Philosophy

Week of May 20

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • FFF
Bring Taylor on Wednesday
Tuesday
  • FFF
Bring Taylor on Wednesday
Wednesday
  • FFF - Have a great summer and a good, productive, meaningful life!
Thursday
  • No class
Friday
  • No Class

Week of May 13

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • FFF
Tuesday
  • FFF
Wednesday
  • FFF
Thursday
  • FFF
Friday
  • FFF

Week of May 6

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Last minute review for IB exam
  • Filosophy philm phestival permission slip
Tuesday
  • Continue review for IB exam
Wednesday
  • Permission slips for FPP due
  • FPP
Thursday
  • FPP
Friday
  • FPP

Week of April 29

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Get into color groups
  • Lecture discussion - finish problems of anthropocentric enviromental ethics
  • Follow along as I read aloud the section from Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac - then discuss the presentation questions with your group
  • Leopold discussion

Read and annotate Rawls - Wednesday;

Ethics midterm - Friday

If you are not testing I will accept the final PA up to Friday, May 10

Tuesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Finish ecocentric environmental ethics
  • Video on distributional ethics

Read and annotate Rawls - Wednesday;

Ethics midterm - Friday;

If you are not testing I will accept the final PA up to Friday, May 10

Wednesday
  • lecture/Discussion - John Rawls theory of justice

Read and annotate Nozick - Tomorrow;

Ethics midterm - Friday;

If you are not testing I will accept the final PA up to Friday, May 10

Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Robert Nozick's theory of economic justice

Ethics midterm - Friday;

If you are not testing I will accept the final PA up to Friday, May 10

Friday
  • Ethics midterm
If you are not testing I will accept the final PA up to Friday, May 10

Week of April 15

Date Agenda Homework
Monday

Read and annotate Baxter - Tomorrow;

Taylor Midterm - Thursday

Tuesday

Read and annotate eco-centrism article - due tomorrow;

Taylor Midterm - Thursday

Wednesday
  • Journal: In several bullet points, describe the problems with Baxter's anthropcentric approach to environmental ethics
  • Last minute questions for tomorrow's midterm?
  • Lecture/Discussion - anthropocentric enviromental ethics
Taylor Midterm - Thursday
Thursday
  • Taylor midterm

Read and annotate - distributional ethics articles - due Monday, April 29;

Ethics Midterm - Friday May 3

Friday
  • No School

Week of April 8

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Lecture/discussion - Strengths and weaknesses of egogism

Taylor 10 - Wednesday;

If you are testing, your final PA is due in class on Friday, If you are not testing I will accept the final PA up to Tuesday, May 9

Tuesday
  • Get into color groups. 1) In your groups discuss and identify five central concepts from the Aristotle reading. How does Aristotle define each concept and how do these concepts work together to build the good person? 2) What similarities do you see between Aristotle and the theories of Kant and the Utilitarians? What are the major diffrences?
  • Discussion - Aristotle's virtue ethics

Taylor 10 - Wednesday;

If you are testing, your final PA is due in class on Friday, If you are not testing I will accept the final PA up to Thursday, May 9

Wednesday
  • Lecture/discussion - Aristotle's virtue ethics
If you are testing, your final PA is due in class on Friday, If you are not testing I will accept the final PA up to Tuesday, May 9
Thursday
  • Taylor 9
If you are testing, your final PA is due in class on Friday, If you are not testing I will accept the final PA up to Tuesday, May 9
Friday
  • Taylor 10
If you are testing, your final PA is due in class on Friday, If you are not testing I will accept the final PA up to Friday, May 10

Week of April 1

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Lecture discussion - Arguments for and against egoism
Taylor 8 - due tomorrow
Tuesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Arguments for and against egoism
  • Midterm topics
  • Formatting the PA
Aristotle excerpts template - due tomorrow
Wednesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Character based ethics - introduction
Thursday
  • Taylor 8 questions

