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Philosophical Gifts

“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”      ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Each student is required to bring to class and present a total of three philosophical "gifts" over the course of the term. A fourth gift is extra credit. There are 150 total points possible in this category, with an additional 20 points possible for extra credit. Philosophical gifts are worth 10% of your final grade, so make sure they are thoughtful and relevant.

A gift should be relevant to a unit of study and show evidence of philosophy today, such as a newspaper/magazine article, film clip, poem, music lyrics, cartoon, piece of artwork, etc. 

Written requirements (25 points)

  • MLA format, typed, double-spaced
  • Description/Summary: Write a one-paragraph description or summary of your gift. Don't relate it to philosophy yet, simply tell about it. For example, if it is an article, summarize the main points; If it is a film clip, describe or summarize the movie and the scene; If it is a piece of artwork, explain who created it, where you saw it, what are common interpretations of the piece, etc.
  • Connections: Relate your gift to an unit of study or idea that we have covered in class. What philosophical connections did you make when you saw or heard this gift? Be as specific as possible.

Presentation requirements (25 points)
  • Bring your gift to class, including your write-up. If it is a film clip, make sure you have it loaded and ready to go on the computer; If it is something visual such as a piece of art make sure you can display it in some way; if it is an article or poem or something written, be prepared to read it or a portion of it, etc.
  • Show/read the gift and share your description and connection. You can use your write-up for reference, but don't read it word for word. 
  • Use strong presentation techniques: speak clearly, look at your audience, smile, etc.

Due Dates

You must share your gifts by the dates below, no exceptions. For example, if you haven't completed the first gift by September 30, you will not receive credit for Gift 1. Philosophical gifts cannot be "made up." You can, however, share a gift before a due date. For example, if you have already shared your first gift, and want to share your second gift before September 30, you can. Don't make the mistake of waiting until the actual due date to share your gift as there may or may not be enough time in class.

Gift 1:  September 30
Gift 2:  October 30
Gift 3:  December 2
Extra Credit Gift:  December 11