Friday, May 11, 2012

Teaching Philosophy, 35.2

The newest issue of Teaching Philosophy is out. There's a lot of great stuff, including articles on narrative pedagogy, metacognition, and student relativism, as well as the usual selection of book reviews.

Abstracts below the fold:

Kevin J. Harrelson
Narrative Pedagogy for Introduction to Philosophy
This essay offers a rationale for the employment of narrative pedagogies in introductory philosophy courses, as well as examples of narrative techniques, assignments, and course design that have been successfully employed in the investigation of philosophical topics. My hope is to undercut the sense that “telling stories in class” is just a playful diversion from the real material, and to encourage instructors to treat storytelling as a genuine philosophical activity that should be rigorously developed. I argue that introductory courses focused on student narratives fulfill the ideals of learning-centered teaching. Since narrative learning also promotes self-knowledge and empathic understanding, there is good reason to consider replacing or supplementing canonical texts or arguments with narrative assignments. The concluding sections provide details as to how such assignments can be constructed, integrated into course units, and assessed.

Patrick Stokes
Philosophy Has Consequences! - Developing Metacognition and Active Learning in the Ethics Classroom
The importance of enhancing metacognition and encouraging active learning in philosophy teaching has been increasingly recognised in recent years. Yet traditional teaching methods have not always centralised helping students to become reflectively and critically aware of the quality and consistency of their own thinking. This is particularly relevant when teaching moral philosophy, where apparently inconsistent intuitions and responses are common. In this paper I discuss the theoretical basis of the relevance of metacognition and active learning for teaching moral philosophy. Applying recent discussions of metacognition, intuition conflicts and survey-based teaching techniques, I then outline a strategy for encouraging metacognitive awareness of tensions in students’ pretheoretical beliefs, and developing a critical self-awareness of their development as moral thinkers.

Brian Talbot
Student Relativism - How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
I present a novel approach to teaching ethics to students who are moral relativists. I argue that we should not try to convince students to abandon moral relativism; while we can and should present arguments against the view, we should not try to use these arguments to change students’ minds. Attempts to convince student relativists to change their minds can be disrespectful, and often overlook the reasons why students are relativists. I explain how instead to show moral relativists that their commitment to relativism is also a commitment to studying ethics rigorously and engaging with the views of others. This approach is easier and more respectful than alternatives, and openness to relativism encourages good pedagogy.

S. E. West
Recent Texts on Ancient Philosophy
The five books on Ancient Philosophy reviewed here range from a Presocratic reader that includes nearly all the extant literature followed by extensive discussion, a large reader with little commentary that spans the Presocratics to Aristotle, a sourcebook for scholars on Peripatetic philosophy from 200 BC to AD 200, an introductory interpretive book on the Presocratics drawing on selected passages, and an interpretive introduction to Stoicism that at the same time advocates for Stoicism in contemporary life. The same general pattern is followed for each book’s review: (a) the book’s contents, including a note on new material if the book is a later edition, a brief account of the preface and other preliminary material, a list of chapter headings and/or subjects, and supplemental end-material; (b) a summary of themes and topics, and where relevant the main theses; (d) an evaluation of the book’s success in regard to its explicit or implicit purpose and audience; and (e) an assessment of the book’s pedagogical value for a range of

Raymond Anthony
"Understanding Morality," by Albert Hakim

Shoshana Brassfield
"Overcoming Objectification: A Carnal Ethics," by Ann J. Cahill

Katheryn Doran
"Ecological Ethics," 2nd ed., by Patrick Curry

Robert Gressis
"Free Will," by Joseph Keim Campbell

Mary Gwin
"What Should I Believe? Philosophical Essays for Critical Thinking," by Paul Gomberg

Paul Livingston
"Philosophy of Language," by Scott Soames

Ronney Mourad
"The Ontological Argument from Descartes to Hegel," by Kevin J. Harrelson

Charles C. Verharen
"Philosophy of Education," by Nel Noddings

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