Taylor 9 - due Monday, April 9;

Taylor 10 - due Wednesday April 11

Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion -Taylor 8

Taylor 9 - due Monday, April 9;

Taylor 10 - due Wednesday April 11

Week of March 25

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Lecture/Discussion - finish chapter 6
  • Questions on the PA?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Mill: Distinguishing between higher and lower pleasures and the concept of dignity (Mill 5-6)

Taylor 7 - Due Tuesday, March 26;

Read and annotate Rand - Thursday, March 27;

PA draft -Due Friday, March 29;

Read and annotate Rachels on Egoism - Due Monday, April 1

Tuesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Higher and lower pleasures in Mill

Read and annotate Rand on Egosim - Thursday;

PA draft -Due Friday, March 29;

Read and annotate Rachels on Egoism - Due Monday, April 1;

Taylor 8 - due Tuesday, April 2

Wednesday
  • Last minute paper qs?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Finish Mill

Read and annotate Rand on Egoism - Thursday;

PA draft -Due Friday, March 29;

Read and annotate Rachels on Egoism - Due Monday, April 1;

Taylor 8 - due Tuesday, April 2

Thursday
  • 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

Read and annotateRachels on Egoism - choosing three of the arguments he describes to make the focus of your annotation. You must consider at least one argument for and one against egoism - due Monday, April 1;

PA draft -Due Friday, March 29;

Taylor 8 - due Tuesday, April 2

Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor 7

Read and annotate Rachels on Egoism - choosing three of the arguments he describes to make the focus of your annotation. You must consider at least one argument for and one against egoism - due Monday, April 1;

Taylor 8 - due Tuesday, April 2

Week of March 18

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Collect Taylor 6
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor 4-5 finish + questions
  • PA consultation time
Read and annotate Mill 6-9 - Tomorrow
Tuesday
  • PA consultations
  • Journal - In what ways do Mill and Bentham seem similar? In what ways do they seem different?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Mill and the varieties of happiness
Read and annotate Mill 10-18 - Tomorrow
Wednesday
  • Journal - In what ways do Mill and Bentham seem similar? In what ways do they seem different?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Mill and the varieties of happiness
Taylor 7 - Due Tuesday, March 26
Thursday
  • Questions - Taylor 6
Taylor 7 - Due Tuesday, March 26
Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor 6

Taylor 7 - Due Tuesday, March 26;

Read and annotate Rand - Thursday, March 27;

Read and annotate Rachels on Egoism - Due Monday, April 1

Week of March 11

Updated Spring Calendar

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Wrap up Taylor 4
  • Journal - Is Omelas a good society? On what basis is the previous question answered? Are we Omelas?
  • Whole class discussion of Omelas

Taylor 5 - due tomorrow;

Read and annotate Bentham - Wednesday

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

Read and annotate Bentham - Tomorrow;

Read and annotate Mill 1-5 - Friday;

Complete Taylor 6 - Monday, March 18

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

Read and annotate Bentham - Tomorrow;

Read and annotate Mill 1-5 - Friday;

Complete Taylor 6 - Monday, March 18

Thursday
  • Taylor 5 - Questions

Read and annotate Bentham - Tomorrow;

Read and annotate Mill 1-5 - Friday;

Complete Taylor 6 - Monday, March 18

Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor 5

Read and annotate Bentham - Tomorrow;

Read and annotate Mill 6-9 - Tuesday. March 19;

