Saturday, August 23, 2008

Welcome to Class!

Welcome to the blog-home for Dr. Johnson's Philosophy 101 (Introductory Seminar in Philosophy) course at Rhodes College. The theme for this course is "Power." In an effort to maintain an uninterrupted conversation about our subject matter, as well as to save a few trees, students in this course will complete many of their writing assignments via this blog.

Blog-writing differs in significant ways than the "normal" writing you might be assigned to do in a regular course. For one thing, your writing here will be public, which means that your fellow classmates will be able to read your remarks and comment on the merits and demerits of your ideas. Additionally, the abbreviated format of blog-writing will require you to distill your thoughts into concise and pointed prose. Learning how to condense complex concepts into a limited number of crystal-clear sentences is a difficult, but eminently valuable, skill that we will all aim to develop in this course. Finally, it is important to remember that blogs are in many ways simply a written form of conversation. As such, all of the rules of regular conversation apply to the written conversations that will take place here, including most importantly the necessity for mutual respect and consideration among interlocutors. (I refer you to A Blogger's Code of Ethics and Weblog Ethics, both of which offer valuable insights on how to monitor your participation in blog conversations.)

I encourage all of the students in this course to actively participate in this blog above and beyond their "required" participation. Take advantage of the opportunity to comment on your classmates' ideas or to reflect on themes and discussions that happen in class. Together, we will take philosophy into the 21st century!

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