Archives for the month of: September, 2013

Today in class, we will hear each group’s proposal for their outreach project.  We–both professor and classmates–will give the group feedback and advice about their proposal.  

Then, the groups will revise their proposals and write them up in an email to Prof. Poole of around 200 words.  Identify your chapter and question, your audience, and your strategy for reaching that audience.  This email is due on Friday.

On Wednesday in class, we will review for the oral exam.  Remember, the oral exam is next week!


Today in class, we will dig into the ideas on civil disobedience in the excerpts from John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, in the handout that you read in advance of class on Monday.  

We’ll also spend some time in class finalizing and working in our groups for the outreach project.

You might enjoy this video–I don’t think we’ll have time to watch it today, but it’s pretty cool!  Michael Sandel, The Lost Art of Democratic Debate.

The guidelines for the outreach project.

The guide for the oral exam.

What is justice? Today, we meditated a little, to continue the unit on Mind.  Then, we considered the question “What is justice?”  I lectured for about half an hour on topics in political philosophy not thoroughly covered in Warburton.  And we spent a little bit of time beginning to form groups for the outreach project.

On Wednesday, we’ll continue to think about politics, especially with reference to civil disobedience.  We’ll also spend some time forming and finalizing groups for the outreach project.

“Love the questions themselves,” said Rainer Maria Rilke.  Jorge came up with a comic on the question of questions (and answers).  Click here to see it!

Tomorrow, 9/18, we’ll dig deeply into the philosophy of mind!  We’ll have a curiosity journal, look at the idea of qualia, consider theories on mind, consider the Mind/Body problem, read a bit of Descartes, and explore Searle’s Chinese Room Experiment.

There will also be a handout from John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice which will need to be picked up in class and read by MONDAY, September 23.  This is one of the readings on civil disobedience indicated by the syllabus for the week on Politics.  If you’re not in class tomorrow, please stop by office hours on Thursday or get a classmate to pick it up for you.

Sign up for the oral exam (week of 10/7) HERE!

You can sign up by simply typing your name next to the timeslot you want.

There are a few rules.  Please follow them.

1. Sign up for one spot and one spot only.  If you change your mind, sign up for a new blank timeslot and remove your name from your old one.

2. Don’t steal someone else’s spot by deleting their name and typing yours in instead. If someone else has gotten to the timeslot you wanted before you did, that’s too bad, there are plenty of other timeslots available.  If you really need a specific timeslot, sign up early!

3. Don’t create new timeslots!  If you’re late to the party and you don’t find a timeslot you like, the solution is NOT to randomly create a new timeslot!

4. Don’t delete the breaks!  It’s to everyone’s benefit to have a happier professor grading your oral exams, and losing my built-in breaks will make me less happy.

Any questions, send me an email.  Happy signing up!

Thanks for your hard work this week!  I know you’re probably eager to learn more about the upcoming oral exam (week of 10/7) and the outreach project (for which groups will form in the week of 9/23).  Don’t worry–I will have more information, including handouts, for you on Monday!

Thanks to everyone who has already emailed around their second curiosity journal!  I’m enjoying reading your reflections on Sir Ken Robinson’s video, Changing Education Paradigms.

Today in class, we will spend most of our time discussing cases in ethics and applying the ideas from the chapters to specific scenarios.  We’ll also think about moral relativism, building on the discussion in Law, “Is Morality Like a Pair of Spectacles?” 

For Monday, please read the chapters on Mind in Warburton and Law as assigned on the syllabus, along with the three handouts (Meditations, Where am I, The Experience Machine).  If you have misplaced your handouts, you can see links to those three handouts in an earlier post on this blog.  Don’t forget to do your matching curiosity journal, too.

In advance of class next Monday, 9/16, please read the chapters in Warburton and Law indicated on the syllabus, as well as:

Where Am I, by Daniel C. Dennett

Selections from Meditations, by Rene Descartes (PDF pages 21-31 on this PDF)

Robert Nozick, The Experience Machine

Copies of these were distributed in class on 9/9 and will also be distributed on 9/11.