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articles
1. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Galen Barry, The Nozick Game
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In this article I introduce a simple classroom exercise intended to help students better understand Robert Nozick’s famous Wilt Chamberlain thought experiment. I outline the setup and rules of the Basic Version of the Game and explain its primary pedagogical benefits. I then offer several more sophisticated versions of the Game which can help to illustrate the difference between Nozick’s libertarianism and luck egalitarianism.
2. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Lisa Kretz, Debiasing the Philosophy Classroom
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This paper is situated at the intersection of ethics, pedagogy, and bias. Various challenges for pedagogy that are posed by explicit and implicit bias are discussed. Potential solutions to such challenges are then explored. These include practices such as enhanced thought experiments, interviews, research projects, in-depth role-playing, action projects, and appropriately morally deferential experiential service-learning. Moral imagination can be beneficially stretched through adopting differing moral lenses and engaging and encouraging multiple empathizing; art and literary narrative provide helpful tools to this end. Also recommended is critical scrutiny focused on personal biases (including teacher bias) and developing curriculum focused on moral literacy. Such moves of necessity span from individual to public action given the environmental components of the operations of bias. Shaping ourselves through intentional environment construction and avoidance of undesirable environments is therefore identified as a valuable technique. Finally, the potential contribution of loving-kindness meditation is addressed. Although we may be unable at present to eradicate problematic forms of bias, there are multiple methods available to begin to ameliorate the harms associated with those forms of bias.
3. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Paul J. Medeiros, Introducing The Spoken Exam!
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A new spoken-approach to examination in philosophy courses is described. Pilot projects of The Spoken Exam are discussed in light of traditional virtues. Conclusions are formed about limitations and contributions. In short, The Spoken Exam creates inclusive, intricate, philosophical conversations among instructor and students.
4. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Renée Smith, A Course in Metaphilosophy for Undergraduates
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This paper describes an undergraduate course in metaphilosophy for philosophy majors and argues that there are four potential benefits to students; namely that doing metaphilosophy (1) allows students to draw their own conclusions about what philosophy is, (2) develops students’ metacognitive skills to promote learning, (3) establishes students as members of the philosophical community, and (4) disposes students to live lives that reflect their philosophical education. It describes issues of transparency of course design and the particulars of the course, including course content, and provides excerpts of student work to demonstrate student learning outcomes. Finally, it will suggest that even if it is not possible to offer a stand-alone course in metaphilosophy, instructors should provide opportunities to reflect on metaphilosophical issues in their other philosophy courses.
5. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Alison Suen, Teaching Taboo Topics: Why It Matters and How to Pull it Off
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In this paper, I offer justifications and strategies for teaching taboo, unpopular, or rarely contested views in undergraduate ethics courses. Teaching taboo topics, while challenging, forcefully demonstrates the commitment that few topics in ethics have obvious answers, and that the study of ethics is more than just debating right and wrong. Drawing from my experience teaching on the topic of bestiality, I articulate the importance of motivating topics that may appear remote and irrelevant to students. Inspired by Kathy Rudy’s queer theory approach to the question of bestiality, I propose that we broaden and reframe taboo issues when teaching undergraduates. Instead of introducing these issues with the typical “Is it right or wrong to do X,” I recommend that we examine the essential political, metaphysical, and epistemological presumptions that inform and shape our moral judgments.
reviews
6. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Daniel Bloom, Plato’s Timaeus, 2nd edition, translated by Peter Kalkavage
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7. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Tobyn DeMarco, Philosophy of Song and Singing: An Introduction, by Jeanette Bicknell
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8. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Terrence L. Johnson, Engaging Political Philosophy: An Introduction, by Robert B. Talisse
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9. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Sanford Levy, Metaethics: A Contemporary Introduction, by Mark van Roojen
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10. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Michael T. McFall, Taking Pascal’s Wager: Faith, Evidence, and the Abundant Life, by Michael Rota
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