Jennifer Baker (College of Charleston) asked the students in her introductory philosophy course to report (anonymously) “ideas of theirs that changed after studying some philosophy.” I think this is a great idea for learning what kinds of topics and readings make an impact on the students’ thinking, which can be of use in both planning and pitching philosophy courses. Have you done this in your courses, and if so, what were some of the responses? Professor Baker was kind enough to share the changes her students reported:
1. My notion of beauty really changed after this class. I was misusing the term because it is so commonly used in casual conversation.
2. I changed my mind about Camus.
3. Stoicism because that is the way I would like to live my life in the future. I would like to be carefree and not worry about material things.
4. Before this class I tried to be optimistic about things that would happen. After learning about the Stoics, I found it easier to tell myself things could go wrong.
5. I feel like after reading Peter Singer I starting being more aware of animals. I stopped eating meat for now.
6. Studying metaphysics made me realize not to take everything at face value and that there are still things to be discovered.
7. What changed my mind was Aristotle’s view on actions, it changed my mind about addicts.
8. It’s fun to apply Aristotle to everyday life. I think about him when I take an “action.”
9. RACISM! More philosophers need to approach this.
10. I never knew anything about philosophy so it all changed.
11. I learned a lot about ourselves in “the google” era from social epistemology.
12. The Stoics. I should be content with what I have. . . . .