Western Philosophy for Kids: Justice, Faith, and Free Will

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 read each of the three books in succession and will write an essay at the end of each book, with feedback from the author of the series, who is also the course instructor. During the live class meetings, the instructor will explain the philosophical background for the assigned chapters and conduct a discussion of the content contained within them. The class will also hold a debate after completing each book. Finally, the students will create a philosophical magazine at the end of the course.

Live Classes: Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Student Expectations: Students will be expected to write three essays, one for each novel. They will also be expected to take part in the debates.

Student Support: The instructor is available via email.

Feedback/Assessment: Feedback will be provided on each of the three essays.

Materials/Supplies: Students will need the three philosophy novels Xperiment, Finding Faith, and Will Power.


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