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1. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Maralee Harrell From the Editor
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2. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Dominik Balg Talking about Tolerance: A New Strategy for Dealing with Student Relativism
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Student relativism is a widespread phenomenon in philosophy classes. While the exact nature of student relativism is controversially discussed, many authors agree on two points: First, it is widely agreed that SR is a rather problematic phenomenon, because it potentially undermines the very purpose of doing philosophy—if there is no objective truth, arguing seems to be pointless. Second, it is widely agreed that there will be some close connection between SR and a tolerant attitude towards conflicting opinions. In this paper, I will argue that if these two assumptions are true, then discussing some basic philosophical insights about the concept of tolerance with students will be a promising new strategy of dealing with SR.
3. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Alex Koo Logic as a Blended Course
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I present Modern Symbolic Logic, an introductory philosophy course in first-order logic, as a blended course. A blended course integrates online video learning with in-class activities, out of class supports, and deliverables into a cohesive and mutually supporting package. Blended courses are an enhancement on hybrid courses, which focus on online video learning but not on the additional supports needed for an effective learning experience. This paper has two central aims. The first is to present a blended course in action in order to address a need in the literature for detailed reports of blended classes. The second is to advance an iterative approach to blended course design that significantly lowers the bar of entry for instructions hoping to create a blended course.
4. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Lars Samuelsson, Niclas Lindström On the Practical Goal of Ethics Education: Ethical Competence as the Ability to Master Methods for Moral Reasoning
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In this paper we consider the ability to master a set of methods for moral reasoning as a form of ethical competence. These methods can be roughly assembled under the headings information, vividness, and coherence. We distinguish between the theoretical characterization of ethical competence and what we take to be its practical role and argue that the ability to master these methods fits the theoretical characterization of such competence as well as fulfils its practical role. An important upshot of this result is that these methods are suitable as a basis for ethics education at various levels, at least when the goal of such education is partly practical: to provide tools for reaching justified moral decisions. Consequently, we encourage ethics educators who teach ethics with this goal to design their educational approaches in such a way that these methods are taught and practiced.
5. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Benjamin T. H. Smart Practicing Afrocentric Ethical Teaching: Towards a Decolonized Pedagogy
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Slowly, we are gaining a deeper understanding of the persisting psychological trauma experienced by students at colonial universities, and beginning to recognize that the Eurocentric curricula and pedagogies must change if students such as the “born-frees” in post-Apartheid South Africa are to flourish. In this article, I present a sub-Saharan African concept of “the ethical teacher,” and use this to ground a “ubiquitous action-reaction” teaching model. I use these concepts to develop a decolonized pedagogy – a teaching methodology that avoids a number of harmful colonial teaching practices in philosophy. I suggest a number of novel ways of accommodating a “decolonized education” with a view to inspiring teachers of philosophy in colonial countries globally. I propose a new, malleable pedagogical model that is particularly useful in the colonial context, since its uniqueness lies in the African ethical framework that grounds it. However, I contend that philosophy educators globally will benefit from taking the principles proposed in this article seriously.
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6. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Ben Davies Thinking Through Utilitarianism: A Guide to Contemporary Arguments, by Andrew T. Forcehimes and Luke Semrau
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7. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Michael Hartsock Black Mirror and Philosophy: Dark Reflections, edited by David Kyle Johnson; series editor, William Irwin
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8. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Sharon E. Mason Food Philosophy: An Introduction, by David M. Kaplan
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9. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Christopher Moore Socrates, by William J. Prior
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10. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
William Peden Introduction to Formal Philosophy, edited by Sven Ove Hansson, Vincent F. Hendricks, Esther Michelsen Kjeldahl
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11. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Mog Stapleton Classical Chinese for Everyone: A Guide for Absolute Beginners, by Bryan W. Van Norden
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12. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Clint Tibbs Current Controversies in Philosophy of Religion, edited by Paul Draper
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13. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Matthew Van Cleave Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature, by Alva Noë
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14. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Shelagh Crooks The Concept of Argument in Philosophy as a Threshold for Learners
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It is commonplace for undergraduate students to find certain concepts inherent to the disciplines of study troublesome. While some concepts are troublesome simply because they represent new vocabulary for the students, other concepts are troublesome in a more significant sense. Concepts of this kind are troublesome because they highlight an aspect of the deep structure of the discipline, a way of thinking and inquiry, that the students are likely to find strange and even, counter-intuitive, relative to their own pre-existing conceptual frameworks. In this paper, I will argue that the concept of ‘argument’ in the discipline of philosophy, is one such concept. To make the case for this, I will be drawing upon a relatively new and important framework for inquiry into troublesome disciplinary concepts, known as “threshold concept theory” (Meyer and Land 2006, 2008). In addition, I propose to consider the implications, in terms of the design of curriculum and pedagogy for the philosophy classroom, of conceiving argument in threshold concept terms.
15. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Daniel Lim Philosophy through Machine Learning
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In a previous article (2019), I motivated and defended the idea of teaching philosophy through computer science. In this article, I will further develop this idea and discuss how machine learning can be used for pedagogical purposes because of its tight affinity with philosophical issues surrounding induction. To this end, I will discuss three areas of significant overlap: (i) good / bad data and David Hume’s so-called Problem of Induction, (ii) validation and accommodation vs. prediction in scientific theory selection and (iii) feature engineering and Nelson Goodman’s so-called New Riddle of Induction.
16. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Chiara Robbiano, Karin Scager Cultivating Two Aspects of Intellectual Humility: Openness and Care
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We believe that intellectual humility is an essential intellectual virtue for university students to foster. It enables them to excel as students of philosophy and other disciplines, to navigate the fast-changing world inside and outside academia, and to flourish in interaction with others. In this paper, we analyze this virtue by singling out two distinct but related aspects: the openness-aspect and the care-aspect. The former makes one value a dialogue with those who have different views from one’s own. The latter aspect involves searching for implicit assumptions one brings to encounters with one’s object of inquiry and trying to study this object as unique and irreducible. We discuss four learning activities we developed for the philosophy bachelor course “Who are we? Philosophical views on humans and the gods” at University College Utrecht (the Netherlands). Throughout this paper, we show extracts from the students’ assignments, reflections, and evaluations. These extracts indicate that students developed both aspects of intellectual humility —openness to different views and care for the uniqueness of each object of inquiry— and acknowledged their importance.
17. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
David Sackris How to Encourage Reading and Learning in the College Classroom
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In this article I argue that the best way to ensure that students engage with assigned reading is by having open-ended questions that require textual interpretation to accompany every class session. Although this runs contrary to a recent trend of using multiple-choice questions or true/false questions to ensure reading compliance, using questions that require written responses has four key benefits: (1) such questions result in 75 percent of students completing the assigned reading; this leads to more successful class discussions, and a deeper dive into the course material. (2) Daily assignments can be used to develop specific skills that the instructor would like students to demonstrate. (3) When students come to class having completed the reading, it is much easier to assign productive group assignments. (4) When students engage in significant reading and writing tasks within a semester, critical thinking, reading and writing skills are more likely to be improved.
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18. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Scott Aikin, Sung Jun Han What Is Epistemology?, by Stephen Hetherington
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19. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Martin Benjamin Ethics: A Contemporary Introduction, Third Edition, by Harry J. Gensler
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20. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Sam Cowling Superhero Thought Experiments: Comic Book Philosophy, by Chris Gavaler and Nathaniel Goldberg
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