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From the PLATO Philosopher's Toolkit


Exploring Existential Angst and the Self in Social Media

Existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre in Nausea Students will be introduced to Existentialism through discussion and excerpts from Jean-Paul Sartre’s novel, Nausea, which describes a certain vague feeling the main character, Roquentin, calls “nausea”. This feeling is basically a result of

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What Do We Find Beautiful?

Introduction Students should be given a week to do the following assignment (though it can be revised as needed to fit your time constraints):   Pick as many “beautiful” songs as you are old. So, for example, if you are

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What is art? An Art Activity

Have each student draw two pictures. One drawing must be a drawing they would call art, and the other one they would not call art.   Once the students have finished drawing, ask them to share their pieces and explain

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What is music? Silence and Sound

Organize a live performance of composer John Cage’s piece 4’33” in the school music room (or watch with your students one of the many online videos of it). Cage’s work, which was composed for any instrument and consists of the

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Can animals make music?

We all love music.  Some of us sing daily, if just to ourselves.  It could be our favorite tune from Frozen or simply a tune we made up ourselves.  What makes sound music?  Let’s start with ourselves. The teacher/facilitator may

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Can anyone make art?

In 2007 an independent film came out entitled “My Kid could paint that.”  It followed the art career of a four year old, Marla Olmstead,  living in Binghamton, NY who took the art world by storm.  Many of her canvases

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Beauty–thinking about

Beauty: In the eye of the beholder or is there something more to it? This unit invites high school students to explore the meaning of “beauty”. Source Materials: Plato’s Symposium (available in many editions) Crispin Sartwell’s Six Names of Beauty

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Aesthetics is for the Birds

This is a photo of leaves on rocks. One can look at the content, nature, or the photographic composition, artifice. The leaves and the rocks: The veins run through the dominant maple leaf, staining it deep green. They betray both

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