Call for abstracts of presentations for a symposium on teaching philosophy to be part of the 55th annual conference of the Florida Philosophical Association, to be held November 13-14, 2009, in Gainesville, Florida, hosted by Santa Fe College.
DEADLINE: August 14, 2009
Abstracts of presentations are sought to round out what we hope will be the first annual symposium on teaching philosophy at the FPA. The theme of this symposium, “Philosophical Readiness,” applies the more general concept of college readiness to the philosophy classroom.
The concept of college readiness includes both cognitive and non-cognitive traits and dispositions that contribute to success in higher education. A student lacking in college readiness may have considerable raw talent and may have done well in a less demanding high school. However, the student will have at best a sketchy idea of what is expected and valued in higher education. Often, the student’s previously acquired intellectual and work habits will actively interfere with learning and college success. This is often the condition of students who are non-traditional or first-generation college students and have no previous acquaintance with the culture of higher education.
What we are here calling “philosophical readiness” is often an issue in introductory philosophy classrooms. Students’ difficulties with course material may be indexes to their underlying discomfort with a disciplinary culture that values logic, rational argument and conceptual clarity, discounts unsupported authority and subjective emotion, and believes that the way an argument is made is more important than the truth or falsity of its individual premises. Acculturating naive students to the values of philosophical argumentation sometimes seems to be the primary task of an introductory class.
Presentations should offer concrete methods, with examples, used to address the problem of philosophical readiness in the classroom. The presentation should last the length of a standard conference paper—that is, about 20 minutes. Only an abstract needs to be submitted, but the abstract should reflect on a presentation that is, if not in fact finished, substantially prepared already. The format of the symposium will be flexible and should allow for a good amount of discussion in addition to the presentations.
Please include with your abstract information on your teaching background.
Abstracts may be sent by post or email, but must arrive by the deadline of August 14, 2009. Please send submissions to the FPA program organizer: