Philosophy in the Classroom: Empiricism versus Rationalism

Grade Levels
10th - 12th, Higher Education
Standards
Formats Included
  • PDF (11 pages)
  • Activity
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Description

How the mind works is an essential philosophical problem that forms the basis for a theory of knowledge. In this ready-to-go 45-minute jargon-free lesson, introduce your students to two famous theories - one touting that the mind is like a blank sheet of paper and the other that ideas are built-in to the mind like a muffin tin is pre-set with the shape of muffins (before you even bake 'em in the oven)! Which worldview makes the most sense? Introduce your students to this very important epistemological debate!

*Distance Learning tip: This resource comes with an editable link to make your own digital worksheets for your students! You can make a copy and edit and adapt for use in your classroom.*

Essential Question: What is the underlying foundation for all knowledge?

Topic: Epistemology, Theory of Knowledge

Duration: One 45-minute class period

This lesson resource includes the following features:

  • 1 Classroom-tested Teacher's Guide for the Lesson
  • 1 Entrance Ticket handout
  • 2 Visuals
  • 1 Note-taking template
  • 1 Filled-in teacher's copy of the note-taking template
  • 10 useful links for further research on empiricism and rationalism
  • 1 editable link to a copy for classroom use on Google Slides

Suggested Classroom Use:

  • TOK (International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge course)
  • Introduction to Philosophy course

For other resources in my Philosophy in the Classroom series check out my popular resource on Plato's Allegory of the Cave.

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Total Pages
11 pages
Answer Key
Does not apply
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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Standards

to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).
Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.

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