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the worst philosophy paper

Posted by alexandra_k on January 23, 2021, at 17:25:40

In reply to to be fair, posted by alexandra_k on January 23, 2021, at 17:00:05

the worst philosophy paper is this paper called 'critical reasoning'.


because it is typically the study of bad arguments.

people spend most of the time in the course exposing their minds to arguments that are thought to be bad.

it would be like trying to teach someone how to spell by exposing them to all these mis-spellings.

saying 'not like this'. 'not like that'. 'wrong'! and all these reasons why it's wrong and terrible and bad.


does it teach people how to write good arguments?

does it teach people how to spell correctly?




it has the effect of wrong-things starting to look right from familiarity.
from exposure.

and it teaches a whole attitude of 'nonononononono and i have a good 20 names of things i can call what's wrong with it instead of engaging with you in a more meaningful way'.

it sets the quality of the debate back.

what is the point of it?


they used to call it 'the money cow' class for philosophy.
the academics at Waikato who were involved in teaching it used to call it 'the money cow' class for philosophy.
it always had large student enrolment numbers.
more than 'Introduction to Philosophy' or 'Introduction to Ethics', even.



Because they used to reccommend the course for international studnets who did not have very good command of English.

They used to intentionally advise international studnets (ESL speakers) to do that course because (they said) it would help them with their conversational English.


Did it?


It exposed them to bad arguments.

People are like 'why would people say things like that? Why are we reading about all the stupid things stupid people say? Why are we reading nonsense? Why are we spending our time analysing obvious nonsense?


Because 'you made a typographical error therefore I am allowed to force you to repeat the year' is good reasoning -- right?


International students were the primary victim of that course because...
They were polite.
And also because they would think that their incomprehension indicated their command of English wasn't good enough (they would internalise the fault of blame) rather than them concluding that the entire course was nonsense.


It ensured that people who did a course in Critical Reasoning would think there was something wrong with their English skills which would scare them away from doing any other courses like INtroduction to Philosophy or even Introduction to Shakespeare or even Introduction to New Zealand Fiction (which they now call 'telling the story' because I don't know how many years of University is required before people know that 'fiction' is a 'story'.

It killed the Arts.

Enrolment numbers, I mean.


Instead of growing the University...
Instead of growing it by... Getting students WANTING to do a double-degree in Science and Arts or Business and Arts or whatever...
Instead of growing the quality of the Undergraduate classes..
They set about ruining it.
Undermining it.

They set some hierarchy stupid idea where the idea is basically to have all the students enrolled in a single course who outperformed all teh other courses and now we don't have any degree programmes because we only have 1 course and 1 lecturerer who teaches from a recording we made of them 10 years ago because we retain the intellectual property.


The University retains teh intellectual property of all it's students and staff -- does it?


I see...

They couldn't ruin it any faster...


So instead of hiring philosophers...
They hire non-philosophers to teach b*llsh*t courses in 'critical reasoning' where they learn no content but expose them to awful arguments all the way along before throwing their work up the stairs by engaging in arbitrary grading practices...
The lengths they go to to ensure that none of these people will do another course in philosophy.
And the only reason they all did that particular course in the first place is because the University chose to market that course in particular instead of encouraging them to look at the entire range of courses on offer and pick something that seemed genuinely interesting to them.


The University wanted to destroy the philoosphy department.

They couldn't have done a better job of it.

The people they chose to hire...

WOrking slowly... SLowly... Slowly... So very very slowly... ANd slower... ANd just a bit more slowly...

Or producing content that shows they lack good intuitions. Etc.

And then taking a heavy handed approach to studnet work...

To force them to stop work.

To throw an endless succession of money at the Univesrity for the 'privalede of'.


Where are the journals?
Wehre are the conferences?

We can't even have a NZ association of PHilosophy.

We can't get organised.

Squabble squabble squabble squawk.

There's nothing here.




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