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articles
1. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Galen Barry Using Conway’s Game of Life to Teach Free Will
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The concept of determinism proves to be a persistent stumbling block to student comprehension of issues surrounding free will. Students tend to commit two main errors. First, they often confuse determinism with the related but importantly different idea of fatalism. Second, students often do not adequately understand that mental states, such as desires or beliefs, can function as deterministic causes. This paper outlines a straightforward in-class exercise modeled after John Horton Conway’s “Game of Life” computer simulation. The exercise aims to address the two main obstacles to understanding determinism and, as a result, improve student understanding of free will topics.
2. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Brian Bruya, Monika Ardelt Fostering Wisdom in the Classroom, Part 2: A Curriculum
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Advances in both the science and theory of wisdom have made it possible to create sound wisdom curricula and test them in the classroom. This article is a report of one such attempt. We developed a curriculum consistent with theories of wisdom that espouse the following five methods: challenge beliefs; prompt the articulation of values; encourage self-development; encourage self-reflection; and groom the moral emotions—facilitated by the reading of narrative or didactic texts and fostering a community of inquiry. The texts used in class were the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, the Analects of Confucius, and the Dhammapada (along with some early Buddhist suttas). The requirements were reading the texts, writing reflection journals, active participation in class, and a personal philosophy of life summary. In this article, we explain each of these requirements, relate our particular methods to the more general methods, and speculate about how these methods may develop specific wisdom capacities.
3. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Laura Martena Thinking Inside the Box: Concerns about Trolley Problems in the Ethics Classroom
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This paper discusses the widespread use of "trolley problems" in the ethics classroom from a critical perspective. After tracing the enormous popularity of ‘trolleyology’ in recent moral philosophy, differentiating various functions these hypotheticals are supposed to fulfill in ethical discourse and carving out the underlying conception of normative ethics as a quasi-scientific enterprise, I examine how they are constructed and how they affect their recipient. Against this background, I argue that despite their popularity, the use of trolley problems in the ethics classroom turns out to be questionable for a number of reasons, most of which have already been advanced in the philosophical debate but hardly been reflected upon in the didactic context. Finally, I argue that the deconstruction of trolleyesque scenarios would be a good educational use of them. When it comes to using cases for didactic purposes, I suggest we give trolley problems a rest and develop more realistic scenarios.
4. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Jake Wright In Defense of the Progressive Stack: A Strategy for Prioritizing Marginalized Voices during In-Class Discussion
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Progressive stacking is a strategy for prioritizing in-class contributions that allows marginalized students to speak before non-marginalized students. I argue that this strategy is both pedagogically and ethically defensible. Pedagogically, it provides benefits to all students (e.g., expanded in-class discourse) while providing special benefits (e.g., increased self-efficacy) to marginalized students, helping to address historic educational inequalities. Ethically, I argue that neither marginalized nor non-marginalized students are wronged by such a policy. First, I present a strategy for self-disclosure that reduces the risk of inadvertent, unwanted disclosure while respecting marginalized student autonomy in a manner analogous to accommodations provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Second, I argue that non-marginalized students are not wronged because such students are not silenced during discussion and because non-marginalized students benefit from the prioritization of marginalized voices.
reviews
5. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Alexander Bearden Consuming Choices: Ethics in a Global Consumer Age, 2nd Edition, by David T. Schwartz
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6. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Dara Fogel Twelve Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B. Peterson
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7. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Index to Volume 41 (2018)
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8. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Karen Adkins Productive Alienation via Service Learning
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This paper argues for the specific pedagogical and philosophical value of toggling between places, as experienced in service or community-based learning. Regular shifting of student perspectives by traveling from a classroom to a community service site alienates students from their assumptions about beliefs, and opens up more diverse perspectives within the classroom.
9. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Brian Bruya, Monika Ardelt Fostering Wisdom in the Classroom, Part 1: A General Theory of Wisdom Pedagogy
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This article reviews the literature on theories of wisdom pedagogy and abstracts out a single theory of how to foster wisdom in formal education. The fundamental methods of wisdom education are found to be: challenge beliefs; prompt the articulation of values; encourage self-development; encourage self-reflection; and groom the moral emotions. These five methods of wisdom pedagogy rest on two facilitating methods: read narrative or didactic texts and foster a community of inquiry. This article is companion to two further articles, one on a practical wisdom curriculum and the other on a study of wisdom growth in college students.
10. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Linda L. Farmer The Power of Parables in Critical Thinking
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Parables are not frequently found in critical thinking textbooks. And, yet, because parables are relatively simple, engaging stories, they can present various principles of good reasoning and attitudes of a critical thinker in a way that is fun and accessible to the students in our classrooms. Using two well-known parables, W. K. Clifford’s Ship Owner and John Wisdom’s Invisible Gardener (as retold by Antony Flew), I outline how parables like these can be used in the teaching of critical thinking, and what the benefits of doing so are. I also argue that the religious context in which the parables were set is not a detriment to their pedagogical value but, rather, can be an added benefit.