American Philosophy

This course is a study of several of the great American minds of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It focuses on the two major movements Transcendentalism and Pragmatism.

Students will read two novels that trace the life and times of Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, John Dewey, William James, C.S. Peirce, and more. The novels are historical fiction, designed to provide context for the philosophical ideas.

Students will also read a guidebook with each novel. The guidebooks provide primary sources—carefully chosen selections from the authors featured in the novels. These selections delve into questions about rights for minorities, women, children, and animals that are still pressing today.

Live Classes: Wednesdays, 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, from the week of September 5th to the week of December 12th

Student Expectations: Each week the students must read a section of one of the novels and its accompanying guidebook. They will answer a set of discussion questions and submit them to the instructor before class. In class, they will discuss their answers. In addition, they will be expected to write three essays during the course of the semester.

Student Support: The instructor is available via email.

Feedback/Assessment: The instructor will provide feedback on the students’ essays. The class as a group will create a class magazine to share their essays.

Materials/Supplies: Students will need the philosophy novels The Transparent Eyeball and The Squirrel Behind the Tree, as well as the accompanying guidebooks for those novels.

PURCHASE The Transparent Eyeball NOVEL HERE.

PURCHASE The Transparent Eyeball GUIDEBOOK HERE.

PURCHASE The Squirrel Behind the Tree NOVEL HERE.

PURCHASE The Squirrel Behind the Tree GUIDEBOOK HERE.

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