Suggested Syllabus for Philosophy in Four Questions

Philosophy in Four Questions

We often get requests for a syllabus for our various curriculum titles, so here is a suggested syllabus for Philosophy in Four Questions.

Remember: There’s not ONE right way to create a syllabus so this is simply a suggestion. Adapt it as you will.

The full syllabus can also be found in this post.

In these chaotic times, it is a wise idea to help teens learn to:

  • Think well
  • Recognize the positive and negative influences around them and the ideas behind them

That’s what learning philosophy is all about. We commissioned Dr. Micah Tillman (who teaches Philosophy and Philosophy-based Science and Math for Stanford University’s online high school) to create Philosophy in 4 Questions when some of our youngest sons were homeschooling high school. They had just finished History and Philosophy of the Western World and wanted more of the thinking skills that that course had introduced.

Our sons told us that this was one of their favorite and most valuable courses in high school. It has since become a popular elective (and important life-skills course) for teens. The short lessons and friendly, accessible tone helps young people develop the skills they need in a non-preachy manner.

You can download this freebie suggested syllabus for a one-credit Philosophy course for your homeschool high schoolers or your homeschool high school co-op.

Suggested Syllabus for Philosophy in Four Questions

Here’s an abridged look at what the download includes (the actual download has daily assignments for the teens).

Course Title: Philosophy in Four Questions

Length: 30-32 weeks

Curriculum: Philosophy in Four Questions by Dr. Micah Tillman, 7SistersHomeschool.com

Optional curriculum: For optional end-of-year paper, use 7Sisters’ APA, MLA or Chicago Writing Guides.

Description: Philosophy is one of the most important courses a homeschool high schooler can use for a powerful transcript and life preparation. Students will learn the basics of Philosophy and apply it in short, understandable, weekly thought and writing assignments.

It is wise to study philosophy because:

  1. Philosophers run the world by their ideas and the sharing of their ideas. Philosophers are the brains behind political decisions, health care management, types of books we read, fashions we enjoy, even some of the ways we interact with our theology.
  2. Students who understand philosophical thoughts and trends can become culture creators themselves. They become the thinkers who can become wise leaders.
  3. God is a philosopher. Philosophy is the love of wisdom. Psalm 4:1 instructs us to “get wisdom”. God is the creator of wisdom.  It is important for our teens learn to be wise and submit their thinking to God’s wisdom.

Goals: Philosophy in 4 Questions is divided into the four basic questions of philosophy:

  1. What is there?
  2. How do we know?
  3. What do we do about it?
  4. Why?

Written in a light-hearted, fun manner and a Christian worldview, Philosophy in 4 Questions helps teens learn to recognize, think about, and discuss these questions.

Grading Scale: Create your own grading scale or grade this as a pass/fail elective.

Schedule:

The curriculum is designed to cover one chapter per week for thirty weeks. Optional weeks 31 and 32:  Students who wish to write a final paper will take these weeks to do so.

Suggested Syllabus for Philosophy in Four Questions

Week 1

Introduction and Chapter 1. What Is Philosophy?

daily assignments in the download

Week 2

Chapter 2. Why Should Christians Care?

daily assignments in the download

Week 3

Part I. Philosophy’s First Question:? Ontology

Chapter 3. An Introduction to Philosophy’s First Question

daily assignments in the download

Week 4

Chapter 4. Do You Exist (and If So, What Are You)?

daily assignments in the download

Week 5

Chapter 5. Does the World Exist (or Is It All an Illusion)?

daily assignments in the download

Week 6

Chapter 6. Do Groups (like Companies, Countries, or Families) Exist?

daily assignments in the download

Week 7

Chapter 7. Is Everything Just Physical?

daily assignments in the download

Week 8

Chapter 8. Does God Exist (and What about Evil)?

daily assignments in the download

Week 9

Chapter 9. Does Free Will Exist (and Do We Have It)?

daily assignments in the download

Week 10

Chapter 10. Application: How to Deal with Disagreements

daily assignments in the download

Week 11

Part II. Philosophy’s Second Question:? Epistemology

Chapter 11. An Introduction to Philosophy’s Second Question

daily assignments in the download

Week 12

Chapter 12. What Is Truth?

daily assignments in the download

Week 13

Chapter 13. Can We Learn the Truth from Others? (Language and Witnesses)

daily assignments in the download

Week 14

Chapter 14. Do We Know through Living or Thinking? (Empiricism and Rationalism)

daily assignments in the download

Week 15

Chapter 15. Giving Up, or Going with What Works (Skepticism and Pragmatism)

daily assignments in the download

Week 16

Chapter 16. Can We Just Get Back to Our Actual Experience?? (Phenomenology)

daily assignments in the download

Week 17

Chapter 17. Application: Authorities, Science, Faith, and Reason

daily assignments in the download

Week 18

Part III.
Philosophy’s Third Question:? Ethics

Chapter 18. An Introduction to Philosophy’s Third Question

daily assignments in the download

Week 19

Chapter 19. Is It Good to Do What Is Excellent?? (Virtue Theory)

daily assignments in the download

Week 20

Chapter 20. Is It Good to Do What Creates the Most Pleasure?? (Utilitarianism)

daily assignments in the download

Week 21

Chapter 21. Is It Only Good to Do Your Duty?? (Deontology)

daily assignments in the download

Week 22

Chapter 22. Is It Only Good to Do What God Says?? (Divine Command)

daily assignments in the download

Week 23

Chapter 23. Application: Evaluating Abortion, Racism, and Sexism

daily assignments in the download

Week 24

Part IV.
Philosophy’s Fourth Question:? Value Theory

Chapter 24. An Introduction to Philosophy’s Fourth Question

daily assignments in the download

Week 25

Chapter 25. Are There Different Sources of Value?

daily assignments in the download

Week 26

Chapter 26. Is There a Single Source of Value?

daily assignments in the download

Week 27

Chapter 27. What If There Is No Source of Value?

daily assignments in the download

Week 28

Chapter 28. Is the Source of Value the Highest Thing?

daily assignments in the download

Week 29

Chapter 29. Application: What to Do When You Get Confused

daily assignments in the download

Week 30

Chapter 30. Go Forth!

daily assignments in the download

Weeks 31 and 32

Write a paper that explores a topic that interests you. Discuss with your parents the length of, resources for and possible topics for this paper.

Congratulations! You are now a young philosopher.

Download this Suggested Syllabus for Philosophy in Four Questions. Our gift to you!