Philosophy is ďthe love of wisdom.Ē Students in this course will be introduced to the practice of philosophy through the following course components:
Ł A study of critical thinking, logic, and fallacious reasoning that will lay the groundwork for incisive philosophical debate, as well as develop student analytic writing proficiencies in English Language Arts and Social Studies.
Ł Familiarity with philosophic terminology and its applications
Ł Guided readings in various philosophic traditions.
Work and Assessment
Terminology Quizzes: There will be weekly terminology tests. Students will be expected to know and understand the terms located in the glossary at the back of the Courseware in small weekly installments.
Individual or Group Presentations: Each week, students will, individually or in groups, be responsible to present and explain a particular logical or argumentative fallacy to the class. Student explanations ought to include specific examples of the fallacies being discussed. Students will present in alphabetical order, according to their last names. Students who present in groups will be allowed to subvert this order to a degree, but the order of presentations will remain otherwise consistent. Students who are not prepared to present on their prescribed presentation day will receive a zero for their presentation. It will be up to them to make up for the missing work with make-up reflective textual/philosophic inquiry. Students at the 30 level will be held to a higher standard of work than students at the 20 level.
Reflections on Guided Readings: Each session, students will be led by the teacher through a great work in philosophy to explore its various questions and ideas. At the beginning of every guided reading session, students will be expected to have completed a one page, one sided, double-spaced, reflection on the readings. Each reflection ought to end with a question that we can discuss as a group. Students who do not hand in their work on time will be expected to make up for their missing assignments with make-up reflective textual/philosophic inquiry.
Final Test on Fallacies: At the end of our study of logical fallacies and effective argumentation, all students will write a Final Test on fallacious argumentation. Students at the 20 level will write a different, less challenging test than students at the 30 level.
Make-Up Assignments: Any students who miss assignments have the choice to make-up these assignments by submitting reflective responses to the guided readings in the Courseware. Reflective responses are not simply descriptive or expository accounts of the readings, but must engage in the questions, themes, ideas, or confusions that arise in the students as readers who grapple with the texts.
Classroom Behaviour and Expectations:
1. All students in the classroom are beholden to abide by the contract that they have assented to by being part of Mr. Steelís class. Students who violate the contract will fill out a discipline notice that will be submitted to Mr. Steel at the office. This notice will be kept on file in case of ongoing behaviour concerns.
2. Cell phones and listening devices (see the contract) ARE NOT permitted in Mr. Steelís classroom. If a student is caught using one or playing with one in class, the student will be sent to the office to drop off the cell phone or listening device. The office will be notified that the student will be dropping the device off, so if the student decides not to go, but loiters or is insubordinate, then administrative action will follow.
3. Excessive chatting and repeated disrespect for classroom decorum will not be tolerated (see the contract). Repeated failure to exhibit self-restraint may result in disciplinary action.
4. Food and drink are no longer permitted in Mr. Steelís classroom due to frequent spills and student abuse of the privilege. Apart from medical conditions, only water is permitted in the classroom.
5. Students have 5 minutes to go to the washroom, to a locker, or to the water fountain. This is a privilege and not a right. Students who violate the 5 minute rule will not be allowed to go the next time. Continual infractions may result in the privilege being removed entirely.
6. Students who are inordinately/chronically late, or who do not come to class prepared with writing utensils, Courseware, and other necessities may be expected to make up for the time they have wasted by staying in Mr. Steelís classroom during their lunch period. Failure to show up for these in-class detentions will result in administrative action.
7. These simple rules and the student contract are not meant to make life unpleasant for students, but to facilitate student learning, respect, and academic rigor. Students who are not interested in abiding by these rules or who are not willing to take this philosophy course seriously should consider enrolling in some other less-intensive elective.