Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Some More Links

* There is a great interview with Anthony Kenny, on his new four-volume work on the history of philosophy, at "Philosophy Bites".

* The 54th edition of the Philosophers' Carnival is up at "The Uncredible Hallq".

* Kenny puzzles over the Dionysian author.

* Adam Potthast muses about the best design for an intro philosophy course. It's interesting that my taste in intro is for hybrids. And I think there are ways to do both. I'm teaching Plato's Gorgias (my favorite Platonic dialogue), and it's quite easy to make it both a historical and a problematic unit. I think that one of the supposed cons of the historical approach -- that it makes the philosopher Plato or Kant rather than the person in the front of the room -- is a bit more mixed, though. After all, Plato, for instance, arguably wouldn't consider the person in the front of the room a philosopher; philosophy faculty today share much more with the Sophists than with Socrates (they're paid for teaching, for instance, and they deal with words rather than with making people actually good, and teach by lecture rather than by example and one-on-one discussion), and I suspect that if Plato were to come into that classroom precisely what he'd do is shove the example of Socrates in our faces again. One of the things a good philosophy course should raise questions about is whether people who get the label 'philosopher' (including the teacher of the course) are really doing anything that deserves that label. And such self-examination has been the origin of much philosophical thought. But the other points need to be taken seriously.

* And a note to myself not to forget to read Gonzalo Reyes's A topos-theoretic approach to reference and modality, because it keeps coming up as a reference in my recent reading.

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