To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge- Socrates
Introduction to Ethics and Philosophy Ms. Krall Textbook: Ultimate Questions: Thinking about Philosophy Welcome to class! I am looking forward to working with all of you as we learn about issues, concerns, and basic questions regarding Philosophy and Ethics. Why take this course? Not only is Philosophy a great way to study and tackle questions regarding Human nature and existence but will give students the ability to question critically what may seem as common knowledge, to help evaluate one’s own as well as others’ opinions, and to formulate new ideas. Furthermore, Philosophy will help students develop knowledge to become educated citizens in our society. In a nutshell, Philosophy lays a good intellectual foundation in pursuing other academic interests at the college level. Why take an elective? The goal of social studies electives at Spring Grove is to allow the student to broaden their intellectual curiosity on topics, whether for personal growth or to build a foundation for college study or career exploration. An elective class does not mean that it is less rigorous than a core class.Thereforeit is expected that students will come to class prepared, participate in a constructive and cooperative manner, and take responsibility for their learning. Topics that will be introduced in class will include:
Defining Philosophy and identifying major schools of Philosophical Thought.
Gain an understanding reasoning and argument. (Logic.)
Gain an understanding of knowledge (Epistemology.)
Gain an understanding of the history and evaluate the validity of arguments relating to one’s own and meaning of existence (Metaphysics and Existentialism)
Gain an understanding of the history and evaluate the validity of arguments relating to beauty and art (Aesthetics.)
Gain an understanding of the nature of morality (Ethics) and analyze contemporary moral issues within a philosophical framework.
Gain insight into the Philosophy of Religion.
Grading Policy Marking period grades are determined by dividing the number of points earned by the number of points possible. You are advised to keep track of your grades. Edline will be updated on a weekly basis. There should be no surprises at the end of the marking period! The class is a combination of lecture notes, discussion and debate, as well as cooperative learning. You will be critically writing, reading, and discussing, therefore it is required that you keep an organized notebook for your notes and should be dated on the day notes are taken. Organization is a big component to being successful in this class!
Test and Quizzes- will cover lecture and book notes. Tests will be a choice of short answer, completion, matching, and essay. Critical essays and article/video reviews- As well as the occasional test and quiz throughout the semester you will be reading and discussing various articles as well as reflecting on what you will be viewing in class. Your essays will be graded on content, spelling, and grammar. These reviews will make up the majority of your grade for the semester. I expect these writing assignments to be handed in on time. Please refer to the student handbook regarding absent work. If you hand in an assignment late you will receive half credit. If the assignment is not handed in three days after the due date you will receive a zero. There will be no exceptions to this policy. Seniors please be aware of your graduation requirements. I do not give extra credit to students who hand in an assignment late or not at all! Participation- Class participation is vital to successful classroom discussion and reflects a prepared student. Class participation is reflected by timeliness to class, being prepared, contributing to classroom discussion, and not missing class. Class participation can be worth up to 20% of your marking period grade. **NOTE** If you participate in activities that may cause you to be absent from class (ex. AV, select strings, concert band, etc.) you must get permission first from Ms. Krall to leave class. If you are scheduled to have a test/quiz that day you may not be excused until that test/quiz is completed. All homework must be handed in before being excused from class.
The philosophy of our classroom (aka the guidelines that we will follow.)
We will regard everyone in the classroom as equal. Each person, regardless of background, education, or expertise, can make a unique and valuable contribution to the class based on personal experiences, aptitudes, and perspectives.
We are all diverse learners. This gives us an opportunity to experience a variety of views and perspectives and to interact and be challenged by other’s thoughts and ideas.
We will respect the dignity and worth of everyone in class. By respecting another's views we challenge our own assumptions, broaden our personal perspective, learn to make value judgments, and develop the ability to think independently.
What is your philosophy of student success?
What are your personal goals for this class?
To paraphrase Sir Christopher Wren, the famous architect who built London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, this was his notion of success:
“Once there were three bricklayers. Each one of them was asked what they were doing. The first man answered sarcastically, ‘I'm laying bricks.’ The second man replied sarcastically, ‘I'm making 10 shillings an hour.’ But the third man proudly said with enthusiasm, ‘I'm building a cathedral.’”
So to relate the above story to this class…
The first student is taking a class. The second student is earning a grade. But the third student is getting an education that will help build the skills needed to succeed not only in high school but also in college and beyond. This story reveals two secrets of success:
1. Your attitude towards whatever you are doing determines your ultimate level of success. 2. Seeing the Big Picture by being able to see the end result and provides the motivation to excel.
My goal is that all of you will build a cathedral this semester.