Change in plans for last week of class

I sent the following over email…

While preparing for class this week (and I’m behind on that b/c I just got back into town!) I realized that we’re just not going to be able to do justice to the ethics of care in two class periods, especially because (1) I want to talk a bit about Nussbaum’s view because we didn’t get to discuss that in class; all I was able to do is give my view on the video but there were no chances for questions or in-person discussion; (2) I am leaving 15 minutes at the end of class tomorrow for you to fill out the student evaluations for the course. So tomorrow there would be little time to talk about the assigned reading, which would mean it would spill over into Thursday, which would mean less time to talk about the assigned reading for Thursday, and then there are no more classes after that! Being out of town last week has made things a bit difficult in this regard.

Plus, while I usually have a review session before the final, the fact that our final exam is so early this term (next Tuesday already!) means that there isn’t much time between the end of classes and the final to do that. So I’ve decided to hold a review session on Thursday during class.

Here’s the plan for the last week, then:

Tuesday: talk about some parts of Hursthouse’s and Nussbaum’s views. I won’t give the whole lecture again, because I already did that on the video. Instead this will be a chance to discuss these views, ask & answer questions, etc. We’ll also do some small group discussion on some questions I have about Nussbaum. Then there will be time at the end to fill out evaluations of the course (so bring a computer or mobile device to do that if you have one!).

Thursday: review session. For this I will just answer questions about the final exam and the essay questions, including anything about any of the philosophers’ views you’re not sure about. So bring questions to ask on Thursday! We will also do some small group activity in which you try to come up with possible short answer questions that could be asked on the exam (a good way to review for the exam!). So bring your notes to class on Thursday for this (or a computer to access the notes on the website or the reading notes from students on the wiki).

**If at least 70% of the class has filled out the student evaluations by Wednesday at 5pm, I will bring food to class on Thursday (cookies or some other treat like that).

Friday: the fourth journal assignment, which is now optional, is due by 5pm. HERE’S A GOOD REASON TO DO THIS JOURNAL ENTRY: it’s about virtue ethics, and virtue ethics is on the final exam. I will work all weekend to get those journal entries marked so you can have feedback before the exam. This is a good way to get some feedback on your knowledge of virtue ethics before the exam.

I will have office hours on Friday from 2-3, as usual. These will be in IBLC 372 (inside the glass door that says “Arts One” and “Coordinated Arts Program” on it). I will also have office hours Monday 12-1 in BUCH E375.

Extension on due date for second essay draft

As noted in an email sent on Sunday, Nov. 2 (sunday night), I realized that because of the Remembrance Day holiday on Tuesday Nov. 11 that means we won’t be doing peer comments on the second drafts of the essays until Nov. 13, having the second essay drafts due Thursday, Nov. 6 means you have a whole week to read the drafts before needing to give comments. I don’t think that much time is needed, and I expect you instead need more time to write the drafts themselves. So I’ve changed the due date.

The second essays drafts are now due Nov. 10, 5pm. Otherwise, the rest of the instructions are exactly the same.

Of course, you are welcome to turn them in anytime before that if you have other things you need to do next weekend!

Dinner with the profs–last minute announcement

Hi everyone:

I just got this email yesterday; there is a dinner tonight that is free for any student taking a philosophy course! You need to RSVP, though. See below.

“PhilSa Presents: An Evening with the Profs” will be happening this Thursday (September 25) from 7-10 pm at Thea’s Lounge.  It is an opportunity for philosophy students to engage with their peers and become familiar with the department in a relaxed and casual setting.  The event is open to all students enrolled in philosophy courses and is not limited to majors and minors.  The dinner will feature food catered by Koerner’s Pub and live music.  The event is free, although it is recommended that students RSVP at to guarantee a seat, as space is limited.

Collaborative document on guidelines for discussion

I have been meaning to do this in my courses, and keep forgetting! I think it would be a good idea, to try to avoid potential problems, to group author a document with advice, suggestions, and things not to do when engaging in discussions about philosophical issues. It’s not that I’ve seen any problems in our class, it’s rather a preventative measure!

I’ve started such a document, here:

Please add anything you think is missing, or write comments off to the side or underneath any that you have comments about. To write comments off to the side, go to “insert” on the top menu and click “comment.” I think you may not be anonymous if you do that. If not, and you want to be anonymous, write a comment underneath one of the guidelines, perhaps in a different colour to distinguish the comments from the suggested guidelines.

I have added one I have in my own mind so far, and several from another website that I think are very useful.

New Room

We have gotten a room that is at least somewhat closer to the Arts end of campus than the Pharmacy room was: Macmillan 166 (on the south end of Main Mall). So that’s where we’ll move to starting on Thursday, Sept. 11.

The structure of the room is still a lecture theatre, which is not great for discussions, but for our size of class that’s mostly what is available on campus, unfortunately. We got a bit closer, but not better for discussions. And that’s about as good as it’s going to get, I’m afraid!

See you in the new room…

Learn about Arts Co-op

Arts Co-op is a way to get paid work experience while also attending university. It’s a good way to get a jump start on transitioning from education to career, and students can start in their second year if they wish.

Here’s an informational sheet about Arts Co-op: Arts CoOp_Fall2014

Some basic info:

  • Students need to be in 2nd or 3rd year of Arts; international and transfer students are eligible
  • Application deadline is September 24 @ 4:00 pm
  • Full details at

Learn more by attending one of the Info Sessions (50-mins)

  • Wed, Sept 10 @ 4:00 pm – BUCH A102
  • Thurs, Sept 18 @ 12:30 pm – BUCH A104
  • Mon, Sept 22 @ 3:00 pm – BUCH D217