Saturday, March 1, 2008

Midterm Review (ALL)

The following reflections pertain to all classes, although for my PGCC class "2215" these matters will not be applicable until the week after next (3.10.08).

As we have discussed, the midterm has three primary components. Below, those components will be outlined with corresponding particulars:

1. Presentations and Text (next Wednesday and Friday):
(a.) Expect to present for five minutes and facilitate questions for five minutes.

(b.) Concerning the content of your presentations, be sure to (i) introduce your topic with a clear thesis statement, addressing "the problem" of the history of philosophy, using Law and Obenga as your primary texts; (ii) clearly review/present the arguments that Law and Obenga offer, concerning the history of philosophy-- the structure of their texts/claims/theses; and (iii) share your judgments/determinations with the class, concerning the "problem" of the history of philosophy, focused on whose arguments were most compelling, what worked and what did not work with their narratives.

(c.) During the presentation, be sure to (i) clearly introduce the topic, problem and the way your LC will address the problem at the outset of your presentation; (ii) utilize learning aids-- power point presentation, handouts, etc.-- so that your audience can follow along with your presentation (also, have a back up plan in the event that the expected technology is not available or breaks down); (iii) turn in a text of your learning aid for full credit; and (iv) make sure that everyone in your LC has an opportunity to speak.

Note: Everyone must be ready to present and have text in hand on Wednesday.

2. Comprehensive Learning Assessment (projected, next Friday):
Concerning the Comprehensive Learning Assessment (CLA), it will be on all that we have learned, from the first week of class, to date. Moving forward, think through the following:

(a.) The CLA will be similar to the Learning Assessments that we had on Law and Obenga (do not expect an open notebook).

(b.) Be sure that you all can think and write responsibly on the following: the definition of philosophy; MEAL; the SAC method; BWRITES; Socrates, the Socratic Method and praxis; Fallacies, all 13 that were posted on a former blog, to deploy them in real world circumstances; the key claims of Law and Obenga concerning the history of philosophy; and the axiological import of Dr. Clarke's webcast (see priory post for the video, also if it happens to be unavailable at a given moment, persist, it will eventually come back online).

3. Three to Five Page Writing Entry (next Friday):
As we discussed in class, the options with respect to how this paper can be written have been enlarged. What follows are a list of choices and "literary situations" that you all can put yourselves in to complete this writing entry. Using Law and Obenga as your primary resources, choose from one of the following options:

(a) Write an op-ed (opinion editorial, go to the "Opinion" section of a given paper for further reference) paper on the challenges of reconciling the claims that Law and Obenga make with respect to the history of philosophy, privileging your voice/judgment on what "the fact" of the matter is all about.

(b) Create a blog entry on the problem of the history of philosophy.

(c) Send an e-mail to a friend on the history of philosophy.

(d) Write a letter or send an e-mail to either author for further clarity on the history of philosophy, addressing the other author's account. For example, if I am writing to Obenga, I am writing him, with criticism, in such a way where I clearly write about his thesis and supporting claims (all of them!), but then ask him about Law and retrace Law's narrative (four eras, and supporting iterations). So, maybe my fundamental question for Obenga, on Law is: Why do you think Law does not talk about Egypt's influence on Greek Philosophy? (I can also ask him about problems that I have with his text.) If I am writing to Law, I would write to him clearly demonstrating that I know about his fundamental claims (again, four primary categories, etc.) with respect to the history of philosophy. Yet, I would ask him about Obenga, retracing his narrative (again, thesis and supporting claims/evidence), to get to the fundamental point: Why the absence of Egypt in your account of philosophy's history? Naturally, there are other questions that can be asked of either author, the former were just representative examples that can be used to develop.

(e) Draft a text, as if you were presenting it at an academic conference or lecturing a class, on the history of philosophy, and its "conflicting" narratives. Here, too, I want you to take a clear position on the matter, based on whose account appears to be developed best via reason, arguments, evidence, etc.

Note: When you turn in your papers, be sure to clearly indicate which literary situation you have assumed in your text.

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