Philosophy HL 1 IB Course Syllabus

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1 Philosophy HL 1 IB Course Syllabus Course Description Philosophy 1 emphasizes two themes within the study of philosophy: the human condition and the theory and practice of ethics. The course introduces students to philosophical modes of reasoning, argumentation, and major sources in Western and non-western philosophical traditions (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hinduism, Buddhism, Kant, etc.) Philosophy 1 supports the teaching mission of the Catholic Church in its emphasis on the relationship between human reason and objective moral goods within human societies and on the place of the human person as a companion seeker for truth within our world. The ethics and social justice component of the course examines the relationship between human nature and temporal goods, understanding ethical inquiry and reasoning as an essential skill for the modern person who is enabled to give of his or her life for others. The course satisfies the student s Religion requirement for the IB Full Diploma Candidate. Course Texts For both semesters: (these books will be used by continuing students in Philosophy HL2 IB) The Sheed and Ward Anthology of Catholic Philosophy. Ed., James C. Swindal, Harry J. Gensler, S.J. New York, N.Y.: Rownan & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., For first semester: Who Are We? Theories of Human Nature. Louis P. Pojman. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, For second semester: Great Traditions in Ethics. Theodore C. Denise, Nicholas P. White, Sheldon P. Peterfreund. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth Publishing, Useful Websites (Oxford Press, student companion website) (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Other readings may be assigned, requiring students to download files for annotated reading copies, in particular from Plato s work and from Descartes Meditations. Supplementary course materials include movies, PowerPoints, websites, songs, and other materials as selected by the instructor. Special Curriculum Dates: Anti-Bullying Week: Either September 21 or 22, followed by September 23 assembly Safe Environment Training: Week of November 2-6 Family Life Curriculum: 2 Days during the week of April 12 through April 16

2 Grading Scales The standard Santa Margarita Grading Scale, as published on various sources and in the handbook, will be utilized for projects, annotated readings, Socratic circles, objective tests or short constructed responses, etc. Any essays that are written which are graded using the IB Scoring System (bold numbers = IB score mark) will be graded according to the following grading scale: % % 12 73% % 20 85% % 28 97% % 10 70% % 18 82% % 26 94% % 8 67% % 16 79% % 24 91% % 6 64% % 14 76% % 22 88% % 4 61% Course Objectives Goal #1: To develop critical thinking skills in the context of philosophical inquiry and dialogue. Objective #1: Students will exhibit intellectual independence in writing, conversation, and oral presentation. Objective #2: Students will formulate rational, logical, and coherent arguments. Objective #3: Students will express ideas verbally and in writing with clarity and coherence. Objective #4: Students will use terminology and concepts appropriate to philosophical inquiry and discourse Objective #5: Students will analyze and formulate conclusions from the reading of appropriate primary and secondary texts with respect to the work s principle philosophical and religious perspectives, insights, conclusions, consequences and / or implications. Goal #2: To practice philosophical inquiry and dialogue in modalities and with attitudes consistent with Western, Eastern, and Catholic philosophical and religious approaches to these issues. Objective #1: Students will base arguments on evidence drawn from personal reflection, current events, and awareness of historical and cultural trends in contemporary and historical context. Objective #2: Students will formulate appropriate questions for critical inquiry into philosophical systems and modes of thought.

3 Objective #3: Students will describe and differentiate concepts, beliefs, and values in a manner consistent with a community s moral framework: with respect for honesty, integrity, vigorous search for truth, and with modesty appropriate to the provisional character of all intellectual pursuit Objective #4: Students will express awareness of a plurality of philosophical traditions, their origins in and contributions towards the intellectual and ethical framework of various religious (and non-religious) communities. Objective #5: Students will practice philosophical inquiry as guided by a thorough reflection on the human condition, including the need for a formation of conscience in the practice of ethical decision-making and their own choice to lead their lives with moral conviction and personal integrity. Goal #3: To critically engage personal experience, ideological and cultural biases, from the perspective of reason, faith, history, and tradition. Objective #1: Students will describe their own experiences, including their own ideological and cultural biases, with critical appreciation for both their benefits and limitations. Objective #2: Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of several philosophical arguments and concepts that are critical to an adequate description of the historical and personal perspectives, including those related to faith traditions (e.g. Aristotelian ontology, virtue ethics, Augustinian determinism, body-soul dualism). Objective #3: Students will express understanding of philosophical terms, concepts, and systems as having originated in unique cultural and historical situations. Course Outline A. Philosophical Argument, Reasoning, and Writing 1. What is philosophy? What is doing philosophy? 2. Structure of an Argument 3. Conclusions and Premises 4. Logical Proofs and Fallacies B. The Human Condition 1. Interpretations of human nature 2. Interpretations of human condition C. Theories of Human Nature 1. Biblical View of Human Nature: Judaism and Christianity 2. Plato s Theory of Human Nature 3. Aristotle s Theory of Human Nature

4 4. St. Augustine s Theory of Human Nature 5. The Hindu and Buddhist Theories of Human Nature 6. Classical Conservative and Liberal Theories: Hobbes and Rousseau 7. Immanuel Kant s Copernican Revolution 8. Arthur Schopenhauer s Pessimistic Idealism 9. Karl Marx s Theory of Human Nature 10. Sigmund Freud s Theory of Human Nature 11. The Existentialist Theory of Human Nature: Kierkegaard, Nietzche, Sartre 12. The Darwinian Theory of Human Nature 13. Contemporary Theories of the Mind: Materialism, Functionalism, Dualism (Classic and Interactionist) 14. Paradox of Human Nature: Are We Free? D. Ethics 1. Principles for moral actions normative ethics a. moral principles Do they exist (CCC 1954 etc.) b. virtue (CCC 1803 etc.) c. self interest vs. interests of others (CCC 1878 etc.) d. deontological vs. teleological theories e. utilitarianism 2. Nature of Moral Judgment a. origins and nature of moral values (CCC 1749 etc.) b. moral sense: innate or acquired? c. moral behavior only in humans (CCC 1776 etc.) 3. Applied Ethics a. biomedical (CCC 2292 etc.) b. environmental (CCC 2415 etc.) c. human rights

5 Key Assignments In-class writing assignments (silent, sustained writing), analytical essays on visual or text prompts. Longer take-home essays on the human condition and on issues presented in the readings, lectures, and discussions. Research and PowerPoint presentation on a particular philosopher or philosophical school. Annotated readings in preparation for Socratic Circles or smaller circle forums, paired discussions, etc. Theme related Expert Circle reading with oral presentations to follow Two semester final examinations Problem-based applied ethics case situations with written policy brief and student oral presentations Experiential simulations Other tests or assessments as announced Principal Methods and/or Strategies Lecture and PowerPoint presentation with discussion Annotated reading or guided reading review questions of primary textbook and primary sources from anthologies and Internet Small group inquiries and discussion Socratic circles and dialogues Round robin skill-targeted in-class writing Reciprocal reading Film and song analysis Dialectic note-taking and reading response Blind peer review of writing assignments

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