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Teaching Philosophy

Volume 40, Issue 3, September 2017

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Displaying: 1-8 of 8 documents

1. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 3
Sharon Bailin, Mark Battersby What Should I Believe?: Teaching Critical Thinking for Reasoned Judgment
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“How do I figure out what to believe?” In the face of competing views, conflicting claims, distrust of expertise, and disdain for facts, this question is both understandable and pertinent. The perennial educational task of helping people to evaluate claims and compare arguments in order to engage in reasoned discourse and make reasoned judgments takes on particular urgency in the contemporary context. An obvious venue for such an endeavor is a course in critical thinking, but the way critical thinking is usually taught, with its focus on individual arguments, does not get us to that goal. The approach which we have developed focuses, instead, on inquiry, which has as its goal to provide students with the tools necessary for engaging in reasoned discourse and making reasoned judgments in real contexts. We describe this approach, argue for its advantages, and describe what a course would look like following an inquiry approach.
2. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 3
Anne Burkard Everyone Just Has Their Own Opinion: Assessing Strategies for Reacting to Students’ Scepticism about Philosophy
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This article discusses strategies for responding to students’ metaphilosophical scepticism. It includes responses to a survey which asked philosophy teachers about their experiences with various forms of scepticism in their classrooms. In specifying the phenomenon, I point out features which often characterise introductory philosophy courses both in secondary schools and at the university level. I argue that these features make student scepticism particularly challenging. Secondly, I describe a central objective of doing philosophy, and highlight three basic pedagogical principles. I argue that this objective and these principles should function as criteria for assessing strategies which teachers might adopt in reaction to metaphilosophical scepticism. Thirdly, I discuss several such strategies with reference to the proposed principles and the features which are characteristic of introductory courses. I argue that especially strategies which encourage students to philosophise themselves are recommendable. Furthermore, I point out some opportunities which student scepticism offers for enriching classroom discussions and for deepening students’ understanding of philosophy.
3. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 3
Paul J. D'Ambrosio, Timothy Connolly Using Familiar Themes to Introduce Chinese Philosophy in Traditional Courses (for the Non-Specialist)
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A number of recent scholarly works in Chinese philosophy approach Chinese texts and thinkers by incorporating them into longstanding issues and debates in the Western philosophical tradition. While the merits of this approach have received much discussion among those working in Chinese philosophy, it also has the potential to reach those outside the field whose research or teaching focuses on the debates and issues. In this article we look at the issue of using Chinese philosophy in courses on contemporary philosophical topics for non-specialists. We give the justification for this pedagogical approach, put forth a “syllabus” of preparatory readings, and finally, discuss its limitations and possibilities.
4. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 3
Mark Walker, David Trafimow, Jamie Bronstein The Socratic Note Taking Technique: Addressing the Problem of Students Not Engaging with Assigned Readings before Class
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The notion of Socratic Note Taking (SNT) is introduced to enhance students’ learning from assigned readings. SNT features students asking questions and answering their own questions while doing the readings. To test the effectiveness of SNT, half the students from two sections of a philosophy course were assigned SNT on alternating weeks. Quizzes each week alternated between the two classes as either high or low stakes in a counterbalanced format. The design was a 2 (Notes: SNT or not) x 2 (Stakes: high or low) x 2 (Replication: first or second replication of a Notes x Stakes cell) within-participants factorial. On ten-point quizzes, SNT made an average difference of 1.22 points (more than a letter grade). Furthermore, the results indicate that SNT is particularly effective with weaker students, e.g., we found a nearly three-point increase on ten-point quizzes for the weakest students.
5. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 3
Jan Willem Wieland, Matthijs Endt Analysing Thought Experiments
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Philosophers such as Gettier, Frankfurt, and Thomson are famous for their thought experiments. This makes one wonder: how did they invent their cases? Were they just lucky to devise a good case, or did they follow some basic rules that are available to all of us? In this paper, we argue for the latter answer by presenting a guidebook for analysing thought experiments. Our guidebook clearly specifies which factors should be included in a thought experiment, and which factors should be left out. This will help students to see through the fantastical elements of TEs, to learn the practice, and to check whether philosophers are doing things right. We illustrate our account in some detail using examples from Thomson’s thought experiments.
6. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 3
David Boersema Philosophy of Science for Scientists, by Lars-Göran Johansson; and The Nature of Scientific Knowledge: An Explanatory Approach, by Kevin McCain
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7. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 3
Paul J. D'Ambrosio Chinese Philosophy: An Introduction, by Ronnie Littlejohn
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8. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 3
Dana Delibovi Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction, 4th edition, by Michael J. Loux and Thomas M. Crisp
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