Elizabethtown College, a private college in Pennsylvania, is planning to eliminate its philosophy major.
People get awfully solemn in the United States about the civic function of our institutions of higher education. They talk about college as the nursery of democracy and the care that we must take with our young people. As educators, the future is in our hands. I believe it is worth puncturing this solemnity with some awkward questions. (more…)
William Barry, associate professor of philosophy at Notre Dame de Namur University and director of its “Virtual Learning Lab,” taught a new kind of student in his philosophy of love course this past term: a robot.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is establishing a new college focused on the development and “ethical application” artificial intelligence. (more…)
Most students in philosophy classrooms in the United States are taking their first and only philosophy course. Why is it their only one? (more…)
The American Philosophical Association (APA) has announced the winners of several of its grants for the 2017-2018 academic year. All of the funded projects appear to be aimed at growing philosophy’s constituency, focusing especially on younger students (including high schoolers) and members of groups traditionally underrepresented in professional philosophy in the U..
” commonly held, and wrong, belief is that colleges and universities suppress speech as a matter of course. In fact, the higher education sector is where the open exchange of ideas is more protected and valued than most other sectors in society.” (more…)
What readings about teaching would you assign to philosophy graduate students? (more…)
“We believe that institutions of higher education, if they are truly to serve as institutions of higher education, should provide more than narrow vocational training and should seek to enhance students’ capacities for lifelong learning” (more…)
The administration at the State University of New York at Fredonia has targeted the school’s Department of Philosophy. (more…)
Overall public support for free speech is rising over time, not falling. People on the political right are less supportive of free speech than people on the left. College graduates are more supportive than non-graduates.
Some philosophy professors, realizing that many of their students are unfamiliar with writing philosophy papers, provide them with “how-to” guides to the task. (more…)
A philosopher writes in seeking advice on starting a new program at his college:
I teach at a Catholic small liberal arts college. My department teaches philosophy in the core and offers a minor. I’m thinking of pushing for an integrated major common to many colleges and universities called PPE (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics). I need to gather evidence, tes..
…Academic freedom is the core meaning, the core institutional life, of freedom of debate and freedom of inquiry in the university setting. And one thing that’s notable about academic freedom as I’ve just labeled it is that it creates safe spaces. The people who are doing the work on an ongoing basis be they students, teachers, or researchers, don’t have to spend a..
Are you organizing a philosophy program for undergraduates for the Summer of 2017? If so, please share information—dates, location, theme, website or email contact, etc.—in the comments here. (more…)
A professor of philosophy at a U.S. college writes in with a request for information about undergraduate philosophy clubs:
My university currently does not have a philosophy club. For various reasons my department thinks such a club would be a good idea, and I, perhaps foolishly, volunteered to help get it started. (more…)
Related to yesterday’s post about the differences between professors and teachers is a detailed analysis by Michael LaBossiere (Florida A&M) of his students’ attendance in his courses. He has long taken attendance and now makes use of Blackboard analytics for gathering information and “generating a picture of why students fail my classes.” He writes:
The governing board of Heythrop College, a constituent college of the University of London whose mission is “to serve society through philosophy and theology,” met in late June and concluded that “the College in its current form, as a constituent college of the University of London, will come to an end in 2018, although its mission and work will not.” Now, according..
Professor Katherine Butler has taught philosophy at Wayne State College (WSC) in Wayne, Nebraska, for 51 years. It doesn’t look like she’ll be doing it again, though. It’s not that she is retiring. Rather, Higher Learning Commission, the accrediting agency that evaluates the school, has issued new guidelines that disqualify her from teaching philosophy. (more…)
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..
This week, two philosophers—Kwame Anthony Appiah (NYU) in the New York Times Magazine and Gary Gutting (Notre Dame) in The Chronicle of Higher Education—have discussed the point of a college education.
Appiah observes that there are “two distinct visions of higher education contend throughout our classrooms and campuses.”
One is “Utility University,” which..
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..
First, I am your professor, not your teacher. There is a difference. Up to now your instruction has been in the hands of teachers, and a teacher’s job is to make sure that you learn… However, things are very different for a university professor. It is no part of my job to make you learn. At university, learning is your job — and yours alone. My job is to lead you..
Clifford argued that we are morally responsible not merely for what we do and say, but also for what we believe… When we show ourselves to be uncritical and careless with own our beliefs, we implicitly invite others to do the same. And, perhaps more obviously, we invite others to fool us. We encourage dishonesty and deception. Each time we believe something that ..