The Philosopher's Way, Teaching and Learning Classroom Edition: Thinking Critically About Profound Ideas

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9780130480699: The Philosopher's Way, Teaching and Learning Classroom Edition: Thinking Critically About Profound Ideas

This dynamic volume is designed to teach readers to become critical thinkers as they explore the influential thinkers and central themes of Philosophy from ancient times to the present. In addition to the conceptual and language subject matter, this presentation ignites readers' sense of wonder through an innovative design, substantive readings, innovative writing assignments and thinking activities that provide readers with the opportunity to learn and practice the conceptual abilities needed to think philosophically. The volume examines thinking philosophically about life, consciousness, identity and the soul, freedom and determinism, developing enlightened values, exploring ways of being religious, constructing knowledge and discovering truth, developing an integrated view of reality, understanding creative expression and political forms, as well as social justice, and concepts of utopia. For individuals interested in learning to think philosophically.

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Review:

Reviewer Endorsements of The Philosopher's Way

 

"It is an innovative approach to enabling students to appreciate the value of philosophy and benefit from its study, and I certainly look forward to
using it in my courses!" - Christian Perring, Dowling College

 

"This text excels in clarifying difficult philosophical ideas and especially in showing the relevance of philosophy to their everyday lives." - David Lopez, American River College

 

"The author has a gift for making complex philosophical connections understandable" - Elizabeth Laidlaw, Monroe Community College

 

"The questions and exercises for students both clarify concepts and provoke original thought...Students are also encouraged to engage directly with the philosophical problems of the ages." - Randall Horton, San Jacinto College South

 

"... I think the inclusion of student essays and comments is one of the best features of this text. Students need to hear what other students have to say on the new and unfamiliar topic of philosophy. The student essays serve as paradigms for the type of thinking and writing I would expect to find in my students." - Dr. Timothy Davis, Community College of Baltimore County

Chaffee's text is an excellent and accessible introduction to philosophy that related philosophy to students' lives.  The author's general approach is sound; he endeavors to make philosophy "interesting to students who tend to find it overly abstract and irrelevant to what they are doing.  His discussion questions are excellent, encouraging students to think about their own struggles with the meaning of life, the issue of how we know things to be true or false, or issues regarding religious belief.  The main challenge for my students is being able to understand abstract ideas.  Another challenge is for them to develop any interest in philosophy at all.  While some students will not respond to any textbook or teacher, Chaffee does as good a job as any text in trying to make philosophy interesting, showing how it relates to contemporary culture, including popular culture through interesting caveats and illustrations.  As far as suiting my needs as a professor, in general, the book succeeds." -Michael Potts, Methodist College

While there are advantages to students reading straight primary texts, it is also useful to have primary texts explained in detail, especially regarding background details, to give them context.  Chaffee's book does a good job giving them such context.  -Michael Potts, Methodist College

The pedagogical aids are among the best I have seen in an introductory textbook.  The questions are clear and thoroughly cover the material in the chapters.  Both the “Think Critically” and “Thinking Philosophically” exercises do a fine job of finding intersections between the philosophical issues discussed in the text and situations that might occur in the students' lives.  I have found that the quality of student essays has improved since they are more interested when they are able to relate philosophy to their lives when they answer a question.  -Michael Potts, Methodist College

The level (of writing) is about right; the author is clear and writes in a way that should be understandable to the undergraduate student.  The integrated readings work well in the text, and while some of them are difficult, the author explains the background and the meaning of the integrated readings in a clear way.  I especially think the author does a fine job explaining Kantian metaphysics and epistemology.  One of my most challenging tasks as a professor is to clearly explain the Kantian forms of sensibility and categories of the understanding.  The author does as good a job as any I have read in explaining Kant in an understandable way.  -Michael Potts, Methodist College

The writing is clear and engaging, and the author does a good job of introducing philosophy as something of value to students, something that can affect them in a positive way as long as they live.  The length and depth of analysis are appropriate for an introductory course.  -Michael Potts, Methodist College

