Materials needed: Epistemic scavenger hunt document (at least 2 per group, one for before the discussion and the other for after) Orienting quotes Visual prompts Description: 1. Before presenting participants with one or more of the prompts outlined above, have them gather into pairs or small groups to think about, discuss, and fill out a … Epistemic Adventure: Are you sure that you know?
This lesson revolves around reading and discussing Carl Sagan’s “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection” and then sending students to Snopes.com to explore the large archive of hoaxes, crazes and fake news stories. Website Resource for Fact-Checking Snopes.com has become an indispensable and entertaining site for assessing the status of the urban legends and fake … Snooping Around Snopes: Assessing Fake News
Ethics Warm-up #1: Think of someone you know who you think is a really good person. What makes that person a good person? Warm-up #2: Think of something that’s pretty good. Now think of something that’s better than pretty good, that’s good. Now think of something that’s better than that, that’s really good. Think of … A Range of Warm-Up Activities for Philosophy Sessions
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 and differ from each other. It is important to get to the point where the … Truth, Lies and Bullshit
In his article, “What is it like to be a bat?” Thomas Nagel argues that there are facts about conscious experience that are subjective and can only be known from that subjective perspective. Even if we know all the objective facts about bats, we may not actually know what it would really be like to … Nagel’s What is it like to be a bat?
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 continued to think of animals in this way but added humans to the mix. “Mind” … Animal Minds: puzzling over Puppies and Parrots
Materials needed: Paper and pen/pencil Description: Begin by having a loose discussion about the difference between “opinion” and “knowledge.” This should bring up claims about reasons, evidence, and proof. After a brief discussion about this difference, have the students write down three things they know. For each statement, have the students write down their best … Beliefs and Evidence
Materials needed: Piece of paper and writing utensil Description: Note: this session operates as a good follow-up to a lesson plan on beliefs and evidence more generally. Ask the students for some things that they know. Put a few examples on the board. Tell the students the following story. It’s important that, for most of the … What Do You Know?
This game involves students generating questions collaboratively. The exercise runs easily for about ten minutes and can go for a half hour or more with discussion. It is often a good exercise to use early in the year, as it helps students listen to each other and gets them thinking about what makes a question … Activity: Keep the Question Going