Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Two assignments for the Theory of Knowledge course

Here are two assignment for the course:

(A) First assignment:

(a) The students will be asked to create a blog in which they will respond to issues discussed in class. For example, if a concept introduced in class was particularly confusing, they could spell out what was unclear about the concept, and then try to clarify the issue. Or if the students disagree with a point I made in class, they should write an entry examining the nature of that disagreement, and give their reasons as to why the point I made doesn't go through. Or the students could address one of the philosophical problems discussed in class, and try to provide a solution -- even if only a very tentative one -- to that problem. Or the students could apply some of the concepts and theories discussed in class to an area of knowledge of their choice.

(b) I'd then provide comments for each of the students' entries, asking questions, and making suggestions about how the students could proceed further in their thinking.

(c) Students could then write additional entries on their blogs, responding to my comments. We would then enter into a dialogue, exploring the issues together.

(B) Second assignment:

(a) The students will be divided into groups of 4, and each group will be asked to create a wiki, characterizing a certain philosophical concept in the theory of knowledge; for example, the concept of knowledge (or justification, or truth). In their characterization, the students should try to specify (as much as possible) necessary and sufficient conditions for the concept in question.

(b) We will then compare how the different groups characterized the concept under consideration. A blog will be created in which the different groups comment on each other's work, offering criticism, constructive suggestions, and reflecting on the similarities and differences among the various characterizations that were offered.

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