Complete Taylor 6 - Monday, March 18

Week of March 4

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Hand back PA proposals - preview Wednesday work day.
  • Finish Taylor 3 - Self determining freedom and totalitarianism
  • Journal - the SEP defines phenomenology as "the study of structures of experience, or consciousness. Literally, phenomenology is the study of “phenomena”: appearances of things, or things as they appear in our experience, or the ways we experience things, thus the meanings things have in our experience. Phenomenology studies conscious experience as experienced from the subjective or first person point of view." Given this - what is the phenomenology of encountering the other?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Levinas
Tuesday
  • Journal - Journal - the SEP defines phenomenology as "the study of structures of experience, or consciousness. Literally, phenomenology is the study of “phenomena”: appearances of things, or things as they appear in our experience, or the ways we experience things, thus the meanings things have in our experience. Phenomenology studies conscious experience as experienced from the subjective or first person point of view." Given this - what is the phenomenology of encountering the other?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Levinas (finish)
Wednesday Taylor 5 reading guide - Tuesday, March 12
Thursday
  • Taylor 4 questions
Taylor 5 reading guide - Tuesday, March 12
Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor 4

Monday

Whole class discussion - Omelas

  • Is Omelas a good society? Why or why not?
  • What would Levinas and Kant's assessment of Omelas be? Explain.
  • Ar we Omelas? Explain providing specific examples

Read Omelas and answer the three questions: Is Omelas a good society? On what basis is the previous question answered? Are we Omelas? - Monday, March 11

Taylor 5 reading guide - Tuesday, March 12

Week of February 25

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • With your group - Make a list of what you consider to be strengths and weaknesses of Kant's theory. Be prepared to share and explain
  • Lecture/Discussion - Strengths and weaknesses of Kant
Read and annotate Levinas article - Wednesday, February 27;
Tuesday
  • Finish assessment of Kant
  • Kant supporting quote review game
Read and annotate Levinas article - Wednesday, February 27;
Wednesday
  • Journal: What role does reason play in Kant's system of ethics? Is this a strength or a liability? Explain.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Levinas
Taylor 4 - due Monday, March 4
Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor 3
Friday
  • No School

Week of February 18

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • No school
Tuesday
  • Journal: What questions do you have regarding the concepts and ideas in Kant E? What stands out to you?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Perfect and imperfect duties

Taylor 3 - Due Tomorrow;

Read and annotate Kant F - Tomorrow

Wednesday
  • Journal: Recall in our section on Human nature that when we discussed Kant we discussed a paradox involving reason and freedom? What was this paradox and how does it related to Kant's metaphysics of Morals?
  • Lecture/Discussion: Perfect and imperfect duties
Thursday
  • Discussion of Kant - perfect and imperfect duties
Taylor 4 study guide - due Monday, March 4
Friday
  • Journal - In small groups: What would Kant's response be to the issue of torturing a known terrorist to prevent a future terrorist attack? Support your observations with quotes from the document. Is Kant's position on this issue correct, from your perspective?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Kant's Second version of the Categorical Imperative
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor 3

 

Taylor 4 study guide - due Monday, March 4

Week of February 11

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • No School
Tuesday
  • Journal: What is the good will? Explain in your own words. What is the connection between the good will and human dignity?
  • Questions regarding Kant section B
  • Lecture/Discussion - Kant B

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 and D - Thursday

Wednesday
  • Discussion of HW examples
Read and annotate Kant C and D - Thursday
Thursday
  • Journal: What questions do you have regarding the concepts and ideas in Kant C and D? What stands out to you?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Imperatives: hypothetical and categorical
Read and annotate Kant E - Due Tuesday, February 19
Friday
  • Substitute
  • Read Taylor 3 and complete the Taylor 3 study guide

Read and annotate Kant E - Due Tuesday, February 19;

Taylor 3 - due Wednesday, February 20

Week of February 4

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Collect Taylor 2 study guide
  • Read the post modernist excerpts. What is the position regarding ethics implied by the post modernism excerpts?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Subjectivism and post modernism
Taylor 3 - due Tuesday, February 19
Tuesday
  • Lecture discussion - The quest for an objective system of ethics: Duty, Reason and Kant (overview of Kant)

Read and annotate Kant, section A - tomorrow;

Taylor 3 - due Tuesday, February 19

Wednesday
  • 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.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Kant and the good will

Read and annotate Kant section B - Tuesday, February 12;

