Algorithmic Representations of Philosophical Arguments and Conceptual Frameworks
Students design algorithmic representations of philosophical arguments and metaphysical/epistemological frameworks that organize the philosophical materials in terms of an input-processing-output model.
Students (working individually or in pairs) design algorithmic representations of philosophical arguments and metaphysical/epistemological frameworks that organize the philosophical materials in terms of an input-processing-output model. This general algorithmic standpoint is applied to canonical thinkers such as Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Each student-produced algorithm is coordinated with a written essay that explains and interprets the algorithmic design.
By the end of the assignment, students should be able to:
- examine philosophical arguments as processes of reasoning (with appropriate input and output states)
- recognize connections between processes of reasoning as instantiated in philosophical arguments and various metaphysical/epistemological frameworks that may themselves be understood from an algorithmic or process-oriented point of view
- design well-structured algorithms and organize them in a visually appealing way.
This assignment assumes students have a basic understanding of philosophical argumentation.
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PHL245 Modern Philosophy, Fall 2018
I relied on in-class instruction on how to use the software (draw.io) and create the diagrams. The Technology Fellows also helped students use draw.io (saving files, etc.).
The assignment was successful and led to students thinking of difficult philosophical material in new and surprising ways. I wouldn't change anything about the assignment the next time I use it.