Thursday, October 30, 2014

New issue of Teaching Philosophy

The latest issue of Teaching Philosophy (volume 37, no. 4) is out. Detailed contents below the fold.

Patricia Calton
Teaching business ethics offers an opportunity to encourage students to use ethical theory to develop critical thinking skills and to use these skills to practice creative, ethical problem solving that will serve them well in the course of their professional lives. In the first part of this article, I detail how the disciplined use of ethical theory not only develops students’ moral perceptions but also gives them the conceptual tools to engage in detailed, innovative analysis. In the second section of the article, I use Nike’s “green rubber” dilemma to illustrate how students can use ethical theories to construct analyses of business challenges and design innovative solutions that further the interests of diverse stakeholders. In the last section, I describe class exercises and assignments that both model detailed, creative problem solving and direct students to practice these cognitive skills on their own.

Wesley D. Cray; Steven G. Brown
In this paper, we discuss a team-taught, debate-style Philosophy of Religion course we designed and taught at The Ohio State University. Rather than tackling the breadth of topics traditionally subsumed under the umbrella of Philosophy of Religion, this course focused exclusively on the nuances of the atheism-theism debate, with the instructors openly identifying as atheist or theist, respectively. After discussing the motivations for designing and teaching such a course, we go on to detail its content and structure. We then examine various challenges and hurdles we faced, as well as some benefits we encountered along the way. Next, we discuss some informal data collected from the students enrolled in the course, some of which suggest some rather surprising outcomes. We conclude with some considerations of the applicability of this style of teaching to other philosophical debates.

Kate Padgett Walsh; Anastasia Prokos; Sharon R. Bird
This paper presents a method for teaching undergraduate students how to write better term papers in philosophy. The method integrates two key assignment components: scaffolding and peer review. We explain these components and how they can be effectively combined within a single term paper assignment. We then present the results of our multi-year research study on the integrated method. Professor observations, quantitative measures, and qualitative feedback indicate that student writing improves when philosophy term paper assignments are designed to generate multiple rounds of drafting and review.

Adam Potthast
In this article, I discuss the problems and promise of teaching business ethics for both philosophers and non-philosophers. I emphasize the importance of teaching skills of ethical thinking (as opposed to ethical theories), especially Mary Gentile's Giving Voice to Values curriculum. I also survey the typical topics covered in business ethics courses and give some tips on what to emphasize when covering each topic. Throughout the article, I urge instructors to consider the needs of students going into business and not to underestimate the amount of business knowledge necessary to teach the course. While covering the ethical problems with business, I also urge instructors to incorporate positive cases and to consider showing how profitable business and ethical behavior can coincide by managing for stakeholders.

William Edelglass
This essay reviews four recent texts—two anthologies and two monographs—designed for environmental ethics or environmental philosophy courses. I describe the different approaches the authors and editors have chosen, and why, depending on the teaching context, one or another of these books may be the best choice for a particular group of students. The final pages briefly discuss elements I often weave into my own environmental philosophy courses, including drawing on the resources of particular places for teaching environmental philosophy, doing environmental art, and the kinds of practices developed by Joanna Macy and Christopher Uhl to explore what it means to live in a time of ecological crisis.

Val Dusek
Emily Esch
Kristina Gehrman
Richard Greene
David Meeler
Claudia Mills
Nils Ch. Rauhut
Glenn Rawson
Mark Stone
Britni J. Weaver

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