2022-2023 Catalog

PHIL 361 Philosophy and Children

Philosophical wondering begins in childhood: Where do words come from?  Can trees think? What is love? At the heart of this course, Occidental students will have the opportunity to teach philosophy to elementary students at a local school. Doing so provides both an opportunity to serve the local community, an opportunity to reconnect with our own philosophical impulses, and a chance to reflect deeply on a variety of philosophical topics (such as friendship, courage, minds, justice). Occidental students will develop and teach their own lesson plans.  In order to do so, students will select a children’s picture book, identify a philosophical question raised by the book, review and selectively incorporate academic philosophical texts. In addition, the class will discuss philosophical views on young children, the nature of philosophical wonder/inquiry, and the value of a (philosophical) education, e.g. Rousseau's Emile, excerpts from Plato, Marx, and contemporary philosophers.


4 units