View These Great social-studies Tools

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 »

Truth, Lies and Bullshit

Part 1: What is the difference between Truth, a Lie and Bullshit? Students should begin by writing brief definitions of these words –> WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?  TRUTH, LIE, SATIRE/ JOKE, FICTION, MISTAKE, BULLSHIT (or, politely, BS) After 10 minutes, discuss how these concepts overlap

View Tool »

Are we in control? Hegel’s Lordship & Bondage

Quite often we find ourselves in situations where we know we are not in control, such as being a student, or having a job, or being bullied. The most important factor in this is the perspective you as an individual

View Tool »

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

View Tool »

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

View Tool »

Convince your Teacher/Principal

Introduction What is an argument?   An argument consists of a set of reasons that are given with the intention of persuading someone else that a particular action or idea is right or wrong, good or bad, desirable or undesirable,

View Tool »

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

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 »