discussion boards have been designed to explore controversial
philosophical topics. Some of the questions are designed to solicit very
personal responses and opinions, and these debates have the potential
to become heated. In the act of creating ideas, heat can be a good
thing, but not at the expense of hurt feelings or frustration. Remember
that the practical aspect pf philosophy asks us to examine and perhaps
even change something about ourselves. Hopefully, we will be challenged
by others with a different opinion, but we need to remember that a
challenge to our beliefs is not a threat. To the contrary, it should be
regarded as an opportunity to re-evaluate and understand why we hold
Some important rules to follow:
will be no Ad hominems (attacks against the person); not following this
rule may result in failure of the assignment. You can disagree with a
person’s opinions, but you may not attack other people. You may,
however, disagree with the ideas of others, but do so in a constructive
manner. For example, you can say, "I don't agree with your post. I think
instead that . . . " But, you cannot say, “You’re an idiot” or even
“That’s just plain stupid.” Academia requires a diversity of opinions
but presented politely; after all, ethics is part of Philosophy.
making statements meant to be absolute (such as, "There is no other way
to think about this"). Instead of asking closed-ended questions looking
for a “yes” or “no” or the “right” answer, ask open-ended questions
(such as, “Have you thought about . . . ?”)
- Try to connect the
current discussion to topics from other lessons. Remember that all of
the Philosophers wrote about more than a single topic and the way they
think about one area of Philosophy probably affects other areas as well.
For example, it might be extremely useful to mention John Stuart Mill’s
ethical theories from an earlier lesson during a later discussion of
his support for women’s rights and equality.
- Rather than simply
reacting to the readings and the responses of your classmates, think
about the arguments being made. Really consider the effectiveness of
these arguments. “I agree” responses are not useful to the discussion
and will not receive credit.
Give some serious
consideration to the topic or scenario before answering; and, then,
using the questions below as a guide, write a 75-100 word initial
response about the issue being discussed. Next, please take the time to
respond to at least two of your classmates.
After reviewing the chapter on Non-Western philosophies, answer the following questions:
you think that patriarchy (rule by men) and racism are
institutionalized in Western philosophy and culture? Why do you think
so, or not?
- Do you believe that members of different races
think differently? How do you know? If so, to what do you attribute this
difference—nature, nurture, education, choice, or something else?
- What was the most intriguing thing you discovered while reading this chapter? Why did you find it to be interesting?
This is a discussion. Initial post must be between 75 to 150 words, but may go longer depending on the topic. Please cite any outside sources used.