PHILOSOPHY | READING COMPREHENSION PASSAGES AND QUESTIONS

Linda Jennifer
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9th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschool
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Linda Jennifer
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Description

PHILOSOPHY

READING COMPREHENSION PASSAGES AND QUESTIONS

(THE THEAETETUS) WHAT IS KNOWLEDGE?

Higher Order Thinking Skills HOTS #3

In this post-truth environment, where alternative facts and false stats are on the rise, critical thinking, analytical debate, and ethical reasoning are more important than ever.

This product focuses on Plato’s Theaetetus.  The question at the center of the dialogue regards the question of knowledge and whether it exists.  The answer, according to Socrates, is yes.

We will explore the section of the dialogue where Socrates delivers his midwife allegory and commences a powerful refutation against the extreme relativism of Protagoras.  

The product will give students the tools to help argue against the notion that feelings are more important than facts.

The questions that emerge in the Theaetetus are particularly important today in a world of FAKE NEWS, contentious beliefs, and gaslighting.

This product will give your students the tools to think critically and problem solve - a necessity for any person trying to navigate this political climate where FAKE NEWS, ALTERNATIVE FACTS, and the denial of truth test reason on a daily basis.

INCLUDED IN THIS PRODUCT ARE THE FOLLOWING:

☄17 pages of teacher notes.  These notes are an in-depth explanation of one part of the dialogue.  I go through the section almost line by line.

☄An introduction to Platonic dialogues and this dialogue in particular.

☄Links to several current magazine articles that relate to issues surrounding truth, knowledge, science, and relativity.

☄2 pages of vocabulary

☄10 review questions with answers (4 pages)

☄A test with 24 questions - the test is editable.

☄5 essay questions.  

☄11 pages of the dialogue itself with notes along the margins (148a to 154d).  Included here are endnotes from the dialogue. THIS DIALOGUE IS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN.

11 pages of the dialogue without the notes to distribute to students (148a to 154d).  Included here are endnotes from the dialogue. (These 11 pages are not included in the total page count.)

The Theaetetus asks the question: “What is knowledge?” and suggests that fixed knowledge exists and how we might obtain it.  The goal of my notes is not to discuss the entire dialogue but only a small fraction of the discussion between Socrates and Theaetetus - in particular, the aim is to focus on the difference between knowledge and opinion.  I think there is an undeniable need to have this discussion with High School, College, and University students. I hope these notes, and this assignment, will help students engage in healthy debate and see that there is truth in the world.

This product contains several different components that may be used in a number of ways.  The section of the dialogue that is included here I assign for either INTERPRETIVE NOTE-TAKING or the SOCRATIC SEMINAR first, and then I lecture on the same section for VISUAL NOTETAKING.  The results of my VNT have been very successful and this unit will provide enough information that those not familiar with the dialogue can still use it with success.


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The Theaetetus is an excellent text to study alongside The Velveteen Rabbit, The Little Prince, 1984, Catch 22, and other novels that question the existence of truth.


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The ELA Common Core State Standards require students to learn how to read texts carefully:

“As a natural outgrowth of meeting the charge to define college and career readiness, the Standards also lay out a vision of what it means to be a literate person in the twenty-first century. Indeed, the skills and understandings students are expected to demonstrate have wide applicability outside the classroom or workplace. Students who meet the Standards readily undertake the close, attentive reading that is at the heart of understanding and enjoying complex works of literature. They habitually perform the critical reading necessary to pick carefully through the staggering amount of information available today in print and digitally. They actively seek the wide, deep, and thoughtful engagement with high-quality literary and informational texts that builds knowledge, enlarges experience, and broadens worldviews. They reflexively demonstrate the cogent reasoning and use of evidence that is essential to both private deliberation and responsible citizenship in a democratic republic. In short, students who meet the Standards develop the skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening that are the foundation for any creative and purposeful expression in language.” English Language Arts Standards | Home | English Language Arts

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Standards

to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.
Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social studies.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

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