For this assignment, you are to ponder some reflection questions before listening to the lecture component. These questions aim to stimulate your thinking and focus your concentration on the topics to be explored in the lecture, as a means of provoking you into thinking philosophically while you attentively listen to the lecture. Your responses to these questions are also a means of preparing you to craft your final project for this course, where you will be asked to construct your own philosophical account of what it means to you to live a good life. There will be multiple topics, but do not respond to them all. Rather, pick one topic to respond to that catches your attention or that you otherwise find intriguing. After you have selected your topic, spend 10 minutes pondering the topic’s questions and recording your thoughts. The reason for there being multiple questions within a topic is to assist with developing a response that has depth. For this assignment, do not be concerned about the number of thoughts you have on the topic. Rather, you should be concerned with the quality of your thoughts. In assessing your response, the teaching team will look to see how clearly and precisely you articulate your beliefs and how deeply you explain the reasoning for and assumptions underlying your beliefs. Here are the topics for you to consider:
Topic #1: What is love? How would you define love? How does love manifest in your life? What does it mean for love to be a core value that influences how we live? Love is often difficult to capture through words, thus do your best to be as clear, precise, and specific as possible in your explanation, and if appropriate provide a concrete real-life example that illustrates your position.
Topic #2: Given what you know about philosophy, what position within society do you think a philosopher occupies? Do they seem like the sort of person that goes along with social conventions and the social order? Are they a sort of cultural critic, pointing out the ethical problems that arise from social conventions and the social order? Or are they someone that lives away from society, as a hermit? As you articulate your position, clearly explain your reasoning for your position, and if appropriate provide a concrete real-life example that illustrates your position.
Topic #3: Do your best insights about yourself, life, and the world around you come through solitary thinking? Or by thinking with others (such as conversation) with similar concerns as yourself? Thinking about these questions with respect to school, should our education be focused more on solitary learning or group learning? As you articulate your position, clearly explain your reasoning for your position, and if appropriate provide a concrete real-life example that illustrates your position.
Topic #4: When we have discussions with people whose worldview differs from our own, what goal(s) do we often seek to achieve through discussion with them? What intentions should we have for such discussions? Do we seek to arrive at a point of agreement or consensus? Or, if we think it is acceptable “to agree to disagree,” then what good comes from us having discussions with folks who disagree with us? As you articulate your position, clearly explain your reasoning for your position, and if appropriate provide a concrete real-life example that illustrates your position.
There will be a total of 12 reflections; the two lowest scores will be dropped when calculating the final grade. This results in 10 reflections, each being worth 20 points or 2% of your final grade. 6 reflections will be graded as credit/no credit and 6 reflections will be graded according to the rubric. You will not know in advance which reflections will be graded credit/no credit and which reflections will be graded with the rubric; as such, reflections should be completed with the expectation that the rubric could be used.