Taylor 3 - due Tuesday, February 19

Thursday
  • Questions - Taylor chapter 2

Read and annotate Kant section B - Tuesday, February 12;

Taylor 3 - due Tuesday, February 19

Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taylor chapter 2

Read and annotate Kant section B - Tuesday, February 12;

Taylor 3 - due Wednesday, February 13

Week of January 28

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Collect Taylor 1 study guides
  • Journal: Think of an action that is right in our culture but wrong in other cultures. Likewise, think of an action that would be wrong in our culture but acceptable elsewhere. Do you believe that whether or not such actions are right or wrong is determined by culture, or do you believe that whether they are right or wrong can be objectively determined. Are there any actions that challenge your beliefs on this issue?

Read and annotate Rachels to the beginning of section 2.4 - Tuesday, January 29;

 

Tuesday
  • Make up day - Both lunches
  • Small group discussion - Assessing the cultural differences argument
  • Post modernism readings

Rachels from 2.4 - end- Wednesday, January 30;

Taylor 2 - due Monday, February 4

Wednesday
  • Get into color groups. What are the major objections to cultural relativism? Which of these do you think is the most significant?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Assessing cultural relativism
  • In small groups - Post modernism/subjectivism activity
Taylor 2 - due Monday, February 4
Thursday
  • Make up day - Both lunches and after school
  • Journal: What questions do you have about Taylor chapter 1? What most struck you about the chapter? What do you think Taylor's point is?
  • Taylor 1 questions
Taylor 2 - due Monday, February 4
Friday Taylor 2 - due Monday, February 4

Week of January 21

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • No School
Tuesday

Read and annotate Rachels - Tuesday, January 29;

Taylor 1 - Due Monday, January, 28

Wednesday
  • Journal: What did the Maxman article illustrate about ethics and culture? Support your answer with examples from the article and other examples you develop on your own.
  • Whole class discussion - Are ethical decisions relative to the culture in which we live?

Read and annotate Rachels - Tuesday, January 29;

Taylor 1 - Due Monday, January, 28

Thursday

Read and annotate Rachels - Tuesday, January 29;

Taylor 1 - Due Monday, January, 28

Friday
  • No School

Week of January 14

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Second semester plan
Read and annotate Hume - Tomorrow
Tuesday
  • Journal - What questions do you have regarding Hume?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Hume
Wednesday
  • Journal - What does Hume mean when he refers to the idea of the persistent self as a grammatical fiction?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Hume
Read and annotate the Maxman article from Nature online and watch the embedded video (4 min.) - Due Tuesday, January 22
Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Introduction to ethics
  • Begin FFF - What principles can be found to guide our decisions?
Read and annotate the Maxman article from Nature online and watch the embedded video (4 min.) - Due Tuesday, January 22
Friday
  • FFF - Ethical principles
Read and annotate the Maxman article from Nature online and watch the embedded video (4 min.) - Due Tuesday, January 22

Week of January 7

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • 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
Tuesday
  • Wrap up elderly killer discussion
  • Journal - What, if anything, makes you the same person today that you were when you were five? Explain
Read and annotate Locke - Tomorrow
Wednesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - The problem of personal identity: introduction
  • 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?
  • Discussion of journal
Read and annotate "the social self - Friday
Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Memory theory of personal identity
Read and annotate Hume - Monday, January 14
Friday
  • 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
  • Journal - What is Hume's argument? What questions do you have regarding the Hume reading?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Illusion theory of personal identity

Week of December 17

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Strengths and weaknesses of Kane
Final exam - Tomorrow - Remember, I will be choosing one of the three topics for you to write on, thus all three outlines should be completed
Tuesday
  • Final exam
Wednesday
  • No class
Thursday
  • No class
Friday
  • No school - Have a great Break!

