Writing about Philosophy


Philosophy means "love of wisdom."  Centuries before the birth of Christ, people began to seek wisdom as a way to explain the purpose of their lives. Many of them wrote about their searches and findings, and it is these writings which we will use as our guide for our search for wisdom.


But wisdom is not easy to find. Many people in history thought themselves wise, only to be proven terribly mistaken. In fact, it is much more common to fail to find wisdom than to find a morsel of it, because much of wisdom comes from failure itself. In order to find some wisdom, people need to think deeply about issues, about how others see issues, and about why they think the way they do. It is through this process of asking a question and questioning the answer that truth and wisdom can be found.


But deep thought and reflection take time, motivation and discipline. To that end, students will write daily in class about the ideas presented, shared and discovered. To do this, students will need to listen carefully and even take notes on discussions so they can remember important points to use in their writings.


Typically, a class will start with a homework check and small and large group sharings of writings. Then we will have class readings of work or class viewings of video. After that, we will have time in class to think about what we have seen, heard and read and write about those reflections. If students do not finish their writings in class, they will need to finish them as homework for that night.


Each writing should be dated and titled with the topic of the writing. Students should write about what they found interesting in the sharings, discussions, readings and/or video. Students should connect their ideas to readings and to their own lives, to make modern wisdom from ancient thought. Your writings should clearly and accurately explain the idea or topic, connect it to other readings or discussions, and develop the thought to include personal experiences and/or observations. The best writings are clear, honest and detailed.


The writings are open for students to say what they are thinking about and what they feel is accurate and truthful about life. In Philosophy and Ethics class, there is no excuse not to write. This class requires thought, speaking and listening skills, and the ability and willingness to write and share those writings. Students will not receive course credit without doing all of the work.


Those students who want to learn about life and who respect themselves and their classmates will find the wisdom for which they search.