New Philosophy Compass Issue, August 2011

The latest issue of Philosophy Compass is now available on Wiley Online Library

Aesthetics & Philosophy of Art
Ideal Observer Theories in Aesthetics (pages 513–522)
Stephanie Ross
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00416.x
Logic & Language
Proof Theory for Modal Logic (pages 523–538)
Sara Negri
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00418.x
Naturalistic Philosophy
The Instrumental Value of Explanations (pages 539–551)
Tania Lombrozo
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00413.x
Philosophy of Religion
Naturalistic Explanation for Religious Belief (pages 552–563)
David Leech and Aku Visala
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00414.x
Anselmian Theism (pages 564–571)
Yujin Nagasawa
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00415.x
Teaching & Learning Guide
Teaching & Learning Guide for: Logic and Divine Simplicity (pages 572–574)
Anders Kraal
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00417.x
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New Philosophy Compass Issue, June 2011

The latest issue of Philosophy Compass is available on Wiley Online Library

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Aesthetics & Philosophy of Art:

Drawing the Line: Art Versus Pornography (pages 385–397)
Hans Maes

Chinese Comparative Philosophy:

Caring in Confucian Philosophy (pages 374–384)
Ann A. Pang-White

History of Philosophy:

Locke on Personal Identity (pages 398–407)
Shelley Weinberg

Legal & Political:

Constitutional Interpretation: Non-originalism (pages 408–420)
Mitchell N. Berman

Philosophy of Science:

Mechanistic Theories of Causality Part I (pages 421–432)
Jon Williamson

Mechanistic Theories of Causality Part II (pages 433–444)
Jon Williamson

Teaching & Learning Guide:

Teaching & Learning Guide for: Mechanistic Theories of Causality (pages 445–447)
Jon Williamson

New issue of Philosophy Compass out now! Vol. 6, Iss. 4

The latest issue of Philosophy Compass is available on Wiley Online Library

Ethics

Recent Work on the Ethics of Self-Defense (pages 220–233)
Tyler Doggett

History of Philosophy

Ancient Skepticism: Overview (pages 234–245)
Diego E. Machuca
Ancient Skepticism: Pyrrhonism (pages 246–258)
Diego E. Machuca
Ancient Skepticism: The Skeptical Academy (pages 259–266)
Diego Machuca

Mind & Cognitive Science

Phenomenal Concepts (pages 267–281)
Pär Sundström

Philosophy of Religion

Logic and Divine Simplicity (pages 282–294)
Anders Kraal

Teaching & Learning Guide

Teaching & Learning Guide for: Essentialism (pages 295–299)
Sonia Roca-Royes

Online classrooms

Anya Kamenetz has new book titled DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education.  You can read her article-length distillation of it at The American Prospect.  Kamenetz’ vision of higher-education’s future is pretty techno-utopian, but less naive than many in the “facebook will revolutionize college!” caucus.  A taste:

Whether hybrid classes, social networks, tutoring programs, games, or open content, technology provides speed skates for students and teachers, not crutches. To save money and improve learning, educational technology has to be well-designed and carefully implemented. The roles of professors will shift, and new jobs will be created in place of the old. “Technology can’t make a bad teacher into a good teacher,” says Sarah Robbins, an expert on the use of gaming in teaching who goes by the Internet handle Intellagirl. “Students who don’t want to learn won’t suddenly become great students when you put a gadget in their hands. Learning to teach with technology is less about ‘how does it work’ and much more about ‘why should I use it.'”

I’m excited about the increasingly huge amount of high-quality educational material available online.  I depend on wikipedia more every year, and I’ve gotten a lot out of MIT’s and Yale’s free online courses.  These materials are great at making huge amounts of information available to people who want to learn it.

But especially at the introductory levels, philosophy classes aren’t (or, I think, shouldn’t be) about absorbing information.  Rather, lower-division philosophy courses should about learning a style of thinking.  Students should come out of their first philosophy class better able to recognize philosophical problems, to recognize and understand arguments, and to critically evaluate arguments.

To develop new thinking skills requires more active engagement from students than is needed to memorize a set of facts, or to become familiar with a body of literature.  To develop these skills requires discussion and writing, lots of failure and correction, and modeling by the instructor.  I worry that these things are more effectively accomplished when students are physically present, where the stakes are higher, and instructors and peers alike can challenge passiveness.

And so I worry that the move to online delivery of college courses, while a boon for the spread of high-quality, reliable information, will come at the cost of high-quality critical thinking.

Related articles:

You can find many cool sample syllabuses here on the Philosopher’s Eye, in the Teaching & Learning section.

FREE syllabus: Cartesian Debates on the Eternal Truths

FREE PDFTeaching & Learning Guide for: What is at Stake in the Cartesian Debates on the Eternal Truths?
By Patricia Easton, Claremont Graduate University

Keywords:

Section: History of Philosophy

Subjects: Philosophy, History of Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Metaphysics, Modern (C17th – C19th)

People: Descartes, René

Key Topics: truth, ontology

(See all Philosophy Compass Teaching & Learning Guides‘)

Virtual Conference Report: Day Two (20 Oct, 2009)

by paulabowles

Conference_clappingThe second day of the conference has been filled with three more interesting and innovative papers. David Crystal’s (University of Bangor) keynote lecture entitled ‘Language Death: A Problem for All’ highlights the troubling statistics that ‘96% of the world’s languages are spoken by just 4% of the people’. Given the interdisciplinary nature, and the methodology of this virtual conference, Crystal’s paper draws attention to the use of language as a way to ‘break down barriers’.

The two other papers presented today relate to disability, albeit with very different approaches. The first was given by Wendy Turner (Augusta State University) and is entitled:  ‘Human Rights, Royal Rights and the Mentally Disabled in Late Medieval England.’ In her paper Turner suggests that modern preconceptions of medieval disability are not generally supported by the empirical evidence. The second paper ‘The Status of the Learning Disabled in Philosophy of Mind and Disability Studies’ by Maeve M. O’Donovan (College of Notre Dame of Maryland), approaches the subject of learning disability through personal and academic experience and research.

As well, as the ongoing ‘battle of the bands’ competition – plenty of time still to vote! – today also saw the first ‘winning comment’ prize awarded to Rebecca Wheeler.

FREE syllabus: Business Ethics

FREE PDFTeaching & Learning Guide for Business Ethics: An Overview
By Jeffrey Moriarty, Bowling Green State University (May 2009)

Keywords

Section: Ethics
Subjects:
Philosophy, Practical (Applied) Ethics, Ethics
Key Topics: truth, justice, rights, relativism, explanation

(See all Philosophy Compass Teaching & Learning Guides‘)