I have already adopted the book and plan to keep using it.  It is clear, it gives examples and asks questions that are relevant to the lives of students, and has detailed but clear discussion of key philosophical issues. If I were describing this book to a colleague, I would say something like this: “This is one of the clearest and detailed textbooks in introductory philosophy on the  market today.  It not only covers the major issues in sufficient detail, but makes the material relevant to students' everyday lives using concrete examples and discussion questions.”  -Michael Potts, Methodist College
We are currently using Chaffee's book, The Philosopher's Way.  My general reaction to this book is that it's instructor and student friendly.  The chapters are laid out well, with good discussion questions and easy-to-read formats.  The most important part of this book is its approach.  I think it is dangerous to approach philosophy as a history lesson.  This approach is not faithful to the philosophers that invested their lives and, most notably, their beliefs into their work.  Chaffee not only uses a topical approach but he also manages to address the philosophers in an order that builds the students knowledge upon knowledge.  What they learn in chapter two will be crucial to how they understand chapter three and so forth.  -Renton Rathbun, Owens State Community College  

He also incorporated critical thinking quite well into his text.  This helps the students engage the ideas they are studying.  It's not just a history lesson for them to observe, but rather, they are learning what to do with these ideas.  The critical thinking helps them answer questions like, what do I do with this idea?  In what way do these ideas affect my life?  If I don't have an opinion on a matter, what is a responsible way for me to come to a conclusion?  Is there value in restraining my judgment?  -Renton Rathbun, Owens State Community College   

My students are like most I am sure.  They come from a culture that is very passionate about issues they know very little about.  This mentality is encouraged in our culture to the point that this drive to be passionate is more important than understanding the complexity of what it is they claim to believe.  This book not only introduces my students to philosophy but it introduces them to methodologies that will help them achieve a responsible and self-realized belief.  -Renton Rathbun, Owens State Community College   

The tightrope that a textbook writer must walk is keeping the language clear, understandable and entertaining, while still maintaining the complexities of the concepts they are discussing.  Chaffee brings a great balance that engages the students but does not inundate them with terminology and personal musings.  -Renton Rathbun, Owens State Community College   

All the chapters fit the level that I feel most comfortable.  I have taught at colleges that used books with only primary texts and others that had short comments between texts.  However, with an introduction class the language and familiarity that Chaffee uses is essential to the students understanding and motivation.  I have found that some instructors are so in love with their graduate school experience that they want to duplicate that experience with their students, which may be at the demise of the students' learning.  -Renton Rathbun, Owens State Community College   

The visual aspect of the book is great.  I can't say that it is essential; however, I think it brings a unique aspect to philosophy that is often neglected by other texts in philosophy.  I think there is a definite psychological “dismay” when a student looks into a book of pure black and white pages.  I think there is a real value in a book that is aesthetically pleasing in its format and even educational in its use of pictures.  -Renton Rathbun, Owens State Community College   

I have already adopted this book for my class and am very happy with the results.  The book remembers the students, which is rare in some intro texts.  I appreciate the balance Chaffee has between being student friendly and being philosophically responsible.  Some texts I've looked at either are so rigid that they resemble a Bronte novel or they try to be some kind of strange new “hip” book of coffeehouse-philosophy.  -Renton Rathbun, Owens State Community College   

To a colleague I would say the book is well structured to give you the security of a sound study with your students but still gives you the freedom to take your students into lively debate and consideration over well developed primary texts.  Renton Rathbun, Owens State Community College   

Because most of our faculty (full-time and adjunct) follow approximately the order of topics found in Chaffee in their classes, Chaffee's text has been (and continues to be) a candidate for adoption by us.  Most of our faculty admire the “critical thinking” approach the book takes and its reader-friendly writing style.  -Tim Davis, Baltimore County Community College

My general impression of the Chaffee text is that it fits a growin...

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