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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 conversation about what is important to know, to do, and to believe in a human life and for humanity in general. (This, of course, is what I recall from ten years ago – and my memory of their lecture that day surely has been affected by the passage of time and my experiences in the classroom since.) The emphasis of that day’s discussion was that many brilliant thinkers have contributed to an ongoing conversation on these topics, and that, as students, we could participate in the conversation. A big part of why I pursued philosophy seriously in the time since that first day in Philosophy... read more

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