Education Programs: Teaching and Learning Resources and Curriculum Development

Period of Performance

6/1/2008 - 5/31/2013

Funding Totals

$199,603.00 (approved)
$199,603.00 (awarded)

Ethics and Political Philosophy: A Guide to the Classic Texts

FAIN: EE-50562-08

Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ 86011-0001)
Jeffrey B. Downard (Project Director: October 2007 to October 2013)

The development of a guide, to be hosted in a wiki-based digital format to encourage collaboration, that uses the Socratic method to help undergraduates understand the main arguments of the classic texts in introductory ethics and political philosophy.

We propose to develop an approach to the content of introduction to ethics that is modeled on Socrates' approach to questions about the nature of virtue. Our proposal is to construct a reading guide that works through each of the main arguments in the texts, one at a time, and guides the students through the premises and conclusions of each argument. We do not intend to provide a ready-made outline of the arguments, but rather a guide that uses the Socratic method of raising hard questions and then criticizing possible answers to help students work through primary texts. This guide will be used as an online supplement to traditionally delivered courses in philosophy. The primary texts and the reading and writing guides will be hosted on a wiki based web page so that students and faculty can work both inside and outside of class in a more collaborative fashion.