A Little Logic Each Day (Semantics, too)
“Learn formal logic in lessons of 200 words per day.” (more…)
What Do Experiments in Philosophy Teaching Look Like? (guest post)
“There is room to think creatively about how to improve learning and love of philosophy via innovation in pedagogy.” (more…)
Teaching Philosophy in a World with ChatGPT
“It will be difficult to make an entire class completely ChatGPT cheatproof. But we can at least make it harder for students to use it to cheat.” (I’m reposting this to encourage those teaching philosophy courses to share what they are doing differently this semester so as to teach effectively in a world in which their students have access to ChatGPT. It was origina..
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Social Philosophy Course
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a visiting professor at Morehouse College in the early 1960’s.* While there, he taught a senior seminar in social and political philosophy. What was on the syllabus? (more…)
AI, Teaching, and “Our Willingness to Give Bullshit a Pass”
There has been a fair amount of concern over the threats that ChatGPT and AI in general pose to teaching. But perhaps there’s an upside? (more…)
Oral Exams in Undergrad Courses?
Between the developments in large language models (like GPT-3) and their possible use by students, and being in the thick of end-of-term grading of papers, the idea of making use of oral exams, as suggested in a recent New York Times column, seems tempting. (more…)
Models of Philosophical Thought Experiments
A philosophy professor has launched a project to create 3D-printed models of philosophical thought experiments, along with other open-access materials “designed to teach learners of all ages about the problems of philosophy.” (more…)
Teaching Hume and His Racism
“Whenever someone claims that we should not mention Hume’s racism because he was a product of his time we should commit that argument ‘to the flames: for it contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.'” (more…)
Philosophical Dialogues: Beyond The Usual Suspects
About five years ago I posted about philosophical dialogues, but I recently received a question about them that wasn’t taken up in that post, or by those responding to it. (more…)
Free Business Ethics Course Materials
A team of scholars at Georgetown University have developed a set of open-access resources for teaching and learning business ethics. (more…)
Conversation Starter: Teaching Philosophy in an Age of Large Language Models (guest post)
Over the past few years we have seen some startling progress from Large Language Models (LLMs) like GPT-3, and some of those paying attention to these developments, such as philosopher John Symons (University of Kansas), believe that they pose an imminent threat to teaching and learning (for those who missed its inclusion in the Heap of Links earlier this summer, yo..
Teacher, Bureaucrat, Cop (guest post)
“We can free ourselves up to pursue a wider range of educational goals when we see that fairness is not an absolute demand for all classroom life, but only one goal among many. And sometimes, we can trade away some degree of fairness in the pursuit of other goals.” (more…)
Intergroup Dialogue in the Philosophy Classroom (guest post)
“Over 70% of our students… reported being more likely than before to listen to someone who held an opposing viewpoint…” (more…)
Encouraging Participation in the Classroom
“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” an advertising slogan for Las Vegas tourism, has been adopted by a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College as a motto for one of his courses, as a way of creating a “safe space” for students who might be worried about their comments in class getting taken out of context, or showing up on social media. (more…)..
Comparatively Lower Grades in Philosophy Courses: Facts, Explanation, Effects, Fixes?
Informal conversations with students and professors suggest that it is harder to get a higher grade in philosophy courses than in courses offered by many other departments. (more…)
Service-Learning in Philosophy Courses
“Moral problems, like global and local food insecurity, aren’t just abstract problems; they are practical problems with practical solutions. It’s important not just to present students with the problems, but also to empower them with real-world actions they can perform to help alleviate these problems.” (more…)
Assigning Public Philosophy Projects to Undergraduates (guest post)
In some of his recent courses, Daniel Munro, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, has tried assigning something different from the traditional essays and exams: creative public philosophy projects. (more…)
In Defense of Benchmarking (guest post)
There’s a reason for instructors to meet with their teaching assistants to grade some sample assignments together, but it’s not what you think. (more…)
How Much Do Philosophy Professors Grade?
A professor at a liberal arts college writes in because she has seen signs of confusion in her department about “what is manageable or expected” in the number and kind of assignments students have to complete in a course “when the professor does the grading.” (more…)
How Philosophers Respond to Objections
Michael Cholbi, professor of philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, has put together a useful handout for students and others interested in philosophy about the different ways philosophers respond to objections. (more…)
A Map of the Most-Assigned Philosophical Works
The Open Syllabus Project (previously) collects and analyzes data about course syllabi and the readings professors assign. (more…)
Free Software for Advanced Logic Courses
Students nowadays might struggle in more advanced logic courses not just because the material is difficult, but because they’re used to learning logic with software, which is commonly used in introductory courses, but less so in higher-level ones. (more…)
The Value of Stepping Back from Current Events
It’s not unusual for philosophy professors to think it’s important to demonstrate to their students the relevance of course material to current events, both because of the importance of those events and also to maintain student interest. But there may be value in keeping a distance from today’s news and issues. (more…)
Logic Course Breaks University of Sydney Enrollment Record — Or It Doesn’t
Over 2200 students at the University of Sydney are currently enrolled in “Philosophy 1012: Introduction to Logic,” setting a university-wide record for highest enrollment in any course the university has ever offered. (more…)
Are We Serious About Critical Thinking?
In 1979 philosopher Douglas Stalker (University of Delaware, now retired) adopted the stage persona Captain Ray of Light, a pseudo-science hawking speaker whose humorous presentations educated his audience about pseudo-science and poor thinking. (more…)
Philosophy Labs: Some Recommendations (guest post)
The “lonely-armchair methodology” is one way of approaching philosophy, but it’s not the only way. (more…)
What Video Games to Play in a Philosophy Classroom? (guest post)
“Video games and various scenarios they present can help us not only to better explain and understand philosophical issues and thought experiments, but more importantly, they allow us — although in a limited sense — to experience them as well.” (more…)
Choice Student Comments on Your Philosophy Courses
Student evaluations of teaching have their problems and limitations, but if they allow for comments, at least there’s a chance that you’ll come across a helpful observation, a bit of appreciative praise, an amusing insult, or even potential advertising copy for your course. (more…)