Week of December 10

Date Agenda Homework
Monday Read and annotate Frankfurt - Tomorrow
Tuesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Deep self compatiblism
Read and annotate Chisholm - Tomorrow
Wednesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Libertarianism and Chisholm
Read and annotate Kane pt 1 - Thursday
Thursday
  • In your groups, discuss the following questions:
      • What is the distinction Kane makes between surface and deeper freedom?
      • Is Walden II a good society? Would you want to live there?
      • What does Kane say is the relationship between free will, determinism and responsibility?
      • What is Kane's point regarding our character? How does this relate to his ideas regarding responsibility?
  • Discussion - Responsibility and freedom, Kane pt. 1
Read and annotate Kane pt. 2 - Friday
Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Kane's Libertarianism
Final exam - Tuesday, December 18

Week of December 3

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal/Discussion - What is it about our use of language that makes language difficult for computers to use naturally?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Counter arguments to Turing's position.
  • Unit 4 reading packet
Read and annotate d'Holbach - Wednesday
Tuesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Introduction to freedom - overview of major issues and theories
Read and annotate d'Holbach - Wednesday
Wednesday
  • 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.
    • What counter arguments does d'Holbach respond to? What are his responses?
  • Lecture/Discussion - d'Holbach's argument for hard determinism
Read and annotate Stace - Friday
Thursday
  • Journal - What are the weaknesses of d'Holbach's argument?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Weaknesses of Hard determinism
  • Stace reading time
Read and annotate Stace - Friday
Friday
  • 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 and soft determinism
Read and annotate Frankfurt - Tuesday - December 11

Week of November 26

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal: How does Singer propose to broaden the circle of respect? Explain
  • Lecture/Discussion - review Singer
Tuesday
  • Journal - What questions do you have regarding Carruthers? Do you agree with Carruthers argument?
  • lecture/discussion - Carruthers
Read and annotate Turing his numbers 1-5 with omissions noted in class - due Thursday
Wednesday
  • Journal - What is the HOT theory of consciousness? What role does it play in Carruthers' theory of animal minds?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Finish Caruthers
Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Alan Turing, his background and his argument regarding machine minds
  • Turing reading time (time allowing)
Friday
  • 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
  • Mitsuku conversation - Have a brief conversation with Rose. To what extent is she convincing? What is it about her use of language that makes it clear she is not human?

Week of November 12

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • No School
Tuesday
  • Review for midterm
Wednesday
  • Midterm
Thursday
  • 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 - Due tomorrow
Friday
  • Wrap up Descartes
  • Journal/In small groups - To what extent are Singer and Descartes in agreement? What are the major differences between these two thinkers?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Singer
Read and annotate Carruthers marked sections - due Tuesday, November 26

Week of November 5

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Substitute - Read Descartes (unit 3 packet)/Work on midterm outlines.
Midterm - Wednesday, November 14
Tuesday
  • Substitute - Read Descartes (unit 3 packet)/Work on midterm outlines.
Midterm - Wednesday, November 14
Wednesday
  • Journal: Review Sartre - What questions do you have regarding this reading? What similarities do you see between Sartre, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Sartre
Thursday
  • Lecture/discussion - Sartre/The existentialist conception of human nature
Descartes reading - Due Tuesday, November 13
Friday
  • Review human nature and plan for exam
Descartes reading - Due Tuesday, November 13

Week of October 29

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Lecture/Discussion - Four keys to understanding the thought of Soren Kierkegaard
Read and annotate Nietzsche - tomorrow
Tuesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Kierkegaard
Read and annotate Sartre - Thursday
Wednesday
  • 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/differences do you see between Nietzsche and Kierkegaard?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Nietzsche
Read and annotate Sartre - Thursday
Thursday
  • Journal: 1) What questions do you have regarding Sartre? 2) To what extent is Sartre similar to or different from the two other existentialist thinkers we have examined? 3) How does Sartre reflect the themes of existentialism?
  • Discussion of Sartre
Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Finish Nietzsche
  • Fall midterm stimuli - Online only - if you need a hard copy - ask.
  • Unit three reading packet
  • Journal: 1) What questions do you have regarding Sartre? 2) To what extent is Sartre similar to or different from the two other existentialist thinkers we have examined? 3) How does Sartre reflect the themes of existentialism?
  • Discussion of Sartre

