View These Great Tools for collegeuniversity

From the PLATO Philosopher's Toolkit


Snooping Around Snopes: Assessing Assessments of Fake News

Snopes.com has become an indispensable and entertaining site for assessing the status of the urban legends and fake news stories that fascinate us.   Any teacher or parent of high school students in the early fall of 2016 had to

View Tool »

On the Beautiful and the Sublime

On the Beautiful and the Sublime…Aesthetics as Subjective Experience One of the longstanding questions that’s been debated in the field of aesthetics involves the nature of Beauty; one question in this area asks us where Beauty lies, in the object

View Tool »

God: All-Good or All-Evil…is there any Difference?

A Topic Concerning the Question of Evil A long-simmering debate in theology involves the status of the classical definition of God.  Traditionally, one area of agreement between Theists and Atheists has been in the definition of God; without this agreement,

View Tool »

Animal Minds: puzzling over Puppies and Parrots

For much of modern science, since the Enlightenment, animals were generally thought to be automatons:  materialist robots programmed to behave in certain ways.  Rene Descartes drew a sharp distinction between thinking beings, humans, and everything else, matter.  20th Century behaviorism

View Tool »

The Problem of Evil

In the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions, one of the major problems for theists [those who believe that there is a God] is the “Problem of Evil.”  It runs like this: If God is all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful, how can there be evil

View Tool »

Can God be Happy or Sad?

One of the central questions in Theology involves the nature of God.  While religious studies employs different standards of proof that other disciplines in philosophy, one longstanding method has involved looking for logical consistency among different traits proposed.  In this

View Tool »

Crash: An Ethical Obstacle Course

Crash, directed by Paul Haggis, weaves together the lives of several characters from multiple backgrounds who collide in the  busy, often chaotic city of Los Angeles.   The movie revolves around a dozen or so characters from various ethnic, racial, and

View Tool »

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

View Tool »

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

View Tool »

The Gaze: Power and Resistance in Flim

The Gaze: Power and Resistance in Film Read “The Oppositional Gaze” for homework the day before class.  It’s fairly long ad challenging.  Watch the 19 minute film.  This material explores the way what Sartre calls “The Gaze” operates in films,

View Tool »