Western Philosophy Debates: Justice, Faith, and Free Will

  • Instructor Dr. Sharon Kaye
  • Code WPH15
  • Student Ages 8-12
  • Term Fall Semester 2023


This course is based on a series of three illustrated chapter books about a group of preteen friends who embark on intellectual adventures. The first book, Xperiment, examines the nature of justice through Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. The second book, Finding Faith, concerns arguments for and against the existence of God, drawing on Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, and Pascal. The third book, Will Power, explores Stoic versus Epicurean views of human freedom.

Students will spend four weeks discussing each book, three or four chapters per week. Each week they will submit their answers to open-ended questions, to be discussed in class. At the completion of each book, they will hold two debates. They will research their topics and submit an argument paragraph as preparation for each debate.

Live Classes: Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, from the week of September 4th to the week of December 11th

Student Expectations: Students will submit their answers to open-ended discussion questions before class each week. They will also submit an argument paragraph for each of the six debates.

Student Support: The instructor is available via email.

Feedback/Assessment: Oral feedback will be provided during class. Written feedback will be provided on the argument paragraphs if requested.

Materials/Supplies: Students will need the three philosophy novels Xperiment, Finding Faith, and Will Power, as well as the accompanying guidebooks. You can purchase a special package of all of these books here.


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