Every once in a while a student will make some remark about philosophy (or about reading or writing philosophy, or about a philosophy course) that perfectly captures an aspect of it in an interesting or new or funny way. Sometimes these are in the form of complaints that their professors take as compliments, e.g., “this course makes my brain hurt.” Sometimes they ar..
Millions of college students over the past decade have not protested their curricular requirements or assigned readings, a new study reports. The study, by Daryl B.X. Sepshuns and Yuall Nothis (both of Common Sense University) was published as news was breaking of students making unusual academic demands of their schools. (more…)
A new school term will be starting soon. Perhaps it is a good time to share with students the following account of their obligations to their professors:
The first obligation, particularly operative during the first weeks of a new semester, is a moderately good will toward the teacher, a trust, a confidence that is willing to admit to oneself that the teacher has..
Bob Fischer is an assistant professor of philosophy at Texas State University. In a brief conversation over the summer, he shared with me an observation about a problem teaching philosophy to college students and I thought, “no, that can’t be correct.” But he was right, and he was doing something about it. In the following guest post, he explains the problem and how..
The president of a university philosophy club writes in seeking advice on how to attract new students at the activities fair to their table. One idea they’re keen on is to have laptops out with various philosophy-related games or other interactive sites running. He mentions Moral Machines, Cleverbot, Philosophy Experiments, and Information Is Beautiful’s ‘What Is C..
Nancy McHugh, professor of philosophy at Wittenberg University, teaches philosophy in prisons as part of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. These classes are held in prison and have 15 regularly enrolled undergraduates (“outside” students) in them and 15 students who are inmates (“inside” students). McHugh recently co-authored a paper with a group that included..
Ruth Chang (Rutgers), acting in her capacity as Ombudsperson of the American Philosophical Association (APA), passes along the following message from two former students of Thomas Pogge (Yale), who has been accused of sexual harassment and other unprofessional behavior and criticized by hundreds of academics for it. The authors are concerned about the situation of P..
The following is a guest post* by Ben Baker, Louise Daoust, and Rob Willison (University of Pennsylvania) on a recent attempt at publicly engaged philosophy at the University Pennsylvania—one that others might be interested in trying out elsewhere.
It has happened to all of us. It has happened to someone who someone you know heard about from someone else: a perfectly competent professor disciplined for saying something totally innocuous in class after being reported to the administration by oversensitive students.
We talked about this a bit here. In “Professors Running Scared? A less dramatic rendering of p..
The New Republic has published “Lust for Learning,” by Laura Miller. If it weren’t for the fact that this article is full of references to philosophers past and present, I would ignore it and its ridiculous subtitle: “Is erotic longing between professors and students unavoidable?” Take a moment to imagine the bizarre world in which the answer to that question is yes..
How does your department evaluate graduate students as they progress through the PhD program? One common method is an annual letter from the department to the student, based on a discussion about the student at a faculty meeting. How informative are these letters? What kinds of information do they provide? My sense is that comparative information (rankings or sortin..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! A professor has written in with a question about navigating a set of incredibly vague, but incredibly important, boundaries. When students trust you, they sometimes come to you with their problems. But we can’t always help. And sometimes we shouldn’t even try…
On occasion students come to my office and confess vari..
Over a month has passed since the forced disappearance of the normalistas (student teachers) of the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa, and still 43 remain missing.
On September 26, members of the Iguala municipal police and the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel ambushed the caravan of students as they traveled by bus within their home state of Gu..
At the end of September, Daily Nous published an installment in the “Philosophers On” series on drug prices, spurred by the sudden increase, from $13.50 to $750.00 per pill, in the price of Daraprim (pyrimethamine).
In a comment on a previous post, Natalie writes:
I would really like to see a post/some discussion about how different people manage the socialising-with-students thing. Thinking of my own lecturers, mentors, etc, they mostly fell into one of two extreme groups—either no socialising at all, or ill-thought out (and sometimes inappropriate) socialising—and so I..
A graduate student in philosophy writes in with the following query:
I’m a philosophy PhD student and avid reader of Daily Nous. I particularly enjoy reading the posts that provide advice for graduate students, and I was wondering if you had considered having a post on how to write letters of support for your supervisors and/or faculty members? It’s something tha..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment, which sadly is not a comic strip. I think this week’s question is about getting kids to do the assigned readings, but if I’m being totally honest with you here, I kind of skimmed the letter:
I can’t get my students to do the readings! Maybe a third of them will be with me for the first few weeks, but term after te..
The thing I always like to stress is that although academics have the right to offend, they must do so responsibly, and they must to be able to defend the origin of the academic freedom of the right to offend and show that they exercise it in a way that’s as responsible as possible. Sometimes this means, if there is something on your syllabus that troubles a student..