What To Teach In A First-Year PhD Proseminar?

Alex Guerrero (Penn), is wondering what philosophers think should be done in a first-year PhD proseminar. He writes:

Given all the recent discussion about the canon, the problematic effects of policing the borders of philosophy, the white maleness of philosophy, and so on, what do people think should be done in a first-year PhD proseminar? Assume it’s a semester long. And I guess assume that there will be one, although perhaps that is something to question.

I was brought up with a mostly ‘traditional’ history of analytic proseminar: Frege, Russell, Carnap, Wittgenstein, Kripke, Quine, Lewis, and some contemporary ethics (Williams on internal/external reasons, I think), but it seems to me that this is not ideal for a lot of reasons. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on any of (a) the proper objectives of a proseminar, (b) what your own experiences were like, (c) what your current department does, and (d) what you think would be ideal for a semester-long proseminar.


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