Some students find philosophy engrossing; others are merely bewildered.
How can professors meet the challenge of teaching introductory-level philosophy so that their students, regardless of initial incentive or skill, come to understand and even enjoy the subject?
For nearly a decade, renowned philosopher and teacher Steven M. Cahn offered doctoral students a fourteen-week, credit-bearing course to prepare them to teach undergraduates. At schools where these instructors were appointed, department chairs reported a dramatic increase in student interest. In this book, Cahn captures the essence of that course.
Yet many of the topics he discusses concern all faculty, regardless of subject: a teacher's responsibilities, the keys to effective instruction, the proper approach to term papers, examinations, and grades; and suggestions for how administrators should demonstrate that they take teaching seriously. Such matters are covered in the first seven chapters and in the final, fourteenth chapter. The intermediate six chapters focus on teaching introductory philosophy and, in particular, on critical thinking, free will, philosophy of religion, ethics, and political philosophy.
Cahn's writing is lucid and lively, using vivid examples and avoiding educational jargon. In sum, this book is not only a guide on how to inspire students but also an inspiration for teachers themselves.
Steven M. Cahn is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including From Student to Scholar (2008); Polishing Your Prose (with Victor L. Cahn), 2013; Happiness and Goodness (with Christine Vitrano), 2015; and Religion Within Reason (2017).
Contents Acknowledgments Preface Chapter 1. A Teacher's Responsibilities Chapter 2. How Teachers Succeed Chapter 3. A Teacher's Concerns Chapter 4. Papers And Examinations Chapter 5. Grades Chapter 6. A Teacher's Role Chapter 7. Teaching Graduate Students Chapter 8. Teaching Introductory Philosophy Chapter 9. Teaching Reasoning Chapter 10. Teaching Free Will Chapter 11. Teaching Philosophy Of Religion Chapter 12. Teaching Ethics Chapter 13. Teaching Political Philosophy Chapter 14. Taking Teaching Seriously About The Author Bibliography Of Steven M. Cahn