Applied Philosophy

Goals of the course: At the end of the course you should be able to:

Understand and apply some of the most useful and applicable philosophical traditions. You will be able to confidently engage with spoken and written discussions and use reason and logic, rather than emotion, to be clear and persuasive in your communication.

Materials/Reading for the course: Plato’s “Euthyphro” (provided)

Class Time: Wednesdays 6:05-6:55pm, Saturdays 12:05-12:55pm


Class No.



Class 1 (1hr)

Introduction to course objectives, what is philosophy, why is it relevant.

Why don’t we change our minds when confronted with logic and reason. How do we use philosophy to persuade ourselves, and then persuade others. How can it transform our lives?

What are: (1) reasoning, (2) representation, (3) cultural judgment, (4) information literacy, and (5) metacognitive reflection.

Expectations from the class, listening, argumentation do’s and don’ts. Logical fallacies straw man, ad hominem, anecdotal arguments etc. and why we don’t use them.

Homework: What fallacy are you?

Worksheet to identify logical fallacies. Find one example for each.

Class 2 (1hr)

Logic 2 – Critical Reasoning

Looking at logical problems and thinking of solutions. How to analyse data to help form solutions that may initially be counterintuitive.

Read Plato’s Euthyphro in preparation for next week’s class (Class 4)

Class 3 (1hr)

Ancient Philosophy – Plato.

Introduction to the Socratic method – effective debating and argumentation/persuasion. How to use questions to help others to convince themselves out of their positions.

Journal entry worksheet:

Look to persuade 1-3 people you get into arguments with in the coming two weeks (due on class 6). Use the Socratic method to question them rather than fight for what you want to say. What was the result. Note your discussion or argument down in your journal and we will discuss in class.

Class 4 (1hr)

Discussion class – practice persuasion through Socratic methods.

Defend your position – divisive topics will be presented and we will apply the socratic method to persuading each other of our opinions.

Choose a topic about something you believe strongly in that you feel excited to talk about.

Class 5 (1hr)

Preparation for a 5 minute speech in our last lesson – what do you need to prepare, how do you present the information in a way that reaches your audience.

Outlining before writing. Content focus and planning, researching. Half of class time will be dedicated to choosing our topics and starting an outline of our premises and conclusions.

Start writing speech, due for Lesson 8

Class 6 (1hr)

Oration – the art of public speaking.

How to speak effectively and engage and audience. Body language and how to be aware of how you are standing, performing and working.

Examples: Simon Sinek, TED talks

Homework: Watch 3 TED talks and write down three things from each that you liked and would like to emulate for your own speech.

Class 7 (1hr)

How to move to the next stage. How do we apply Philosophy to life – jobs, work, our relationships.


Discussing Aristotle and the foundations of “practical philosophy”.

  1. Happiness
  2. Virtue and the Golden Mean
  3. Ethics

Practice your speech.

Class 8 (1hr)

Present our speeches and give honest, helpful and empathetic feedback. Help each other see how we can improve.

Assessment Overview: Students will be assessed based on completing assigned readings, completing and presenting their speech, writing reflections on class and real-world discussions.

Expectations from Teacher: This is an introductory course, so students are not expected to have any philosophical education up to this point. Students should be in class on time having read any assigned materials. Students will be expected to share their opinions and perspectives in class, and work together in a respectful manner.

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