Teaching Philosophy 22 (4):377-389 (1999)

David L. Hildebrand
University of Colorado Denver
The undergraduate philosophy major is often seen as an irrelevant degree. While this may be attributed to a number of causes, it is also occasion for academic philosophers to reevaluate pedagogical methods at the undergraduate level. The author evaluates typical pedagogical methods and argues that overemphasizing epistemological goals of philosophical investigation instrumentalizes the process of inquiry and stifles students’ philosophical imagination, resulting in the impression of philosophy’s irrelevance. An alternative model is offered on the basis of John Dewey’s pattern of inquiry. It is argued that a pedagogy that attends to Dewey’s five phases of inquiry promotes greater attention to the process of inquiry itself, which emphasizes knowledge as social, open to revision, and pertinent to students’ needs and interests. The author concludes by considering the philosophical implications of implementing such a pedagogy.
Keywords Teaching Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0145-5788
DOI teachphil199922448
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