Philosophy

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
  • Taoism Activity
Wednesday
  • Taoism Activity
Read and annotate Kierkegaard - Friday
Thursday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Taolism and Human Nature
Read and annotate Kierkegaard - Friday
Friday
  • Lecture/Discussion - Kierkegaard

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