On Monday and Tuesday of next week, there will be a substitute and you will be reading Descartes and Carruthers from the reading packet and/or working on your midterm outlines;

Midterm exam - Wednesday, November 14

Week of October 22

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • No School - Parent Conferences
Tuesday
  • Sit in your groups
  • Finish 3 observations and a question
  • Lecture/discussion - Themes of Taoism
  • Taoism concept sorting activity and discussion
Wednesday
  • Lecture/Discussion: Themes of Taoism and The Tao and human nature
  • Taoism sorting activity
Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - The Crisis of the Modern and the existentialist conception of human nature

Answer Kierkegaard questions from presentation - due tomorrow:

1. How are these passages different from what we have read in class before (try to pin down the essential difference)?
2. How do the Kierkegaard excerpts illustrate the themes of existentialism we discussed in class? Identify examples for as many of the themes as you can.
3. What is Kierkegaard’s relationship to religion?
4. What is Kierkegaard’s position on the relative importance of reason and faith in human life?
5. What questions emerge as you read these brief passages?

 

Friday
  • 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 - Introduction to Kierkegaard
Read and annotate Nietzsche - Due Tuesday October 30

Week of October 10

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal: What is the essential aspect of the Buddhist Conception of Human Nature? What questions do you have regarding this document?
  • Lecture/Discussion - The Buddhist Conception of Human nature
Tuesday
  • Journal: Think about what the first paragraph of the first part of the Samutta Nikaya says about clinging and its relation to suffering. Think about your own life and describe three specific ways that clinging has caused you suffering. Then think about how the way our society is set up encourages clinging and thus suffering. Describe one specific example from contemporary American society that leads to suffering in this way.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Buddhism and human nature
Wednesday
  • 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
Read and annotate Kierkegaard - Tuesday, October 23
Thursday
  • Finish 3 observations and a question
  • Lecture/Discussion - Historical context for Taoism
  • Taoism concept sorting activity
Read and annotate Kierkegaard - Tuesday, October 23
Friday
  • 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

Week of October 8

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal: What, from your perspective, was the most significant argument made regarding the problem of evil on Friday?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Theodicy
Read and annotate Wilson - Wednesday
Tuesday
  • 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. Then 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.
  • Discuss/brainstorm main ideas from Hobbes document (whole class)
Read and annotate Wilson - Wednesday
Wednesday
  • Sit in color groups
  • Small group scored discussion of Wilson
Read and annotate Buddhism document - Friday
Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - The naturalist view of human nature from Hobbes to E.O. Wilson
Read and annotate Buddhism document - Friday
Friday
  • Journal: What questions do you have regarding the Buddhist documents?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Buddhism and human nature

Week of October 1

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal: For Kant, what is the relationship between reason, freedom and responsibility?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Kant's conception of Human nature
Read and annotate - the logical problem of evil - Wednesday
Tuesday
  • 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 - the logical problem of evil - Wednesday
Wednesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - History of W. Monotheism
Read and annotate Augustine - Friday
Thursday
  • Journal: What is the logical problem of evil?
  • Lecture/Discussion - The logical problem of evil
  • Four Corners - 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 and annotate Augustine - Friday
Friday
  • 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
  • Journal: What is Augustine's argument regarding the logical problem of evil? Do you agree?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Theodicy

