The Sense of Wonder

Rachel Carson’s The Sense of Wonder portrays her experiences exploring the coast of Maine with her nephew. She notes, “A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. With photos and text, the book examines that ways that spending time in nature can nurture children’s sense of wonder. Carson claims that, “If a The Sense of Wonder

Online Philosophy Resources

People often ask me about finding philosophy resources online. There is now a multiplicity of online resources available for free — online philosophy classes, lectures, materials, etc. This is a sampling: (thousands of links to philosophy audio and video, course materials and other philosophy resources) (list of online videos of various philosophy lectures) Online Philosophy Resources

What is art? Blog Series Part V

This will be the final post in this series. What is music?Is there some quality that anything considered music must have?Can any sound count as music?Does all music express emotion?Is the emotion that music expresses in the music itself? In the composer? In us, the listeners?What makes music pleasurable to listen to?Why do we listen What is art? Blog Series Part V

What is art? Blog Series Part IV

In the two sixth grade classrooms in which I’ve been teaching this aesthetics unit, the students and I spent a lot of time this week talking about the relationship between having feelings and expressing feelings. We read another portion of chapter 14 in Mat Lipman’s Harry Stottlemeir’s Discovery, in which two girls have a conversation What is art? Blog Series Part IV

What is art? Blog Series Part III

This week the sixth graders and I read part of a chapter from Harry Stottlemeir’s Discovery (by Matthew Lipman, part of the curriculum developed by the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children in New Jersey), which involves two girls visiting an art museum together and talking as they wander around. The chapter raises What is art? Blog Series Part III

What is art? Blog Series Part II

I decided that the second class of the philosophy of art series should involve actually looking at visual art and talking about it. I thought about taking the students to a local art gallery, and then decided that it would be fun for them instead to visit our local junior/senior high school (where they will What is art? Blog Series Part II

What is art? Blog Series Part I

I’m going to write a series of posts about the philosophy of art unit I’m doing with sixth grade students this fall. Yesterday was the first session of the unit. We started by listing some of the things the students said they would consider art, which included paintings, sculpture, music, and poetry and also rocks, What is art? Blog Series Part I

Can you test moral sense?

The Moral Sense Test is a Harvard University web-based study into the nature of moral judgments. The test is a series of moral dilemmas that purport to analyze the psychology behind our moral judgments. The site notes that the study “has been designed for all humans who are curious about that puzzling little word ‘ought’ Can you test moral sense?

The One Who Walk Away from Omelas

The Ursula LeGuin short story The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas is a powerful story for discussing with high school students utilitarian ethics and the question of whether the suffering of one person is permissible if it brings about the greater good. The story is set in a joyful and seemingly perfect city, where The One Who Walk Away from Omelas