Descartes'ideas on animal minds
  • Journal: With your groups, develop a point be point response to Descartes' argument using the ideas of Peter Singer. Please support your arguments with quotations from both texts wherever possible. With which of these two positions do you agree? Explain and be prepared to share your answer.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Singer
Read and annotate Carruthers through pp. 509 - Tomorrow
Friday
  • Debating the implications of Singer's positions.
Finish reading and annotating Carruthers - Due Monday November 6

Week of October 23

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Parent Conferences
Tuesday
  • Journal: How does Nietzsche reflect the themes of existentialism? Provide at least one example.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Three Keys to Nietzsche's thought.
Read and annotate Sartre - Tomorrow
Wednesday
  • Journal: 1) What questions do you have regarding Sartre? 2) To what extent is Sartre similar to or diffrent from the two other existentialist thinkers we have examined? 3) How does Sartre reflect the themes of existentialism?
  • Discussion of Sartre
Thursday
  • Journal: Taken as a group, what would the existentialist conception of human nature be?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Keys to understanding Sartre
  • Handout unit three reading packet
Read and annotate Descartes - Tuesday, October 31
Friday
  • FFF - Patriotism, the flag and the meaning of respect
Read and annotate Descartes - Tuesday, October 31

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