The American Philosophical Association (APA) has published its Good Practices Guide, “a set of recommendations to help philosophers create and maintain an academic community based on mutual respect, fairness, inclusivity, and a commitment to scholarship and learning.”
Jonathan Weisberg, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, has created a new open-access book on probability and decision-making. It has the brilliant title Odds & Ends. (more…)
The fall term is getting underway at many institutions of higher education, and a philosophy professor has written in with a suggested topic for discussion: syllabus sleeper hits. (more…)
The fall term is almost upon us, so let’s talk teaching.
The share of meal plan expenditures on meat by students who took part in a philosophy class on the ethics of eating animals declined from 52% to 45%, with “no evidence that meat-eating rates went back up during the two months data was monitored,” according to a recent study whose authors believe it provides evidence for the claim that “ethics classes can influence s..
Which philosophy PhD programs focus on training students to teach and getting them placed into permanent teaching-oriented jobs (with some success)? (more…)
“41 of 45 the APA’s officers, or 91.1%, are from research universities. While I understand that research plays a central role in the discipline, this strikes me as potentially a missed opportunity in several respects.” (more…)
“I didn’t know that there is a field of study that counted as sensible the questions that were always in my head. Even more amazing is that the type of thoughts I offered as answers, while ramshackle, were the same type of answers philosophers provide. I changed my major before the end of the semester. But I had a problem. I did not know how to read philosophy.” (mo..
We’re going to try to solicit recommendations for a “crash course” on an aspect of contemporary ethics. (more…)
“What would it look like if we taught only the most useful skills from the toolkits of philosophy, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics?” (more…)
Some professors see their students, at least sometimes, as partners in education, but Matthew Slater, professor of philosophy at Bucknell University, does impressive work to make that partnership a reality.
Elizabeth Oljar and David Koukal (University of Detroit Mercy) have penned a spirited case for universities entrusting the teaching of critical thinking to departments of philosophy in The Chronicle of Higher Education (may be paywalled). (more…)
A few years ago, a meta-analysis of studies about whether colleges do a good job of teaching critical thinking revealed “no differences in the critical-thinking skills of students in different majors.” (more…)
“I don’t know any academic field whose writing regularly indulges in sentence structure as complex as in analytic philosophy.” (more…)
I’ve been hearing about some unusual and interesting philosophy courses that are currently being taught or developed. (more…)
It seems that every few months a new study is published demonstrating some kind of problem with student evaluations of teaching. Recently I’ve seen one going around that confirms that students who had access to free chocolate cookies while being taught evaluated their teachers “significantly better” than the control group. (more…)
Amidst all the talk about public philosophy, let’s not forget a more traditional way philosophers have an impact on the world: by teaching well, encouraging inquiry and achievement, and helping students develop intellectual virtues. (more…)
“Philosophy as a Way of Life ” is a new project led by Meghan Sullivan, a professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. Launched with an $806,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the project will collaborate with universities across the United States to “imagine new and higher impact ways” to introduce students to philosophical traditions focus..
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.
This is a good idea:
Every semester, about this time, I identify students in my intro classes who are doing reasonably well, seem interested in philosophy (based on class participation, conversations in office hours, or written work), and are not graduating in the near future. I email all of them individually (although of course the letters are somewhat repetitiv..
If there’s a question that comes to mind when people see the word “philosophy” it’s this: “what’s the meaning of life?” (more…)
A recent study looks at whether perceptions about how “masculine” philosophy is can help explain the gender disparities in the field. (more…)
Maybe, just maybe, if more of the comments on our student evaluations looked like the following, they’d be worth it: (more…)
Many of the young people who attend my classes think that philosophy is a fuzzy discipline that’s concerned only with matters of opinion, whereas science is in the business of discovering facts, delivering proofs, and disseminating objective truths. Furthermore, many of them believe that scientists can answer philosophical questions, but philosophers have no busines..