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Philosophy Resources

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Don't forget the Humanities!

I recently came across this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, urging college professors to fight grade inflation in the Humanities. As a college-level Instructional Assistant, I see this all the time. Students feel that their grade in their Anthropology course should reflect only effort and completion, not the content and understanding. This a trend that is not seen in the... read more

Blogs

Historical Background of Plato's "Apology"

In 399 BC, the Athenians Anytus (on behalf of the craftsmen and politicians), Meletus (on behalf of the poets), and Lycon (on behalf of the rhetoricians) brought Socrates to trial on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth of the city.  These charges may seem strange to modern ears, but there was in fact much at stake for the city of Athens.   "Impiety" This... read more

Blogs

My favorite quotes on education

The advertisement on Wyzant asked for my favorite quotes on education. So I feel obliged to recount them. "Education without salvation is damnation." --Bob Jones Sr, Founder of Bob Jones University Brains and education can be a fantastic thing. But, in and of itself, education is not the supreme good. It is not a goal, in and of itself. The devil is not a dummy. He is the smartest... read more

Blogs

What Interested Me in Philosophy...

When I was an undergraduate, I remember my first day in my introduction to philosophy class at Washington & Jefferson College, which was team-taught by David Schrader and Lloyd Mitchell (guest starring Andrew Rembert, on occasion). The course was subtitled “Beginning the Conversation,” and the two professors introduced the material on the first day by characterizing philosophy as an ongoing... read more

Blogs

A Student Made my Day

Alex made my day today. He passed the Global History and Geography Regents Exam!! Let me tell you a little bit about Alex. When I first met him, he came to tutoring two hours late. The next day an 11/2 late. He was on time on the third day, but by the next week it was back to being Alex. He did not show up for tutoring nor did he call. He would do assignments if he felt like it. There was always... read more

Blogs

Writing a Research Paper? Look No Further...

Writing a research paper is one of the most difficult parts of being a student. You find yourself asking: - How do I start? - What is a thesis statement? - How do I determine if this is a credible source? - How do I make an in-text citation? - Why do I even need a citation? - What is a bibliography? - WHAT AM I DOING? Whether you are in middle school, high school,... read more

Blogs

Standardized Exams - Tip 3

This blog is specific to the AP (Advanced Placement Exams). Not to date myself any further but how things have changed. When I was in High School, there were only a handful of exams that a student could sit for in terms of Advanced placement exams. There were your basic sciences, such as Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, and of course English Literature and US Government. However, nowadays,... read more

Blogs

Present Imperfect

The following is both an example of my own writing, and a sample of my philosophy. Having studied logic, I have applied it to my own expression of faith. Whether or not you share my faith, I invite you to read it, if only as a way of determining my ability to help you learn either writing, or the study of logic. Please enjoy it.   I love being a tutor. It’s probably the best job... read more

Blogs

Problem of Induction - Hume

Does inductive reasoning lead to knowledge? In inductive reasoning, we form a claim based on a set of observations. The claim (or conclusion) derives from the idea of probability. But can probability really be calculated? Hume argues not, since claiming that a result is "more probable" implies that the past predicts the future. Let us, for example look at: Premise:... read more

Blogs

Time Surfing 101

How do you spend your time? Got a bucket list? Want to learn how to timesurf? It's very much BE, then Do, then Have...The culture has brainwashed everyone into thinking it is HAVE then DO then BE. Buying a tutu is not necessarily going to make you a ballerina or buying an expensive golf club is not automatically going to place you in the top ten finish of a golf tournament or having a... read more

Blogs

The Phoenix

A phoenix suffers death by fire. Engulfed in the searing heat of burning flames, the mythical bird is reduced to naught but ashes. This is a state of finality, completeness, an enduring end. It is believed by many that life can be restored to a body that has lost the embers of life, so long as that body is intact. Such belief led the Egyptians to embalm and mummify their most sacred dead, preserving... read more

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Training your intuition

For most people, solving a problem or a question is not difficult if they have a model to follow and the correct data to plug into the model. Take one of the most basic functions, paying for something at a cash register. If the cashier tells you the Happy Meal costs (with tax) $4.23, and you hand the cashier a $10.00 bill, I suspect that most cashiers will give and most people will expect their... read more

Blogs

Is studying the humanities practical? An interesting perspective from a CEO

So you think literature, writing, history, philosophy, art aren’t “practical subjects”? Think again! Here is what Matthew W. Barrett, CEO of Barclay's Bank had to say about the subject: “If you can get me a young person who can divine the patterns of imagery in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, it would take me just a half hour to teach that person how to break down a balance sheet. Teach... read more

Blogs

Deceit and cheating in physics

I use to attend the amateur astronomy meeting on Friday nights at Duke. While as I liked astronomy, I was only a bit interested in viewing stars via a telescope on a cold winter night. I must confess that the real reason I would attend the meeting was that it was run by a physics professor who specialized in string theory. What a great occasion to discuss and learn about string theory from... read more

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Some notes on learning a foreign language like Italian

I teach Italian and philosophy. This note is about learning a foreign language not only Italian. When you try to learn a foreign language never expect a systematic one-to one word corresponding translation. Dictionaries offer approximate translations of words that may behave quite differently within the language that you are studying. One example is the corresponding words in Italian of 'to... read more

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Leadership

Most write some peripheral thoughts about leadership, beliefs and personal philosophy, discuss it with immediate subordinates and talk about implementing into their organization. But talking about it and modeling it are two different philosophies. Modeling requires a change in the way we think. It requires a strong leader to actually have a strong self-awareness and a strong sense of self. To... read more

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