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Online Philosophy Courses with Dr. Sharon Kaye

As human beings, it’s in our nature to ask big questions, and no one asks more questions than someone on the journey to adulthood. The study of Western philosophy is generally introduced to students at the university level, but kids have so much to gain from beginning these studies sooner, from advanced problem-solving to deep analysis of information, as well as the more personal discovery of self-acceptance and understanding.

Students who learn Western philosophy gain a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.

In addition to our complete K-12 Western philosophy curriculum, which can be used by classroom teachers or homeschooling parents, we are offering live online courses in the Royal Fireworks Online Learning Community taught by curriculum author Dr. Sharon Kaye. A handful of lucky students will have the opportunity in both our summer and fall sessions to learn from this esteemed expert in her field. As a professor of philosophy at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Kaye is an experienced professional with a wealth of knowledge. She also runs a Philosophy for Kids internship program in which undergraduate students teach philosophy to middle school honors students. Check out her upcoming courses below.

Summer Session 2022(June 6-July 29)Western Philosophy Courses

The Paradox Box: Exploring Early Twentieth-Century Philosophy  Live Classes: Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. Eastern TimeAges 12-18

Ludwig Wittgenstein was a brilliant, intense, complex man who wrote one of history’s most important works of philosophy. The Paradox Box, a novel of historical fiction, explores the rich intellectual milieu that Wittgenstein found at Cambridge University in 1911, which included great thinkers like Bertrand Russell, John Maynard Keynes, and Virginia Woolf.

This course is a book discussion group. Each week students will read a section of the novel and take an open-book quiz before class to reward careful reading. Then in class they will discuss questions that highlight the philosophical significance of the story.

Plato versus Aristotle: Philosophical Debates  Live Classes: Tuesdays, 3:00 p.m. Eastern TimeAges 12-18

Plato and Aristotle were two of the greatest philosophers of all time. Ever the best of friends, they disagreed about the big questions in life, and the debates they launched continue today. Now it’s time for students to join in! Students in this course will discover how debating controversial issues expands the mind.

In this course, students will read selected passages from Plato and Aristotle on eight major issues. They’ll tackle one issue each week, writing a paragraph about it. In class they will hold partner debates on the issue, using their paragraphs as the basis for their arguments.

Fall Semester 2022(Aug. 15-Dec. 16)Western Philosophy Courses

Western Philosophy for Kids: Justice, Faith, and Free Will  Live Classes: Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. Eastern TimeAges 8-12

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. During the live class meetings, Dr. Kaye 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.

American Philosophy  Live Classes: Wednesdays, 7:00 p.m. Eastern TimeAges 13-18

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.

These courses are a perfect way to nurture and support youngsters as they contemplate the big questions in life that can feel overwhelming without guidance and direction. Check out all of the courses in the Royal Fireworks Online Learning Community, and enroll today!

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