Prompts by Entry # and Discussion Date


Unit #1


JOURNAL #1 - Assigned and discussed on 8/25/2017

Who are you and how do you know?

JOURNAL #2 - Assigned and discussed on 8/31/2017

Distinguish between the following: information, data, fact, opinion, belief, faith, knowledge, wisdom and truth. 

JOURNAL #3 - Assigned and discussed on 9/5/2017

How do you distinguish between what you believe to be true versus what you know to be true?

* Assigned Class Reflection Question (after discussion notes):  How do you determine what the truth is when analyzing a knowledge claim or when trying to make sense of a situation?

Unit #2


MEDIA SUMMARY - Your Brain Lies to You

Reading assigned 9/6/2017 and discussed on 9/19/2017

Guiding Question:  How do false beliefs persist in our minds?  Why do we sometimes, in the face of evidence to the contrary, hold on to false beliefs?

JOURNAL #4 - Assigned and discussed on 9/19/2017

How do we, as knowers, draw the line between sanity and insanity?  Why do we make this distinction at all?

MEDIA SUMMARY - Climbing the Tower

Reading assigned 9/19/2017 and discussed on 9/22/2017

Guiding Question:  How do false beliefs persist in our minds?  Why do we sometimes, in the face of evidence to the contrary, hold on to false beliefs? 

JOURNAL #5 - Assigned and discussed on 9/22/2017

Create a list of qualities that you feel are representative of human nature.

* Assigned Class Reflection Question (after discussion notes and considering the Genesis reading we did in class):  How might these qualities potentially affect our acquisition (and creation) of knowledge?


Reading assigned 9/22/2017 and discussed on 9/26/2017

Guiding Question:  To what extent does personal or ideological bias influence our knowledge claims? 

JOURNAL #6 - Assigned and discussed on 9/26/2017

Does making a knowledge claim carry any particular obligation or responsibility for the knower?

MEDIA SUMMARY - Plato's Allegory of the Cave

Reading assigned 9/26/2017 and discussed on 10/2/2017


Guiding Question:  Describe how the people in the Cave 'know' their reality.  How does the person released come to 'know' a different reality?  What abilities do we utilize to 'know' what is 'real'?

MEDIA SUMMARY - The Experience Machine

Reading assigned 9/28/2017 and discussed on 10/4/2017

Guiding Question:  Would you choose to live your life in the Experience Machine?  Why or why not?

JOURNAL #7 - Assigned on 10/4/2017 and discussed 10/4, 10/6, and 10/10/2017

Rank these 8 ways of knowing in order of how important they are to you in knowing what is real with certainty: emotion, faith, imagination, intuition, language, memory, reason, and sense perception.  How might this ranking be a reflection of what you value?

* Assigned Class Reflection Task (after watching The Matrix movie and taking notes on key ideas):  Identify and explain some of the epistemological themes of The Matrix.

MEDIA SUMMARY - Introduction to Gladwell's Blink

Reading assigned 10/6/2017 and discussed on 10/12/2017

How does Gladwell's discussion on adaptive unconscious support his claim for the value of intuitive impressions/judgments?  What are the problems inherent in these kinds of impressions/judgments?

JOURNAL #8 - Assigned and discussed on 10/12/2017

What are the advantages of using intuitive knowledge over rational knowledge (and vice versa) when analyzing knowledge claims?

Unit #3 - 10


Notes on Paradigms - Assigned and to be discussed on 10/16 & 10/18/2017

Powerpoint Slides (Based on Van De Lagemaat's chapter)

Resources used for class discussion and further consideration:

Individual and Collective Paradigms

Kuhn's Paradigm Shifts in Science --- Kuhn's Legacy

Margaret Heffernan on TED - "Dare to Disagree"

Knowledge Fundamentals (Curriculum Guide) - Includes Notes on Knowledge Claims, Questions and the Knowledge Framework we will be using to discuss the Areas of Knowledge

Unit #3

Areas of Knowledge - Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Powerpoint Slides (Indigenous Knowledge Systems)

IKS Useful Reference Site (theoryofknowledge.net)

JOURNAL #9 - Assigned and discussed on 10/23/2017

In what ways are sense perception and memory crucial in constructing knowledge in indigenous knowledge systems?  How might the other ways of knowing aid in sustaining them?

MEDIA SUMMARY - Mark Plotkin's "What the People of the Amazon Know That You Don't" - TED Ed Talk

Video assigned 10/23/2017 and discussed on 10/25/2017

What might be gained or lost in the interaction of Western cultures/knowledge with indigenous cultures/knowledge?


Unit #4

Areas of Knowledge - Religious Knowledge Systems

Powerpoint Slides (Religious Knowledge Systems)

RKS Useful Reference Webpage (theoryofknowledge.net)

A Video Overview of the 5 Major World Religions


"Tests of Faith" - Ian Sample, article from The Guardian Magazine

"Dialogue on the Cosmological Argument" - Paul Davies

"(Un)Wired for God" - Sharon Begley, 2009 article from Newsweek Magazine

Rabbi Jack H. Bloom Interview with Reform Judaism Magazine

JOURNAL #10 - Assigned on 10/31/2017 and discussed on 11/2/2017

How would you explain the relationship between spirituality and religion?  Can there ever be a basis for religious knowledge that is independent of the culture that produces it?

* View the following VIDEOS before class on 11/6 & 11/8: 

(1) Religion for Breakfast segment on Theology vs. Religious Studies

(2) Stephen Prothero's The Need for Religious Literacy

JOURNAL #11 - Assigned on 11/6/2017 and discussed on 11/8/2017

How would you describe the knowledge that religion provides its followers?  What might be the role of different ways of knowing in attaining this knowledge?

Unit 5

Areas of Knowledge - Ethics


Midterm Review

JOURNAL #16 - Assigned on 12/6/2017 and discussed on 12/8/2017

How, and to what extent, might expectations, assumptions, and beliefs affect our sense perception and memories?
* Assigned Class Reflection Question (after discussion notes):  How, if at all, can factors that bias our views of the world be identified?  How might bias affect intuition and reasoning?

CONCEPT REVIEW AND NOTES (including bias and claims)