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Displaying: 21-30 of 2889 documents

21. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Aidan Kestigian, Blogging as Practice in Applied Philosophy
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In the past decade, several professors have advocated for the use of blogs in undergraduate courses in philosophy, arguing that blogs are beneficial for student learning, as blogs are forums for student collaboration and engagement with course material outside the classroom. In this paper I argue that blogging assignments can be beneficial for introductory-level undergraduate courses in philosophy for two reasons yet to be fully explored in the pedagogical literature. First, blogging assignments can act as low-stakes practice for paper writing. Second, blogging assignments give students the freedom to explore the relevance of course content to real world problems and academic fields other than philosophy. I then provide an example of a blogging assignment from a course in applied political philosophy that, I argue, achieves both of these goals.
22. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
W. John Koolage, Timothy Hansel, Reasoning, Science, and the Ghost Hunt
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This paper details how ghost hunting, as a set of learning activities, can be used to enhance critical thinking and philosophy of science classes. We describe in some detail our own work with ghost hunting, and reflect on both intended and unintended consequences of this pedagogical choice. This choice was partly motivated by students’ lack of familiarity with science and philosophic questions about it. We offer reflections on our three different implementations of the ghost hunting activities. In addition, we discuss the practical nuances of implementing these activities, as well the relation of ghost hunting to our course content, including informal fallacies and some models for scientific inference. We conclude that employing ghost hunting along-side traditional activities and content of critical thinking and philosophy of science offers a number of benefits, including being fun, increasing student attendance, enhancing student learning, and providing a platform for campus wide dialogues about philosophy.
23. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
David Sackris, Philosophy as a Conversation: Teaching Research Skills to Philosophy Students
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There is an array of resources on how to write a philosophy paper, both in print and online. However, the existing resources rarely discuss writing a research paper within the discipline of philosophy. What is typically missing from philosophical writing instruction is the point made by Richard Watson: a philosopher should seek to “enter the dialogue—the conversation—that is the lifeblood of philosophy.” Philosophical writing happens within a community, and what occurs in journals and monographs is the continuation of a conversation that has been going on for over 2000 years. Here I argue for the merits of encouraging students to think of philosophy scholarship as an ongoing conversation, as this will help them to discover significant problems to write on and form more manageable theses; I also describe specific methods for helping students to find scholarly conversations on topics that interest them and enter into that dialogue.
24. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 2
Steve Tammelleo, Care of Self as Resistance to Normalizing Effects of Student Evaluation of Teaching
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After a brief review of the literature on Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET), I employ a Foucauldian analysis to argue that student evaluations are forms of power that involve aspects of both discipline and governmentality. After examining how SETs are used to improve teaching, I identify some techniques that instructors use to respond to SET that undermine the legitimate interests of students or the educational institution. I endorse a hybrid model where a single global teaching question is used for summative purposes and fifteen or twenty additional questions are used for formative purposes. Finally, I argue that to resist the normalizing pressure of SET, instructors might, as Foucault suggested, return to the Hellenistic concept of the care of self. Through techniques of the care of self, it is my hope that instructors could cultivate a more robust subjectivity, a subjectivity less vulnerable to the normative power of student evaluations.
25. 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.
26. 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.
27. 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.
28. 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.
29. 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.
30. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Daniel Bloom, Plato’s Timaeus, 2nd edition, translated by Peter Kalkavage
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