Exploring Critical Reasoning
How do we know what we know? An introduction to thought
Teacher: Donna Connolly
Class Fees: $245 or $230 if taking 2 or more classes
Mat Fees: None
When we think about deep philosophical questions, we learn how to think critically about everything we encounter in life. We learn to question and reason through difficult and complex ideas. That's the objective of this class; to help our teens learn to think through the complexity of deeper thoughts.
In this 10 week course we will address some of the most famous conundrums in history. These philosophical thought experiments will include questions like: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound.
Because there is no correct answer, the students will have the opportunity to learn the history of these philosophical puzzles and engage in an educated debate.
In addition, we will look at the meaning behind popular philosophical statements Iike “I think, therefore I am,” (Rene Descartes) and “No man steps into the same river twice,” (Heraclitus).
We will read works from Ancient Greek philosophers up through 18th and 19th Century Empiricists.
A typical day includes an introduction to a thought experiment and then discussion. I would like to follow in the footsteps of the Peripatetics, a school of philosophy in Ancient Greece founded by Aristotle wherein the students shared ideas by walking and talking. So, weather permitting, we will take this class out doors as often and possible and walk around campus and sit on the grass.
I want the student to feel safe and comfortable exchanging ideas and throwing out new and interesting propositions.
The only homework required would be some reading and of course asking questions.