Dates: 1/4 – 3/22
Wednesdays 11am Ages 10 and up
Tuition: $150 Drop ins $15 per class
In this course, students learn to do philosophy by engaging in extended critical discourse with their peers on many of the traditional questions of the Western philosophical tradition. In each session, we will focus on the philosophical questions presented in a short passage that we will read together. Students will then be asked to elaborate on these issues, to take positions, and formulate and evaluate arguments in an effort to better understand the scope and depth of the issue and its relevance to everyday life. Topics will include traditional issues of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, introducing students to questions such as “Are numbers real?” “What does it mean to know something?” “What exists in a world without sentient beings?” and “Can we know that killing is wrong?” We will focus on developing the skills and dispositions needed for critical, caring, and creative thinking through regular philosophical practice in a social context. There will be no mandatory writing or exams, but rather a consistent emphasis on learning how to engage in extended and substantive intellectual discourse.
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About the instructor:
Dan Fisherman has been doing philosophy with children for the past 14 years at both the Randolph School and Poughkeepsie Day School. He has worked with children at every grade level from 1st through 12th, conducting age appropriate philosophical inquiry according to the curriculum developed by Matthew Lipman and the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children. Dan has a Masters degree in analytical philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a doctoral candidate in Montclair State University’s Philosophy and Pedagogy program, where he teaches educational philosophy to undergraduates. He is currently writing his dissertation on the nature of everyday questioning.