APA Newsletters, Fall 2017 Edition – Part Two

The latest edition of the APA newsletters—fall 2017—is now available. This brief series provides a synopsis of the contents of each newsletter.

The APA newsletters contain a wide variety of scholarly material, discussion on relevant and timely topics, book reviews, and much more. All of the newsletters are available for download on the APA website.

Newsletter on Indigenous Philosophy

The fall 2017 issue of the APA Newsletter on Indigenous Philosophy begins with John Powell’s Prayer for First Day Teaching American Indian Lit. The rest of the issue centers on some of the challenges of educating about Native American and Indigenous history, life, and thought amidst ongoing struggles for decolonization.

In “When Listening Isn’t Enough: Settler Denial and Epistemic Injustice,” Anna Cook addresses the assumptions behind the Canadian government’s efforts toward truth and reconciliation regarding Canada’s settler-colonial history.

Next, Andrea Sullivan-Clarke offers “Tips for Teaching Native American Philosophy” along with resources that may be helpful to those interested in designing a course on Native American philosophy or including Native American philosophy in an existing course.

Last but not least, Alejandro Santana provides the Syllabus for Philosophy 336 Metaphysics: Native American Philosophy, a course he created and has been teaching for several years. In the introduction, Santana offers some background about himself as well as his aspirations for the course.

Note: Post publication, at its November 2017 meeting, the APA board of officers approved the renaming of the newsletter to the APA Newsletter on Native American and Indigenous Philosophers.

Newsletter on Philosophy in Two-Year Colleges

The fall 2017 issue of the APA Newsletter on Philosophy in Two-Year Colleges contains essays on a variety of topics relevant to teaching in two-year and community colleges.

In the first essay, “Blueberry Madness,” Kristen Zbikowski compares community college students to blueberries, noting that when their diverse backgrounds and perspectives come together, “the final ‘jam’ is rich, nuanced, and memorable.”

Next, Marc Bobro discusses “Students Who Don’t Give a Damn” about philosophy. He writes that he reacts to such students with sadness, indifference, or frustration depending on their reasons, adding that he hopes students will change their mind but realizes that some will not be swayed.

In “Specifications Grading: A Useful Two-Year College Alternative,” William Behun describes an alternative grading technique, designed to encourage greater student engagement in the learning process, particularly with regard to philosophy.

The issue concludes with a proposal for “A Summer Institute for Community College Philosophy Professors” by Richard Legum, chair of the APA committee on philosophy in two-year colleges.

Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers

In the fall 2017 issue of the APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers, William Rapaport lends his voice to the debate about semantics versus syntax in “Semantics as Syntax.” His paper explores the implications of his position for the Chinese Room Argument and Twin Earth.

The issue also contains the third and final part of the series by Jeffrey White and Jun Tani, “From Biological to Synthetic Neurorobotics Approaches to Understanding the Structure Essential to Consciousness.” In this installment, the authors develop the idea of “synthetic neurorobotics studies” as essential for grasping various senses of machine consciousness.

The next piece, “Cognitive Engines Contemplating Themselves: A Conversation with S. L. Thaler,” is Kristen Zbikowski’s interview with Stephen Thaler about his work in artificial consciousness.

A cartoon by Riccardo Manzotti, “Existence Is Relative,” wraps up the current issue.

Contribute to the APA Newsletters

The APA Newsletters are a great place to publish your work! Individual guidelines for preparing and submitting material are posted on each individual newsletter’s webpage. You can find links to all of them here.

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