Friday, March 24, 2017

who's that lovely young black woman sitting behind judge gorsuch? (for you female political science majors!)

here is the answer!
A graduate of Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, she began interning in the Senate in July 2006. She worked for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and was an assistant in the Senate Republican Cloakroom, where politicians often make deals outside official meetings.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

personal identity: the human alien

A unique example of a person in search of identity. Vinny Ohh wants to become a gender-less alien.

Keep in mind that "alien" in this case means Vinny's idea of what an alien should be.

& that's enough! In the transition Vinny will find the difference between what he becomes vs. what he was. This irreducible remainder between the two persons will be crucial to understand his identity. Whatever he  purports will be a personal narrative.

Vinny: if you read this post, please, send us a commnet. My students and I will appreciate it. In fact, we'll make you Honorable 2017 Phi 2010 VIAAP! (very important academic alien person!)

(via Federico Colombo)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sending your peer-reviewed drafts to me. Due: all of next week (I'll review in the order I receive!) HONORS

Now you're going to input the observations obtained in our in class peer-review session and send then to me via email.
Please, in the email subject write down your Honors group, i.e., MWF 11am Honors 
Otherwise I'll send it back and ask you to do it. I don't have time to open the doc and find out which class you belong to (remember I'm teaching three Honors classes!)

Remember that your draft's heading must look like this:

Doe, John
First Draft (peer reviewed)
Phi 2010 Honors
MWF 10am

Same Sex Marriage: How Civil Rights Matter

I will not accept drafts that are not peer-reviewed (you've got to get a Student Assistant or a friend to do this for you, otherwise I'll send it back).

are you interested in the neurobiology of memories?

click here.

Also this important video about the history of the neurobiology of memories. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Are you into kinetic art? Come this Saturday at check out Julio Le Parc's exhibit at PAMM

Dear classes: Don't miss Julio Le Parc show at PAMM.

When Le Parc arrived in Paris from his native Argentina in the late 1950s, he was just a young artist about your age, trying to make his name in the world’s art capital. Over the next fifty years, he would develop his signature optical style, going on to win the Grand Prize in Painting at the Venice Biennale.

But since the 1960s, the artist has only exhibited a few times in the United States. Now, American audiences will be able to rediscover the frantic energy of the 88-year-old’s work with a survey of over 100 pieces in his oeuvre at Miami's PAMM —this is the artist's first solo museum show in North America.

Learn the interactive beauty of cinetic art. The best part. This saturday is FREE.

Are you coming? I'll be there around 10am. Please, send me emails to coordinate.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

PHI 2010 HONOR CLASSES advice for your first drafts!

1. the paragraph form of your paper here. 

2.  how to properly transition from paragraph to paragraph (the art of transitioning phrases).

3. every factoid you mention in your draft must be cited in-text and in the bibliography. 

4. follow this advice, please.

5. refrain from injecting your thesis views in the counter's paragraphs, or using innuendo or disparaging the counters' views. this is prohibited!!

6. do not just drop-a-quote like a brick.


A study show that a "retrieval from long term memory is a vital cognitive skill that can be practiced by children from the age of three." (Popovich, 2014)

instead, properly identify the quote for the reader:


A study published by Tom Popovich, professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas, concludes that "retrieval from long term memory is a vital cognitive skill that can be practiced by children from the age of three." (Popovich, 2014)

7. Rashila Fernando, president of the 2015 Voltaire Society, offers a good triffian advice here. 

8. do not Copy & Paste paragraphs. I'll detect it.  masticate & digest the ideas, internalize what you read!!! 

9. read your draft out loud once! read your draft out loud twice! your draft's words are your mind's distillation.  

HONORS CLASSES these are the guidelines for our in-class draft peer-review session (next Wednesday)

our in-class peer-review session is next Wednesday

click here for details.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

guidelines for our in-class first-draft peer-revision session

let's peer-review our drafts! 

Student assistants and "Templars members" will help in this very important session.  

We'll look for:

* Non-content related, followed by Content-related, issues.

Non-content related issues:

1- proper heading, top, left hand side, Times New Roman pt. 12 font
2- double spaced, indented paragraphs,
3- proper outline of first two paragraphs: 1. 3-point thesis with proper statement-point followed by a sentence explaining the point. 
4- proper "who talks" prefacing each paragraphs, i.e.,

SSM (Same-sex marriage advocates vs Same-sex marriage critics)
Fast Food (FF advocates vs FF critics)
Government  Surveillance (GS-advocates vs GS critics)
Police Brutality (Law Enforcement advocates, Law Enforcement critics) 
Factory Farms (Factory farm advocates, Factory farm critics)
and so on...

5- Proper argument vs. quote ratio (70% for argument, 30% for quote).

6- Proper quote presentation. Each quote must be properly prefaced, what I call "dropping quotes" issues!

a) the writer must prepare the reader for each quote,  b) provide context for each quotation. c) attribute each quotation to its source: tell the reader who is telling the quote. d) avoid "he/she said" attribution-rut! USE THESE: she/he adds, remarks, replies, states, comments, points out, argues, suggests, proposes, declares, opines, etc. e) lead the quote with a colon, example:
Penn State University Professor Ohkenshot denies Marx's claim that capitalism causes poverty when he declares: "Poverty predates capitalism by two thousand and odd years of civilization." or,  John Beherman, professor of Biology at Berkeley University argues that____________" instead of just dropping the quote without introduction.

7- proper bibliography MLA source presentation 
a) Include in the text the first item that appears in the Work Cited entry that corresponds to the citation (e.g. author name, article name, website name, film name).
b) No URLs in-text. Only provide partial URLs titles, i.e., domain name, like or as opposed to or
8- Check for "too-wordy" (long sentences, sentences should be short and clear)

9- Check mark for colloquialism:
"you" (one), "kinda" (kind of), "it is like," (similar to, such as), "okay" or "OK," "real" & "really" (very), "sorta" or "sort of" (rather, somewhat), "pretty" (very), "anyways"(anyway), "a lot," (several, many), "kids"(children),  "cops" (policeman), "guys" (men)... etc.
10. Check mark for "fillers":  "basically," "even," "just", etc.
11. Check mark for redundant adjectives: "totally unique," "completely finished," "thoroughly complete," "productively useful," etc,

this is a great writing center!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Philosophy Club First Debate: next Monday, March 6

elephants are being hunted with poisoned arrows

We finally will have a Philosophy Club debate (and I'm honored to be invited as observer).

The club has come up with the following topic:

How the human treatment of animals can improve the treatment of humans themselves. 

Few would agree that the practice above is Ok. The club wants to probe a more the issue of our treatment of those animals we use for food, entertainment, etc.

Carnivorous, vegetarians, pet owners, hunters, get ready!

Rules of engagement

*Be prepared with a basic argument to defend your position.
*Each contender has 3 minutes to expose and from then on, a minute to counter. 

The moderator

After each group exposes their initial argument, the discussion begins. Both individuals are supposed to be aware of their time (1 min) to counter. If one goes over the time, Marcos will politely add: "Your time is up" and yield 30 more seconds. This will allow the person to finish their point without being cut off. The moderator's job is to keep the discussion going, and keep the point from meandering too much. The moderator avoids circularity and takes back the discussion to the main argument. He will exhibit grace and politeness.     

Debate behavior

*Avoid addressing the opponent. Stick to the argument.
*When discussing, allow the opposer to talk and finish her point. If you get interrupted, you could politely say: "If I may, I wish to add something" or "Can I finish my point?" 
*While discussing the point, be prepared to acknowledge that the opposer has made a point worth pondering. This brings down the temperature and tends a bridge of consensus between you and your opponent.  
*Bring your behavior to show engagement and curiosity. Avoid facial expressions that show either disdain, contempt, or aloofness. After the debate it's better to have a friend than an enemy. 
*The debate moderator will reserve the right to indicate when one side needs to yield.   

Good luck!

PHI 2010 HONORS some good advice for how to plan your PHI 2010 draft

some good advice for how to plan your PHI 2010 draft (will you read the whole thing? methinks not)

PHI 2010 student assistants: please pass attendance sheets prior to your midterm reviews!

PHI 2010 HONORS getting your draft in shape

in this link, a brief analysis of a final draft (HONORS).