American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy


published on February 4, 2023

Sharon Mason, Benjamin Rider

Philosophy for Living: Exploring Diversity and Immersive Assignments in a PWOL Approach

In this article, we reflect on our experiences teaching a PWOL course called Philosophy for Living. The course uses modules focused on different historical philosophical ways of life (Epicureanism, Stoicism, Confucianism, Existentialism, etc.) to engage students in exploring how philosophy can be a way of life and how its methods, virtues, and ideas can improve their own lives. We describe and compare our experiences with two central aspects of our approach: engagement with diversity and the use of immersive experiences and assignments. In particular, we discuss how we recognize and center various forms of diversity in philosophy—cultural and gender diversity, but also diversity in how and in what forms philosophy can be done and what “philosophy as a way of life” can be. We also examine how the experimental and experiential aspects of immersive assignments promote deeper understanding and create possibilities for personal transformation.