I'm scheduled to teach a Contemporary Philosophy course for the first time in the spring. It is part of the history of philosophy sequence for our major. While none of the courses in the sequence are specifically required, students have to take at least 3 of the 4 courses in the series.Wakers: Can you help Kevin out?
My question is this. I'm a typical analytic philosopher. I had a class on Levinas and one on Habermas in grad school, but I haven't taken studied or read Sartre, Heiddeger, Merleau-Ponty, etc., since my undergraduate days. While I know that I could read these folks' primary works, to teach them I'd largely be relying on secondary sources for my own understanding. I'm wondering what you collectively think of me focusing just on the analytic side of contemporary philosophy, rather than trying to do both? After all, there's no way I can do justice to all of the worthy figures anyway. And I think there is a benefit to be had by teaching both what one knows and what one is passionate about. That said, I also worry that I may be doing the students a disservice if I didn't also include continental figures. What do you think? And regardless of how you answered the above question, what texts would you suggest I cover in this course? Book orders are due in two weeks!
Monday, October 26, 2009
On teaching "contemporary" philosophy
ISW acolyte Kevin Timpe writes me with the following query about teaching a contemporary philosophy course: