We are prepared to teach diverse areas of philosophy to diverse audiences. For example, we can:
- Visit a high school or middle school class and deliver a relevant guest lecture on any philosophical topic. For example:
- In literature classes, we could discuss the philosophical issues raised by particular works of fiction or films (for example, free will and fate in Oedipus or existentialist questions in Camus).
- In a history, social studies or political science classes, we could discuss human rights, justice or legal theory, the political theories of historical figures like Hobbes, Marx or Rawls, or the influence of Locke’s political theory on the Founding Fathers.
- In science classes, we could discuss the ways science is similar to and distinct from other disciplines like math and philosophy, scientific revolutions, how philosophers of science understand scientific theories or causation, or how various scientific discoveries raise important ethical questions.
- In an art class, we could discuss what makes an object a work of art and whether beauty is really “in the eye of the beholder.”
- In a psychology class, we could discuss whether the mind and brain are identical, the nature of consciousness or whether neuroscience threatens free will.
- Work with a local debate club on critical thinking and argumentation.
- Engage elementary school children in discussions of philosophical themes (for example, the nature of infinity, value or personal identity).
- Teach a unit on formal logic to a high school math class.
- Offer lectures or lead discussions about topics in applied ethics to local organizations.
- Give presentations or participate in informal Q&As with students about what professional philosophers do, what it is like to attend college and graduate school, or what it is like to work in academia.
We will work with you to design a course that suits your program’s needs and preferences. Participating schools and host institutions incur no cost.
Philosophy teaches students to reason well and to express themselves clearly. It hones critical thinking skills by challenging students’ basic assumptions about the world and it encourages curiosity by confronting students with some of life’s most fundamental questions.
If you still aren’t convinced that philosophy should be part of the pre-college curriculum, consider reading Francis J. Breslin’s “A Case for Philosophy in the American High School Curriculum.
In addition to helping students develop important philosophical skills, we hope to raise awareness of philosophy in the community. By getting students involved early, we hope to encourage more students to consider philosophy as a college major or minor.
If you have questions or if your school or program is interested in participating, contact one of our faculty advisers:
The Philosophy in the Community program is supported by the Jean Beer Blumenfeld Center for Ethics, Student Forum. It is run by graduate students and faculty of the Department of Philosophy. Faculty advisers include Dr. Andrew I. Cohen and Dr. Eddy Nahmias.
We thank the Philosophy Learning And Teaching Organization (PLATO) and the New York Institute of Philosophy’s Outreach Program for providing a model for this mission statement as well as helpful information about philosophy outreach.