Western Philosophy for Kids: Reality, Identity, and Autonomy

Term Summer 2020
Code WPHIL03
Ages 11-14
Instructor Dr. Sharon Kaye
Price $275

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This nine-week course is designed for middle school students (grades six through eight). The curriculum is a series of three junior novels about a group of teenage friends who embark on intellectual adventures.

The first book, The Divided Line, examines the nature of thought and reality through Socrates, Plato, and Descartes. The second book, The Inverted Spectrum, concerns personal and political identity as envisioned by Locke, Newton, and Leibniz. The third book, The Categorical Imperative, explores the concepts of autonomy and rationality through Rousseau, Hume, and Kant.

Students will spend three weeks on each book, reading roughly seven chapters per week. They will write one essay at the end of each book, with feedback from the author of the series, Dr. Sharon Kaye. 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.

Live Classes: Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, from June 3rd to August 5th

Student Expectations: Students will be expected to write three essays, one for each novel.

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: The Divided Line, The Inverted Spectrum, and The Categorical Imperative, as well as the accompanying guidebooks. PURCHASE THE BOOKS FOR THIS COURSE AT A DISCOUNTED RATE HERE.

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