philosophy meta-forum

"How Is This Course Intro To Philosophy?"

Ilkka

6 day(s) ago

http://dailynous.com/2018/01/10/course-intro-philosophy-guest-post-shen-yi-liao/

A truly awful post over at DN by a professor (Shen Yi Liao) who wants to co-opt intro philosophy courses to push the "social justice" ideology on students. Check out the syllabus he includes for his version of Philosophy 101. The comments are, thankfully, mostly critical, though there are a few true believers trying to muddy the waters by saying that choosing to teach SJW articles from the past ten years is no different from choosing to teach Spinoza instead of Descartes.

Daniel Kaufman posted the following, in response to a good point made by chronos:

This is an excellent point that had not occurred to me on first reading the piece. A student who had taken this course and then wanted to take upper-division histories of ancient or modern philosophy, epistemology, philosophy of mind, theories of ethics, etc., would be crippled in their ability to navigate the material and would place the professor in an impossible position.

To which an insightful commenter (me) responded:

And what makes it all the more sinister is that this is, on some level, intentional. Philosophy is one of the few remaining humanities disciplines that prepares students to question and criticise the authoritarian leftist ideology. It does this, in large part, by exposing students to ways of thinking that differ radically from those of the authoritarian left, as those of every major member of the Western canon do. This is a problem for the ideological indoctrination program that has taken over most of the humanities, because it gives students a far more robust set of intellectual resources than that program does or can. Most of the readings on this syllabus are pseudo-intellectual, ideological garbage, as any student who had read real philosophy seriously would easily recognise. So what is the solution? Don't teach real philosophy. Then they will have no point of comparison, just like students in sociology, cultural studies, etc. do not. Most students, as the author notes, do not go on to major in philosophy, so co-opting intro courses and popular lower-year electives in this way helps to ensure that the majority are never exposed to anything that contradicts the prevailing orthodoxy, whether implicitly or explicitly.

This response sat in the queue for a while, before being deleted by Justice Whineberg. Presumably he thinks the view expressed is far-fetched, but why not allow discussion and criticism? Perhaps, on the other hand, it hit a bit too close to home for him...

Andrew

6 day(s) ago

I posted this over at DN. Posting here in case it get deleted.

ME: Hey check out my new intro to philosophy syllabus. We’re reading: John Locke, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, Robert Nozick, Harry Frankfurt, Loren Lomasky, David Schmidtz, Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis, and Jason Brennan.

FRIEND: I don’t know man. What’s with the narrow focus on political philosophy and economics? And dude there’s obviously a pretty strong right/libertarian bias here.

ME: Don’t worry, dude. It’s a *themed* course. Plus the lefty students will enjoy the challenge the course presents to their views. I mean sure there are other readings I could’ve selected to avoid the problems you describe, but hey, in the end we all gotta choose some readings right?

FRIEND: Oh, cool. I’m entirely satisfied by that response. I don’t know what all my handwringing was about.

Bruno

6 day(s) ago

Andrew, I first read it over there as someone saying that obviously there are such classes, and those defending Liao's syllabus would have no problem with them.

Naturally people started taking that dubious position shortly.

Roger

6 day(s) ago

Frankly, the reading comprehension on display in the comments is pretty appalling. These people are (presumably) capable of avoiding straw man characterizations in their published work; why is it so hard for them to avoid them online, too?

Guillaume

6 day(s) ago

Frankly, the reading comprehension on display in the comments is pretty appalling. These people are (presumably) capable of avoiding straw man characterizations in their published work; why is it so hard for them to avoid them online, too?

Roger

2.5/10

Afrikan

6 day(s) ago

I posted this over at DN. Posting here in case it get deleted.

ME: Hey check out my new intro to philosophy syllabus. We’re reading: John Locke, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, Robert Nozick, Harry Frankfurt, Loren Lomasky, David Schmidtz, Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis, and Jason Brennan.

FRIEND: I don’t know man. What’s with the narrow focus on political philosophy and economics? And dude there’s obviously a pretty strong right/libertarian bias here.

ME: Don’t worry, dude. It’s a *themed* course. Plus the lefty students will enjoy the challenge the course presents to their views. I mean sure there are other readings I could’ve selected to avoid the problems you describe, but hey, in the end we all gotta choose some readings right?

FRIEND: Oh, cool. I’m entirely satisfied by that response. I don’t know what all my handwringing was about.

Andrew

Hey, that reading list is copyright-protected at Arizona! http://gened.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/Phil%20205%20TierII%20Proposal%20SBS%20Fall%202007.pdf

Ilkka

6 day(s) ago

When I see Joshua Reagan accuse Justin of virtue-signalling and get his comment approved, my suspicions about his reasons for deleting mine only increase. It would be too charitable to assume that the SJW types are not strategizing in the way I suggested, or rather that some of them are. I suspect my comment was a bit too much to the point.

Huai

6 day(s) ago

"This response sat in the queue for a while, before being deleted by Justice Whineberg."

I thought the comment policy was that comments are automatically published now. Ie, literally automatically, if you use a standard social media login, or automatically by Justin, as long as you use a real email address and a consistent handle.

