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1. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
C. D. Brewer Strategies for Teaching Kant’s Metaphysics and Hume’s Skepticism in Survey Courses
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Teaching Kant’s metaphysics to undergraduates in a survey course can be quite challenging. Specifically, it can be daunting to motivate interest in Kant’s project and present his system in an accessible way in a short amount of time. Furthermore, comprehending some of the important features of his requires some understanding of Hume’s skepticism. Unfortunately, students often misunderstand the extent and relevance of Hume’s skepticism. Here, I offer three strategies for presenting Kant’s metaphysics as a response to Hume. First, I describe an exercise for presenting the problem of induction in a way that resonates with many students. Next, I provide a way of generating interest in Kant’s project so students are motivated to understand his position. Finally, I explain a game I use to bolster interest in Kant’s project and explain some of the more challenging aspects of the First Analogy.
2. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Luis Cordeiro-Rodrigues Integrating African Philosophy into the Western Philosophy Curriculum
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In the last three years, there has been a worldwide increase in integrating African philosophy into the philosophy curricula. Nevertheless, given that African philosophy has been largely neglected by Western academia, many philosophers in the West who do wish to integrate it are unaware of how to do it. This article aims at addressing this issue by offering some recommendations on how to integrate African philosophy into the curricula. Particularly, it offers recommendations based on how the history of ancient philosophy, metaphilosophy, ethics and political philosophy have become integrated. Additionally, there is a recommendation for how to make an entirely new module based on African political philosophy.
3. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
James Lee Socratic Dialogue Outside the Classroom
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Socratic dialogue is widely recognized as an effective teaching tool inside of the classroom. In this paper I will argue that Socratic dialogue is also a highly effective teaching tool outside of the classroom. I will argue that Socratic dialogue is highly effective outside of the classroom because it is a form of learning based assessment. I will also show how instructors can use technology like email to implement Socratic dialogue as a form of teaching and assessment, and thus offer a viable alternative to traditional assessments like exams and papers.
4. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Mark R. Reiff Twenty-One Statements about Political Philosophy: An Introduction and Commentary on the State of the Profession
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While the volume of material inspired by Rawls’s reinvigoration of the discipline back in 1971 has still not begun to subside, its significance has been in serious decline for quite some time. New and important work is appearing less and less frequently, while the scope of the work that is appearing is getting smaller and more internal and its practical applications more difficult to discern. The discipline has reached a point of intellectual stagnation, even as real-world events suggest that the need for what political philosophy can provide could not be more critical. What follows then is a set of statements about how I believe that we, as political philosophers, should approach what we do. It contains my view as to what political philosophy should be about, how political philosophy should be done, and how courses in political philosophy should be taught, interlaced with commentary on the current state of the profession.
5. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Tracy Bowell, Justine Kingsbury How Can We Get Students to Think Critically about Intransigent Beliefs?
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Part of the job of the philosophy teacher, and in particular the critical thinking teacher, is to encourage students to critically examine their own beliefs. There are some beliefs that are difficult to think critically about, even for those who have critical thinking skills and are committed to applying them to their own beliefs. These resistant beliefs are not all of a kind, and so a range of different strategies may be needed to get students to think critically about them. In this paper we suggest some such strategies.
6. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Paul J. D'Ambrosio Teaching Philosophy to Chinese Students in Mainland China as a Foreign Professor
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In recent years, universities throughout the People’s Republic of China have begun actively seeking foreign professors to work full-time in their philosophy departments. This, coupled with the decrease in the number of job openings in philosophy across western Europe and North America, might very well lead to a sharp rise in the number of foreign faculty members in philosophy departments across mainland China. In this article I will outline three of the major difficulties facing philosophy teachers who have little or no experience in the Chinese education system, and provide suggestions for dealing with them. The first two are general and apply to a broad range of courses; namely, initiating class discussion and teaching students how to understand philosophical arguments. The third is specifically related to those who teach or engage with Chinese thought. These professors should be prepared to encounter a surmountable but pronounced skepticism among many Chinese students (and professors) against the ability of foreigners to truly comprehend Chinese philosophy.
7. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Jennifer Wilson Mulnix, Alida Liberman Philosophers Folding Origami: Illustrating Essential Strategies for Learner-Centered Teaching
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This paper discusses an exercise that Alida Liberman facilitated among participants at a Teaching and Learning workshop sponsored by the American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT) aimed at helping instructors become more learner-centered in their pedagogy. The exercise was designed to place participants in the role of inadequately supported learners by asking them to fold an origami crane with varying levels of instruction and feedback. The failure of many participants to successfully fold cranes functioned as a striking analogy for student failures to learn without explicit how-to instruction, goal-directed practice, and frequent, targeted feedback. In reflecting on the activity, participants developed strategies to become more learner-centered and to better support student success. This paper explains the origami exercise and the lessons it illustrates, and discusses how the lessons learned from the exercise can translate into specific tangible strategies for the classroom.
8. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Ian Schnee Bactrians and Dromedaries: Rethinking Assessment Materials in Logic Classes Using Bloom’s Taxonomy
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In this paper I develop a version of Bloom’s taxonomy applicable to philosophy, and I use it to create a tool for categorizing the Bloom level of assessment items in formal logic classes. I then show how to use the tool to improve the alignment of teaching and assessment in one’s courses. Alignment means we are assessing students on what we are actually teaching them. One dimension of alignment is cognitive levels, such as lower-level factual knowledge or higher-level critical reasoning skills. By using the tool to graph the Bloom level of one’s assessment items, one can better understand how well one’s assessment aligns with one’s teaching. Doing so allows instructors to make informed changes to both teaching and assessment, and, ultimately, to provide the right level of challenge to the majority of students.
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9. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Edmund F. Byrne War and Individual Rights: The Foundations of Just War Theory, by Kai Draper
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10. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 4
Joshua D. Crabill Ten Things Video Games Can Teach Us (About Life, Philosophy, and Everything), by Jordan Erica Webber and Daniel Griliopoulos
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