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articles
1. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Shelagh Crooks The Concept of Argument in Philosophy as a Threshold for Learners
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It is commonplace for undergraduate students to find certain concepts inherent to the disciplines of study troublesome. While some concepts are troublesome simply because they represent new vocabulary for the students, other concepts are troublesome in a more significant sense. Concepts of this kind are troublesome because they highlight an aspect of the deep structure of the discipline, a way of thinking and inquiry, that the students are likely to find strange and even, counter-intuitive, relative to their own pre-existing conceptual frameworks. In this paper, I will argue that the concept of ‘argument’ in the discipline of philosophy, is one such concept. To make the case for this, I will be drawing upon a relatively new and important framework for inquiry into troublesome disciplinary concepts, known as “threshold concept theory” (Meyer and Land 2006, 2008). In addition, I propose to consider the implications, in terms of the design of curriculum and pedagogy for the philosophy classroom, of conceiving argument in threshold concept terms.
2. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Daniel Lim Philosophy through Machine Learning
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In a previous article (2019), I motivated and defended the idea of teaching philosophy through computer science. In this article, I will further develop this idea and discuss how machine learning can be used for pedagogical purposes because of its tight affinity with philosophical issues surrounding induction. To this end, I will discuss three areas of significant overlap: (i) good / bad data and David Hume’s so-called Problem of Induction, (ii) validation and accommodation vs. prediction in scientific theory selection and (iii) feature engineering and Nelson Goodman’s so-called New Riddle of Induction.
3. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Chiara Robbiano, Karin Scager Cultivating Two Aspects of Intellectual Humility: Openness and Care
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We believe that intellectual humility is an essential intellectual virtue for university students to foster. It enables them to excel as students of philosophy and other disciplines, to navigate the fast-changing world inside and outside academia, and to flourish in interaction with others. In this paper, we analyze this virtue by singling out two distinct but related aspects: the openness-aspect and the care-aspect. The former makes one value a dialogue with those who have different views from one’s own. The latter aspect involves searching for implicit assumptions one brings to encounters with one’s object of inquiry and trying to study this object as unique and irreducible. We discuss four learning activities we developed for the philosophy bachelor course “Who are we? Philosophical views on humans and the gods” at University College Utrecht (the Netherlands). Throughout this paper, we show extracts from the students’ assignments, reflections, and evaluations. These extracts indicate that students developed both aspects of intellectual humility —openness to different views and care for the uniqueness of each object of inquiry— and acknowledged their importance.
4. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
David Sackris How to Encourage Reading and Learning in the College Classroom
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In this article I argue that the best way to ensure that students engage with assigned reading is by having open-ended questions that require textual interpretation to accompany every class session. Although this runs contrary to a recent trend of using multiple-choice questions or true/false questions to ensure reading compliance, using questions that require written responses has four key benefits: (1) such questions result in 75 percent of students completing the assigned reading; this leads to more successful class discussions, and a deeper dive into the course material. (2) Daily assignments can be used to develop specific skills that the instructor would like students to demonstrate. (3) When students come to class having completed the reading, it is much easier to assign productive group assignments. (4) When students engage in significant reading and writing tasks within a semester, critical thinking, reading and writing skills are more likely to be improved.
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5. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Scott Aikin, Sung Jun Han What Is Epistemology?, by Stephen Hetherington
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6. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Martin Benjamin Ethics: A Contemporary Introduction, Third Edition, by Harry J. Gensler
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7. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Sam Cowling Superhero Thought Experiments: Comic Book Philosophy, by Chris Gavaler and Nathaniel Goldberg
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8. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Dana Delibovi Margaret Cavendish: Essential Writings, edited by David Cunning
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9. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Emilyl Esch Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, by Kate Manne
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10. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Rachel Katler Philosophical Adventures, by Steven M. Cahn
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11. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Jennifer McCrickerd Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time, by Linda B. Nilson
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12. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Dale Murray Philosophy of Sex and Love: An Opinionated Introduction, by Patricia Marino
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13. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Announcement from the Board of Directors of the Teaching Philosophy Association
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articles
14. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Aaron Kostko The Impact of Team Teaching on Student Attitudes and Classroom Performance in Introductory Philosophy Courses
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Despite the growing interest in collaborative teaching in higher education, there is a paucity of research on its use and effectiveness in phi­losophy curricula. The research that does exist focuses almost exclusively on interdisciplinary collaboration or student and faculty attitudes regarding the practice. This paper aims to address these gaps by describing a semester long, multi-section study designed to assess the impact of team teaching on student classroom performance and related variables in an Introduction to Philosophy course. The results of the study show that students overwhelm­ingly prefer team teaching to individual instruction and think that it positively impacts their learning and classroom experience. However, the results also show that there is no statistically significant relationship between delivery method and students’ classroom performance. The paper concludes with a discussion of some limitations with the research design and the potential benefits and challenges of implementing team teaching within introductory philosophy courses.
15. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Savannah Pearlman Flipping the Logic Classroom: Arguments For and Challenges Addressed
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Despite increasing evidence that the traditional lecture is inefficient for student learning, such methods remain the central paradigm for teaching logic. In this paper, I identify the deficits of the lecture model and outline the many benefits of flipping the logic classroom—namely that students can absorb information at their own pace, freeing classroom time for active learning activities, and allowing the students to come prepared to actively engage in deeper levels of learning. I provide advice for curricular change from the traditional model, and guidance for flipped classroom implementation. I also offer suggestions for the best use of newly available class time, and advice for keeping students accountable for learning the information prior to class. Last, I consider common challenges with the flipped classroom model. I acknowledge possible obstacles to flipping the undergraduate logic course and address these challenges with potential solutions.
16. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Bonnie Talbert Challenging Conceptions of Diversity and the Good Life in Plato’s Republic
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Challenging students’ intuitions and unexamined beliefs, and drawing out the logical consequences of those beliefs has long been the teaching methodology of philosophers. These same educational goals are crucial to Plato’s philosophy of education, which is illustrated through Socrates’ metaphor of the midwife—the teacher helps the students create something novel out of that which they already have in them: in other words, it challenges them to rethink their assumptions. This paper will consider some of the ways in which Plato presents the reader with opportunities to see the examined life as a series of rethinkings about what it means to live a good life with other people who are different from one’s self. The rethinkings that Plato’s dialogues prompt speak to some of the most prevalent assumptions that students typically and unquestioningly believe about diversity and the good life.
17. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Sarah E. Vitale Community-Engaged Learning and Precollege Philosophy During Neoliberalism
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Precollege philosophy programs provide young people with alternative spaces to ask questions and develop critical perspectives on their experiences, but neoliberal school management practices make the creation of these spaces increasingly difficult. Relying on my own experience as an instructor of a community-engaged course that focuses on precollege philosophy, I investigate how college and university professors and students can create philosophical learning opportunities for high school students without participating in the culture of volunteerism demanded by neoliberal logic. I argue that the work my university students perform in the community-engaged course is a win-win that undermines neoliberalism’s assault on education by providing high school students with a valuable opportunity while helping my students achieve important skills.
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18. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Paul J. D'Ambrosio Awakening: An Introduction to the History of Eastern Thought, 6th ed., by Patrick S. Bresnan
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19. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Kathryn Joyce Doing Ethics: Moral Reasoning, Theory, and Contemporary Issues, 5th ed., by Lewis Vaughn
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20. Teaching Philosophy: Volume > 42 > Issue: 4
Russell Marcus A Critical Introduction to the Philosophy of Language: Central Themes from Locke to Wittgenstein, by John Fennell
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