Available to: Grade 12 students
Philosophy helps develop one’s moral imagination in ways necessary to meet contemporary challenges and opportunities concerning the promotion of the global common good. This class will proceed with the assumption that philosophical claims—e.g., about human nature, our sociality, and its normative implications—are constantly being made throughout our world, and that it is the task of the student of philosophy to uncover and examine such claims. As such, this course attempts to promote ethical reasoning and reflection, in order to help prepare students to become responsible global citizens. This can be problematic insofar as our limited experiences of the world, along with inherent psychological limitations, make it difficult for us to envision the global implications of our actions and decisions. Philosophical reflection helps in this respect since it has, almost since its inception, encouraged us to expand these limits in order to consider as nearly as possible the global (or even universal) implications of ideas and actions. The whole point of philosophy, in this view, is to consider things as much as possible in terms of their relations to everything else and to allow such considerations to challenge one’s preconceived notions of common sense and social custom. Through both reading great works in the history of philosophy and an emphasis on critical, open-ended discussion, this course will attempt to develop students’ moral imaginations by encouraging them genuinely to consider multiple, often contradictory views and to examine their own most deeply held beliefs.