[Philosophy] RE: It starts...

Richard O'Donovan rodonovan at fhs.vic.edu.au
Fri Mar 25 10:20:03 EST 2005

Well the ball's definitely rolling now!!  Thanks to those who have sent through files, I've loaded them all onto the website, and of course there's plenty of room for any more that people have found helpful & think might be useful to others.
At this stage I'm a little frightened by the lack of reasoning skills amongst my batch - so I'm slowly trying to tackle this by giving them some more structured examples (I think Jeff's errors with reasoning will help here!).
Thanks again to all who have contributed thus far, I know I'm definitely finding it all very helpful.


From: Maiser at novell2.fhc.vic.edu.au on behalf of Kaz
Sent: Sun 8/02/2004 12:33 PM
To: Philosophy Teachers' Mailing List
Subject: Re: It starts...

Hi everyone.  I've found a good intro exercise on the internet.  It worked
well in my class as an intro to ethics.  (I'm not sure how to post it onto
the philosophy page, hopefully someoneout there can help me if it doesn't
automatically happen.)  I'm sure it will get some debate going among your
students.  I found the kids move towards egoist theorie's such as "if the
one person was a friend I would be more likely to save her/him than 5".
They also had interesting comments about the fat man, age and gender of
those tied to the track.

It sounds like everyone has had a successful start to the course  I'm yet to
look at the resources posted on the site, the hamburger / brain dead orphan
sounds interesting.  I'm about to use Hofstadter & Dennett (1981) The Mind's
I, Teleporter from the introduction to look at existence and consciousness.
I tried to buy the book & couldn't.  I eventually borrowed it.  If anyone
wants a photocopy of the intro with the teleporter from mars I'll post one
to you.  I'm planning to follow this with Nagel's How do we know anything?
and then Descartes.  There is a chapter in Think by Blackburn which will
compliment Descartes.

I've also found Alain DeBotton's video A Guide to Happiness to be a good
resource.  The book (same as the vid) is called The Consolations of
Philosophy.  The video is great for those hot end of day classes.

Jean - I have the book The Philosophy Gym.  The Monash Uni Bookshop ordered
it in for me.

There was an article in the Herald Sun Feb 1st 2004 (:3 & 77) about a couple
who chose the sex of their baby.  I was thinking that this might be a good
issue to pick up for semester 2.

'til next time


----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard O'Donovan" <rodonovan at fhs.vic.edu.au>
To: "Philosophy Teachers' Mailing List" <philosophy at fhc.vic.edu.au>
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 12:59 PM
Subject: It starts...

Greetings all!

Well, the adventure has begun.  I'm a philosophy newbie, so it's proving
interesting coming up with classroom activities that actually work!  If
anyone has any suggestions I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one keen to hear
them!!  I've put a set of 4 overheads onto the website for a session I ran
on the Ethics of Eating Meat - I showed the argument for, got the kids to
discuss flaws in the argument (in groups of 4) and then went through the
responses with them.  This worked reasonably well and took a full period.  I
followed up with a journal question of "why is it OK to eat ham-burgers but
not brain-dead-orphan-burgers?".

All comments, suggestion and contributions to the website gratefully

Cheers for now,


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