Week of September 24

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal: In you groups brainstorm/discuss and record answers to the following questions:
    • What is essence of humanity? What characteristic is most critical to establishing what it means to be human?
    • Are humans inherently inclined toward good or evil?
    • What, if anything, is the purpose of humanity?
    • What are the central conflicts, ironies or paradoxes that define the human condition?
    • What makes us who we are? Nature v. Nurture.
    • What are humans not?
  • Whole class brainstorm/discussion of human nature questions
Tuesday
  • 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 Cave?
  • Discussion - Plato's AotC
Wednesday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Plato's conception of Human nature
Thursday
  • Substitute - read and annotate Kant's "What is Enlightenment?" and answer the following questions:
      1. What is nonage? How and why is nonage perpetuated? (there are multiple reasons)
      2. Why does Kant say “Sapere aude . . . Is the motto of the Enlightenment”?
      3. What is essential for Enlightenment to occur? Why does this make Enlightenment almost inevitable? What does this assertion reveal about Kant’s philosophy?
      4. What does Kant mean when he writes “Caesar non supra grammaticos/The ruler has no authority over the grammarians?”
      5. What is the paradox Kant writes of in the last paragraph?
Friday
  • 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 "The Logical problem of evil - Tuesday, October 2

Week of September 17

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal - Questions on the Dennett reading?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Dennett and the illusion of the hard problem
Unit 1 exam (outlines due) - Thursday
Tuesday Unit 1 exam (outlines due) - Thursday
Wednesday
  • Unit 1 exam review and work time
Unit 1 exam (outlines due) - Thursday
Thursday
Friday Read and annotate Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" - due Monday, September 24

Week of September 10

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal: Based on your reading and our discussion on Friday, describe how Searle claims that the Chinese room though experiment demonstrates the impossibility of artificial minds. Do you agree or not? Explain
  • Lecture/Discussion - Wrap up functionalism
  • Unit 1 exam stimulus and instructions

Read and annotate Chalmers - due Tuesday, September 11;

Read and annotate Nagel - Wednesday (double point annotation);

Unit one exam - Tuesday, September 18

Tuesday
  • Journal: In table groups discuss the Jackson article, specifically:
    • What counter argument does Jackson offer to materialist (physicalist) theories of mind?
    • What are the two thought experiments Jackson employs? How do these illustrate weaknesses of materialist theories
    • If you were a materialist philosopher, how would you respond to Jackson's thought experiment argument?
  • Discussion - Does Jackson sink materialism?

Read and annotate Nagel - Thursday (double point annotation);

Unit one exam - Thursday, September 20

Wednesday
  • Journal - Begin theory review template on your own. (10 minutes)
  • Lecture/Discussion - Introduction to the problem of consciousness: David Chalmers: hard and easy problems of consciousness

 

Read and annotate Nagel - Thursday (double point annotation);

Read and annotate Dennett - Monday;

Unit one exam - Thursday, September 20

Thursday
  • Lecture/discussion - Key concepts in Nagel
  • Guided small group discussion - Nagel and what it is like to be a bat

Read and annotate Dennett - Monday;

Unit one exam - Thursday, September 20

Friday
  • Read and annotate Dennett readings (15 minutes)
  • Lecture/Discussion - Dennett and the illusion of the hard problem
  • Review for unit 1 exam

Read and annotate Dennett - Monday;

Unit one exam - Thursday, September 20

Week of September 3

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • No School
Tuesday
  • Journal - Play a game of chess with a partner. Be creative - try to avoid what your neighbors are doing.
  • Debrief journal.
  • Lecture/Discussion - Functionalism
Wednesday
  • Substitute
  • Read and annotate Churchland, packet page 26-28 (due tomorrow)
Read and annotate Jackson - Friday
Thursday
  • Journal: Questions on functionalism reading?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Functionalism
Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Problems of functionalism/Searle's Chinese room

Read and annotate Chalmers - due Tuesday, September 11;

Unit 1 exam - ??

