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From the PLATO Philosopher's Toolkit


Justice and Utopia

Materials needed Description of the story of the Ring of Gyges Handout on the characteristics of Rammeka (a fictional society) Worksheet for small-group discussion and individual reflection   Description Begin with an explanation of Plato’s goals in The Republic. Explain

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Social Contract Theory: Creating a Cooperative Learning Environment

Materials needed John Locke’s Second Treatise on Government, chapters two and eight. An alternative is James Rachels’ The Elements of Moral Philosophy, chapter eleven, “The Idea of a Social Contract” (see full citations below) A questionnaire (see below) Poster board

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Stereotyping

Materials needed Plenty of paper Several sets of 5 different colored pencils or markers Timer   Introduction Ask your students to think about how they define a stereotype. Work in small groups to come up with a basic definition. Have

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Fair or Equal?

Materials needed List of roles and responsibilities (see below) A bag of candy   Description Begin the exercise by holding up the bag of candy (make sure you have enough for at least one piece for every student) and ask,

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Who Is Right?: Values, Norms, and Rules in Different Cultures

This is a discussion guide with optional readings and exercises, on the topic of Values, Norms, and Rules in Different Cultures. Philosophers debate whether or not there are universal values across different cultures, for if we cannot claim that there

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How Do We Decide Who Should Decide?

Medical Ethics and the State   The role of the state (government) in Medical Ethics can be quite complex.  In these two articles, two perspectives are explored.  The famous Baby Theresa case involves a situation where the state prevents parents

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Should Driverless Cars Kill Their Passengers?

The new technology of driverless cards has opened up a real-world corollary to the 65 year old tradition of Trolley Problems.  The basic question here involved how the cars should be programmed: to protect their passengers or others out on

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What is a Human Being?

The first half of Brave New World  by Aldous Huxley depicts a socially programmed society in which advances in science and technology have created a world full of people who are biologically human but may not be fully human in other

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