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1. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Christopher Buckman Including the Iroquois Great Law of Peace in Introduction to Political Philosophy
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Introductory courses in political philosophy would benefit from the incorporation of material on the Iroquois Great Law of Peace, including the story of the foundation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Classroom study of this tradition will serve several purposes: introducing a valuable account of political phenomena such as negotiation, consensus, veto, and rational communication; contributing to the diversity of syllabi; tracing the influence of Iroquois law on Western political institutions; and comparing the Haudenosaunee story to early modern social contract theory, especially Hobbes’s Leviathan. This paper draws connections to relevant topics in a standard, historically-oriented course and suggests learning resources and objectives.
2. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Alexandru Manafu An Experiential Education Approach to Teaching the Mind-Body Problem
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This article shows how the mind-body problem can be taught effectively via an experiential learning activity involving a couple of classroom props: a brick and a jar of ground coffee. By experiencing the physical properties of the brick (shape, weight, length, width) and contrasting them with the olfactory experience of coffee (seemingly dimensionless, weightless, etc.), students are introduced in a vivid way to the well-known difficulty of explaining the mental in physical terms. A brief overview of experiential learning theory and its connection to philosophy is also provided.
3. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Sarah E. Vitale, David W. Concepción Improving Student Learning with Aspects of Specifications Grading
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In her book Specifications Grading, Linda B. Nilson advocates for a grading regimen she claims will save faculty time, increase student motivation, and improve the quality and rigor of student work. If she is right, there is a strong case for many faculty to adopt some version of the system she recommends. In this paper, we argue that she is mostly right and recommend that faculty move away from traditional grading. We begin by rehearsing the central features of specifications grading and providing two examples of how to implement it in philosophy classes. In light of the examples, we argue that specifications grading fulfills two of Nilson’s central desiderata (increasing rigor and motivating students) but not the third (saving faculty time). Since specifications grading generates two benefits that when combined increase student learning, without adding or increasing burdens, we conclude that student learning increases when courses are revised to include aspects of specifications grading.
4. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Mark Walker The Skills-First vs. Content-First Philosophy Class
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This paper offers a contrast between “content-first” course design, and “skills-first” course design. The traditional lecture format is a paradigmatic example of the former, by the later I mean courses that emphasize the sustained practice of skills integral to the discipline. Two arguments are offered for adopting, other things being equal, the skills-first design. One is the “content-plus” argument that the skills-first course design does a better job of promoting content acquisition than a content-first class. The second argument, the “skills-plus” argument, claims that a skills-first course design has the added value of better promoting philosophical skills as compared with a content-first course.
reviews
5. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Kelley Annesley Ethical Issues in Women’s Healthcare: Practice and Policy. Edited by Lori d’Agincourt-Canning and Carolyn Ells
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6. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Samuel Duncan Doing Philosophy: From Common Curiosity to Logical Reasoning. By Timothy Williamson
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7. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Michael Gifford Thinking Through Questions: A Concise Invitation to Critical, Expansive, and Philosophical Inquiry. By Anthony Weston and Stephen Bloch-Schulman
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8. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Amanda Hardman Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes. By Flower Darby with James M. Lang
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9. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
John Kinsey Buddhist Ethics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions). By Damien Keown
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10. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Gina Lebkuecher Seeing Clearly: A Buddhist Guide to Life. By Nicolas Bommarito
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11. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Corey McGrath The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Colour. Edited By Derek H. Brown and Fiona Macpherson
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12. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Thomas Schulte Phronesis: An Open Introduction to Ethics. Edited by Henry Imler
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13. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Rebecca G. Scott Philosophy for Girls: An Invitation to the Life of Thought. Edited by Melissa M. Shew and Kimberly K. Garchar
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14. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Adam P. Taylor Salvation in Indian Philosophy: Perfection and Simplicity for Vaiśeṣika. By Ionut Moise
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articles
15. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 4
Alexander T. Englert Philosophical Think Tanks
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While small group discussion is invaluable to the philosophy classroom, I think it can be improved. In this paper I present a method that I have developed to better facilitate active learning in the spirit of a philosopher within a Socratic community. My method is to form what I call a “philosophical think tank,” which takes the form of a small group that persists for the duration of the semester (or a large portion of it) in order to overcome deficiencies that can arise if groups are determined anew with each class meeting. After presenting the technique, I offer an overview of results, possible issues, and ideas for future development.
16. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 4
Eugene Heath Augustine’s Confessions: An Introduction to Philosophy
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Augustine’s Confessions would seem an unlikely work to feature in an introductory philosophy course: it appears to offer too much religion, too little philosophy. In fact, this work presents a series of reflections in which varied and interesting philosophical questions arise in the course of ordinary life. After defining the introductory course for which this work might be suitable, I explore its philosophical themes and extend a few suggestions for its use in the classroom. In closing I forward several reasons why an instructor should consider including the book in an introduction to philosophy.
17. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 4
Taylor Elyse Mills Building a Pedagogical Relationship between Philosophy and Digital Humanities through a Creative Arts Paradigm
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Though numerous disciplines are cultivating pedagogical relationships with the emerging field of digital humanities, philosophy appears to be among the least interested in what digital humanities has to offer. This is a missed opportunity. Through a proper pedagogical framing of both fields, I argue that philosophy educators would benefit from building a pedagogical relationship with digital humanities. First, I outline digital humanities methods and teaching practices, then I identify several core educational aims and teaching methods in philosophy, which I conceptualize in terms of a creative art. Ultimately, I argue that digital humanities practices would enhance philosophy’s education aims by making philosophy more relevant and accessible to students’ needs, by fostering active learning, by establishing more equitable, collaborative participation, and by balancing skill-development with philosophical creation. The goal of this essay is not to replace traditional philosophy pedagogy, but rather to supplement it to better support modern students’ needs.
18. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 4
Joel Owen Teaching Ancient Practical Ethics and Philosophy as a Way of Life
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In this article, I describe an approach to teaching ancient practical ethics that encourages learners to engage actively with the ideas under consideration. Students are encouraged to apply a range of practical exercises to their own lives and to reflect both independently and in collaboration with others on how the experience impacts their understanding of the theories upon which such exercises are built. I describe how such an approach is both in keeping with the methods advocated by the philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome, and also well supported by a wide range of contemporary educational research. I suggest that such active learning strategies encourage students towards a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the philosophical theories under consideration. Practical recommendations for incorporating such an approach into the teaching of applied philosophy are given. I finish by considering the impact such an approach may have on student motivation.
19. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 4
Matthew P. Schunke Integrating the First-Year Experience into Philosophy Courses: A Tool for Improving Student Engagement and Recruiting Majors
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This article argues that integrating philosophy courses and the first-year experience can address the problem of attracting students to the philosophy major and make philosophical material more accessible and engaging. Through a reflection on teaching a first-year honors seminar on the topic of meaning in life, I show how we can use the philosophical tradition to help students with the transition into the university environment and, in the process, give them a sense of the value of philosophy as a tool to think through and evaluate their current experiences. The article demonstrates the value of philosophy to first-year students and shows how philosophy faculty and departments are well-suited to contribute to first-year programming at their institutions. Furthermore, it shows how addressing these issues can help departments recruit students into their major and minors while also sparking a genuine interest in philosophical inquiry.
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20. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 4
Amy Reed-Sandoval Latin American and Latinx Philosophy: A Collaborative Introduction. Edited by Robert Eli Sanchez, Jr.
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