Academic Dept. sections » English & Philosophy » Philosophy Course Sequence

Philosophy Course Sequence

Philosophy

Course Name

Grade Level

Course Description

Prerequisites and Credit Granted

MS Philosophy

 

6, 7, 8

At CSS, middle school philosophy is modelled on the Touchstones Discussion Project model.

In middle school,  Touchstones stages focus primarily on group dynamics and what is required to achieve full participation, which includes listening as much as it includes speaking. Issues such as power, certainty, respect, and control are topics with which all participants have direct experience and about which they have opinions. Texts with those issues support higher levels of student participation and feature prominently in the early lesson plans in our volumes. Over time, the class evolves to advanced questioning, reasoning, and problem solving. As their discussion skills improve and broaden, students connect more meaningfully and authentically with the texts. They learn to read closely as part of their work in active listening—becoming mindful of the ways in which their own thinking is and is not similar to the viewpoints expressed in the text or by their peers.

 

This is a required course in the MS sequence. 

 

Philosophy: Rhetoric and Logic

9

In this course, we will examine how rhetoric relates to the pursuit of truth. Rhetoric is the art of persuading an audience of the truth of an opinion. It usually requires dialectic—that is, a response, implicit or explicit, to opposing viewpoints—and takes the audience’s knowledge, emotions, and situation into account. When reading philosophical, political, and literary works, we will consider what the author is saying, how he or she says it, what its context is, and how well it persuades. You will carry similar questions into your own writing. During the year, we will also explore some principles and problems of formal logic. Each unit will include a debate, speech, essay, or test. There will be daily reading and writing assignments, most of them short.

 

This is a required course in the High School sequence.  Students will earn 1 high school credit.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Philosophy credits are required to earn a CSS diploma.

 

Philosophy: Ethics and Aesthetics

10

This course will explore questions of ethics, the branch of philosophy that explores and systematizes concepts of right and wrong. When reading and discussing philosophical and literary texts, we will consider the meanings of virtue, justice, free will, responsibility, and the good life. In the final quarter of the year (and at times throughout the year), we will consider questions of aesthetics: what beauty is and how it may or may not inspire virtue.  There will be daily reading and writing assignments, most of them short. Each unit will have at least one major project: an essay, presentation, creative project, or graded seminar discussion.

 

This is a required course in the High School sequence.  Students will earn 1 high school credit.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Philosophy credits are required to earn a CSS diploma.

 

Philosophy: Political Philosophy

11

Political philosophy is the examination of the ideas underlying our collective life: government, law, social practice, human rights, and cultural institutions. Any government or social structure is based on assumptions about human nature: its capacities and weaknesses, its variety and communality, and its place in the natural world. Thus political philosophy and ethics are closely connected. As we explore topics and questions in political philosophy, we will consider their importance in United States history and in current events. In addition, we will explore what it means to be a citizen in a democracy and what kind of education this entails. There will be daily reading and writing assignments, most of them short. Each unit will have at least one major project: an essay, debate, test, or graded seminar discussion.

This is a required course in the High School sequence.  Students will earn 1 high school credit.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Philosophy credits are required to earn a CSS diploma.

 

Phenomenology and Existentialism

CU

11-12

See Columbia University Course Catalog

Prerequisite: English 11 and 2 Philosophy course credit and qualification based on academic review and criteria for entry to CU courses (see CU Course Catalog for further description)

 

This is an elective course in the High School sequence.  Students will earn both high school and college credit for this class.

Ethics CU

11-12

See Columbia University Course Catalog

Prerequisite: English 11 and 2 Philosophy course credit and qualification based on academic review and criteria for entry to CU courses (see CU Course Catalog for further description)

 

This is an elective course in the High School sequence.  Students will earn both high school and college credit for this class.

Philosophy of language and Mind

CU

11-12

See Columbia University Course Catalog

Prerequisite: English 11 and 2 Philosophy course credit and qualification based on academic review and criteria for entry to CU courses (see CU Course Catalog for further description)

 

This is an elective course in the High School sequence.  Students will earn both high school and college credit for this class.