Week of September 3

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal: In your journal make a T chart. List and briefly explain what you consider to be the two most significant arguments for and against substance dualism
  • Discussion - wrap up dualism
  • Lecture Discussion - Introduction to materialism
Read and annotate Churchland to the end of the first paragraph on packet page 23. Try to identify a) what the Behaviorist theory of mind is, and B) What problems it solve and what weaknesses it has
Tuesday
  • Journal: How does Behaviorism differ from dualism? Try to identify the essential difference. What questions did you have from the reading?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Behaviorism
Read and annotate Churchland, packet pages 23-24 from "Reductive materialism" to "eliminative materialism."
Wednesday
  • Slow motion bear attack
  • Lecture/Discussion - finish logical behaviorism
  • Journal: Based on your reading, how does identity theory seek to address the problems posed by behaviorism? Do you have any questions regarding this section?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Mind-Brain identity theory (reductive materialism)
Read and annotate Churchland, packet pages 24-26 from "Eliminative materialism" to "functionalism." You may skip th middle section on arguments for Eliminative materialism if you wish, as the arguments for it are also contained in the other two sections.
Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Mind-Brain Identity theory
  • Journal: Based on your reading, what is the basic argument made by eliminative materialists and what historical parallels to they make for their case? Do you have any questions regarding this section
  • Lecture/Discussion - Eliminative materialism
Read and annotate Churchland, packet pages 26-28 - section titled "functionalism" - due Tuesday, September 4
Friday None

Week of August 20

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • 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
  • Lecture/Discussion - Ontology
Read and annotate Descartes passages - due tomorrow
Tuesday
  • Journal - In your train color groups, 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?
    • How does this relate to the mind body problem?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Descartes and systematic doubt
Wednesday
  • Journal: In a paragraph, explain how Descartes uses the concept of doubt to arrive at certainty. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this argument?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Descartes and systematic doubt
Thursday
  • Journal: How does Descartes's concept of systematic doubt lead to the idea that the mind and the body are not the same? Please explain. Do you have any questions from yesterday?
  • Lecture/Discussion: Descartes' substance dualism and arguments for it (Rauhut 4.1-6.1)
 
Friday
  • Without consulting the reading packet, what counter arguments could you raise against Descartes' theory of substance dualism?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Arguments for and against Descartes' theory
  • Discuss journal responses (before looking at the packet)

Week of August 13

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Journal: In your table groups, discuss and record answers to the following questions in your journal:
    • What stood out about Friday's discussion? What could be improved as we do Socratic discussions in the future?
    • What questions do you still have regarding Russell?
  • Lecture/Discussion - Key ideas from Russell and how they relate to the rest of the year
  • Mind body project reminder
Mind-Body project - Due tomorrow
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. Strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree.
  • 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 280 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. Write your completed statement neatly on the paper provided.
Wednesday
  • Find people whose theories are most similar to yours (6 max). In these groups identify what your key similarities are. Then construct a 180 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. Write your completed statement neatly on the template provided.
Thursday Read and annotate Descartes readings - due Tuesday, August 21
Friday
  • FFF - Has the internet made the world better? Read the short article from the economist and brainstorm 3 arguments on each side of the question (these arguments may or may not relate to the issues discussed in the article).
Read and annotate Descartes readings - due Tuesday, August 21

Week of August 6

Date Agenda Homework
Monday
  • Welcome!
  • Sit with the other people who share your train card color
  • Doing philosophy activity
Tuesday
  • Sit in your color groups/seating charts
  • In your groups discuss and be prepared to share what the group considers to be the most significant/interesting philosophical question and ideas that arose from yesterday's discussion (use the template from yesterday). Be prepared to explain why your question is a philosophical question.
  • Doing philosophy group presentations and structure of the class
Wednesday
Thursday Mind-Body project - due Tuesday, August 14
Friday
  • Russell Discussion
  • In your groups -10 minutes:
    • Share what passage most struck you in this document. Explain why this passage struck you? (B)
    • What questions arise from this document? (A)
    • Why is this this document relevant in 2018?
  • Large group - Using the document and your small group discussion address the following question, "What is the value of philosophy in 2018?
Mind-Body project - due Tuesday, August 14