Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Newest issue of Teaching Philosophy

Here she is, in all its summertime glory: Teaching Philosophy, vol. 37, no. 3:

(A reminder: The journal is always looking for excellent contributions on the scholarship of teaching and learning. Submit your manuscript here!)

Vanessa Carbonell
The purpose of this essay is to make the case that the ethical issues raised by the current U.S. practice of direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug advertising are worthy of study in philosophy courses, and to provide instructors with some ideas for how they might approach teaching the topic, despite the current relative scarcity of philosophical literature published on it. This topic presents a unique opportunity to cover ground in ethics, critical thinking, and scientific literacy simultaneously. As a case study, the practice of DTC advertising is both theoretically rich and universally relevant to students’ lives. The nature of these ads—numerous, diverse, visually and thematically entertaining—makes them delicious fodder for in-class activities, small group work, discussion-based learning, creative projects, and customizable essay topics. I offer a set of suggestions for approaching the study of DTC drug ads that is informed by my own experience doing so in bioethics courses. Ultimately, including this topic on your syllabus not only contributes to students’ philosophical skills and knowledge, but also helps them become better informed as citizens and potential “consumers” of health care.

James DiGiovanna
One can have a justified, true belief without much understanding of the proposition believed. This would be a low-value form of knowledge; for example, knowing that it is true that E = mc2 without understanding what it would mean for these things to be equal. Pedagogically, we seek to instill not bare knowledge of the JTB variety, but a form of knowledge that includes the ability to rephrase a claim, relate it to other claims, draw conclusions from it, and make practical use of it. This would be knowledge with understanding, a high-value form of knowledge. Such knowledge comes in degrees as understanding deepens. Marks of understanding are presented, and some pedagogical strategies for using this schema in order to add to a student’s partially present knowledge and deepen it with greater understanding are given.

Matthew T. Nowachek
This essay argues for an approach to Søren Kierkegaard and his engagement with what he perceives as his nominally Christian Danish culture that assumes the lens of pedagogy. In his attempt to (re)introduce Christianity into Christendom Kierkegaard develops several principles that prove valuable for the task of introducing or reintroducing philosophy to students within introductory courses. More specifically, from Kierkegaard we may draw out three principles, namely the importance of humility in meeting others where they are, the importance of indirect communication, and the importance of emphasizing truth as subjectivity. Each of these principles is defined in relation to Kierkegaard’s thought after which the pedagogical relevance of each for teaching is outlined and described through concrete examples of the principle at work within the classroom. It is argued that these principles prove effective for facing the unique set of challenges that accompany introductory philosophy courses. As such, it is thereby suggested that Kierkegaard can make a valuable contribution to the contemporary discussion on effective pedagogy.

Benjamin A. Rider
In recent years, Plato’s Lysis has received much attention from professional scholars, but could it be used as a text in introductory classes? It is true that the Lysis poses challenges as an introductory text—its arguments are fast-paced and abstract. But I argue that the Lysis is actually an excellent pedagogical text, well suited to engage novices and introduce them to philosophy’s distinctive methods and way of thinking. It works particularly well as a text for engaging students in active learning, insofar as it opens up a space for improvisation and exploration, providing tools for the readers and inviting them to take an active role in constructing their own understandings.

Hub Zwart
“Nature” is one of the most challenging concepts in philosophy, and notoriously difficult to define. In ancient Greece, two strategies for coming to terms with nature were developed. On the one hand, nature was seen as a perfect geometrical order, analysable with the help of geometry and deductive reasoning. On the other hand, a more Dionysian view emerged, stressing nature’s unpredictability, capriciousness and fluidity. This view was exemplified by De Rerum Natura, a philosophical masterpiece in verse. In a philosophy course for science students, participants use both approaches. They are asked to give a definition of nature, and subsequently to capture nature in a poem. Quite consistently, their poetry proves more convincing than their definitions. In this paper, an anthology of student poetry is presented and analysed. To what extent may verse-writing as a philosophical assignment enable science students to come to terms with their (implicit) understanding of nature?

J. M. Fritzman
This article reviews four recent texts on Hegel: Howard P. Kainz’s Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit: Not Missing the Trees for the Forest, Dean Moyar and Michael Quante’s anthology Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit: A Critical Guide, Robert B. Pippin’s Hegel’s Practical Philosophy: Rational Agency as Ethical Life, and Leonard F. Wheat’s Hegel’s Undiscovered Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis Dialectics: What Only Marx and Tillich Understood.

Joshua Alexander

Anat Biletzki

Lapetra Rochelle Bowman

Monica Cowart

Aleksandar Jokic

Todd Jones

Ed Kaitz

Deirdre Kelly; Ted Lougheed

Dennis Knepp

Jim Robinson

Gina Zavota


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    2. Shiny Elena posts for a company that writes theses/dissertations for graduate students who do not want to go through the effort themselves.


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