Are you saying that you followed those guidelines, and yours was deleted for content?

(I have a pseudonymous but real, functioning and consistent gmail account that I use, and haven't had trouble with comments being rejected.)

Ilkka

6 day(s) ago

The Gmail account I used is not my main one and doesn't identify me, but I have had it for a few years and it works. It's just some random letters and numbers, but given that my post contained nothing a spam filter would flag and displayed the little clock symbol for a while before it disappeared, I would suspect it was deleted manually.

I'm not too familiar with how things work on DN. I've checked it every once in a while for a few years now, but not very often, and I only comment very rarely. If posts are supposed to be automatically approved, I wasn't aware of that, and it makes it all the more strange that mine was deleted.

Josef

6 day(s) ago

Justin does virtue signal, but what was the rationale for accusing him this time? He complimented a post that was, in my opinion also, especially good.

Lev

6 day(s) ago

This response sat in the queue for a while, before being deleted by Justice Whineberg. Presumably he thinks the view expressed is far-fetched, but why not allow discussion and criticism?

Ilkka

Uhhhh, it's 2018 shitlord cis-het bigot!

Lev

6 day(s) ago

In all seriousness I'm not going to waste any cognitive attention on DN and its faggot shit-show but no one should be surprised that softcock outputs of the indoctrination machine think that freedom and tolerance and equality mean crushing anyone who thinks crime thoughts. Learning the canon and its history is more important than ever so of course that's the first thing they attack.

P.S. Justin Weinberg is a gigantic faggot. But this is the Age of Trump, and so it is highly possible that his virtue-signaling will backfire with an Aloha Snackbar or a Dindu Nuffin once he gets too close to the diversity pets he champions.

Nishida

6 day(s) ago

I am sorry for whatever happened to Liao such that he is now this way. It's sad.

Ilkka

5 day(s) ago

Learning the canon and its history is more important than ever so of course that's the first thing they attack.

Lev

My point exactly.

Max

4 day(s) ago

ME: Hey check out my new intro to philosophy syllabus. We’re reading: John Locke, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, Robert Nozick, Harry Frankfurt, Loren Lomasky, David Schmidtz, Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis, and Jason Brennan.

As a political philosopher of decidedly cosmopolitan, social-justice and leftist personal views, I've regularly taught Locke, Smith, Burke, Hayek, Nozick, Frankfurt, and Brennan and some of the others in intro Pol Phil (not George or Girgis). I don't suppose I'm particularly unusual in that.

Angela

4 day(s) ago

ME: Hey check out my new intro to philosophy syllabus. We’re reading: John Locke, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, Robert Nozick, Harry Frankfurt, Loren Lomasky, David Schmidtz, Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis, and Jason Brennan.

As a political philosopher of decidedly cosmopolitan, social-justice and leftist personal views, I've regularly taught Locke, Smith, Burke, Hayek, Nozick, Frankfurt, and Brennan and some of the others in intro Pol Phil (not George or Girgis). I don't suppose I'm particularly unusual in that.

Max

Yeah same here, except I didn't have Brennan on my syllabus. That one strikes me as a reach. (You mean Jason, not Geoff, right?)

Jean-Paul

4 day(s) ago

Yeah, I meant Jason. A massive asshole (I'm sure he'd proud of it) but useful for provoking classroom discussion.

Thomas

4 day(s) ago

Brennan is a weird case of a wonderful person who becomes a enormous dick once he gets on the Internet. I have heard Leiter is the same.

Ilkka

4 day(s) ago

Brennan is a weird case of a wonderful person who becomes a enormous dick once he gets on the Internet. I have heard Leiter is the same.

Thomas

In other words, a peevish, resentful person who is too weak to express it in person. At least in Leiter's case; I don't know Brennan.

Harry

4 day(s) ago

Brennan is a weird case of a wonderful person who becomes a enormous dick once he gets on the Internet. I have heard Leiter is the same.

Thomas

Brennan is just as much of a dick in person.

Hans-Georg

3 day(s) ago

Yeah, he's a not a fine person like the anonymous people here

Francesco

1 day(s) ago

Liao: "Hey, people, check out this course I designed which does not provide an introduction to philosophy, but is instead just an upper level course in race and feminism. I teach this as intro to philosophy. If someone did the equivalent upper level course in political philosophy, aesthetics, metaphysics of morality, pragmatics of language, or whatnot, we'd all recognize it's not intro to philosophy and it wouldn't be an issue. But because this class is about race and sexism, I'm basically daring you to tell me it's not intro to philosophy, and then I can impugn your motives and moral virtue."

Uisang

1 day(s) ago

There's a growing trend of unconventional intro courses, and I think it's glad that we're talking about it. http://philosophymetablog.blogspot.com/2018/01/introduction-to-philosophy-using-my-dog.html

Elliott

1 day(s) ago

The dog course still sounds better than the SJW one.


Allowed tags: 'p', 'b', 'em', 'blockquote'. URLs are automatically linkified.
posts per page.