[Philosophy] Philosophy Course Review

Rodney Latham RLatham at heathdale.vic.edu.au
Wed Mar 1 09:18:21 EST 2006

Hello all,
I just wanted to send a short email to say thank you all for your
comments and ideas over recent weeks.  This list / forum has become a
highlight for me to check my email.
I also wanted to weigh in somewhat on the course review debate.  We had
our first Yr 12 class complete Philosophy Units 3 & 4 last year.  They
did reasonably well, although, to me, I was most encouraged by one young
lady who has just commenced at Latrobe Uni doing a double degree in
Philosophy and French.
Regarding the course review, I have been thinking, but I am not able to
articulate all my ideas just yet.  As for the texts, I would agree with
Lyn that King should remain.  The texts on the good life are quite
diverse and they provide a good counterpoint to one another.  
While I understand that overall 14 texts is a lot, I would rather keep
that amount than actually reduce the number.  Philosophy should be
rigorous and should be seen as such.  I am still incensed by the the
VCAA's view on specialist mathematics (which I also understand to be
rigorous) while there view on the rigor of reading, understanding,
responding to and interacting with 14 university level texts is nothing
if not extremely rigourous.  I am not an elitist, but I strongly believe
that we in the humanities need to highlight the level of difficulty of
our various humanities subjects.
As for Murdoch, I do find her a very odd choice and I understand the
need to have some gender balancing, I would have thought there might
have been some other options.  Yet, in a perverse sort of way, I found
Murdoch stimulating and several of my students found (somehow) the
Murdoch text useful -- most found it obscure.
In Unit 4, I would like to see Kuhn remain also because he lays the
groundwork for undermining the absolute confidence in science.  Kuhn is
seminal to understanding the wider post-modernism debate.
These are my thoughts for the moment, but I hope to contribute more
ideas in the near future.  
Thanks again for all of your (collective) contributions.
Rodney Latham

Philosophy and Economics Teacher

Ph 03 9749-1522 Fax (03) 9748-6247

email rlatham at heathdale.vic.edu.au

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