Wednesday, February 27, 2019

New writings

Here are some new things by me and writings in progress, although I feel like I'm missing something:

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Free OER (Open Educational Resource) Textbooks in Philosophy

I recent saw these two calls for contributions to two Free OER (Open Educational Resource) Textbooks in Philosophy in development in (1) Ethics and (2) Philosophy of Religion

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Aesthetics

I am teaching an "Aesthetics & Philosophy of Art" class this spring. Here are is an in-progress set of resources:

Monday, December 31, 2018

“What norms or values define excellent philosophy of religion?”

“What norms or values define excellent philosophy of religion?”


Here as a Google Doc.

“Excellent philosophy of religion” is, unsurprisingly, excellent philosophy, about religion.

But what’s excellent philosophy and what are the norms and values associated with it? And what are the philosophical aspects of religion, whatever religions are?

To begin answering these questions, I suggest that philosophy of religion that emphasizes at least these features tends to be more excellent: (1)  experiential, (2) integrated, (3) truthful and fair, and (4) done from a sense of wonder.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Philosophical Community Service Assignment


I teach an "Introduction to Philosophical Ethics" course in an interactive, discussion-based and skills-focused manner. The core skills involve trying to figure out whether a reason given in support of some conclusion on a moral issue is a good one or not. We start with common arguments, things that ordinary people often say, and then move onto arguments that philosophers focus on. Here's my simplification of what we do:




Thursday, November 22, 2018

Writing Coach

If you are seeking someone to help you with your writing, I am available as a "writing coach" or consultant: I can help you plan, get organized and stay on task. I'm also available as editor, for anything from "big picture" organizational guidance to a detailed review of your manuscript.

I'm happy to help you make any writing project – dissertation, article, chapter, book, essay or anything else – more clear, vivid, organized and concise.


To get a better sense for whether I can help you, you might want to read some of my writings to get a sense for my writing style. You could also check out the more recent essays at 1000-Word Philosophy: I've helped guide the production of the last 30 or so essays. And here are three posts by me on better writing:

·         Organization and Clarity in Writing: Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

·         Writing Tips

·         Essay Evaluation Sheet


Please contact me to discuss your needs. Thank you!

Keywords: philosophical writing coach, humanities writing coach, social science writing coach, non-fiction writing coach

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Reply to Christopher Tollefsen on Abortion

Reply to Christopher Tollefsen on Abortion

Abstract: Are you the same thing as your body? Did you begin at conception? Do you have a rational and free “nature” or “essence”? Some answer ‘yes’ to all and argue that this means that abortion is wrong: 
your "essence" is that of a free and rational being; that essence *makes* it wrong to kill you; you have always existed whenever your body existed; your body began at conception; and so you existed at conception and were wrong to kill; and the same is true for all other human fetuses. 
This argument is discussed here. 

For Ethics: Left and Right, edited by Bob Fischer (Oxford University Press, 2019). By Nathan Nobis. Below is a response to Christopher Tollefsen’s essay on abortion, which is a perspective from “the Right.” Please see my contribution from a perspective from “the Left,” “Early and Later Abortions: Ethics and Law.”

Word count: 999

"Cultural Relativism" or "Moral Relativism" or "Ethical Relativism" or "Relativism"

Here is a short writing to better understand a moral theory called "Cultural Relativism" or "Moral Relativism" or "Ethical Relativism." See below the fold for the details:

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Decatur FM

A version of this will be out in the October Decatur Focus. Need something written? Contact me!




“Good morning, DE-CA-TUR!!!”

Where do you get your Decatur news? Blogs? City publications? Facebook? Talking to people?

There’s a new option in town: radio!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Organization and Clarity in Writing: Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

Philosophy papers, or philosophical presentations (talks or lectures, audio or video presentations, which are usually based on something written in preparation for the talk), typically attempt to do a number of things, such as:
  1. State a view or claim.
  2. State and explain a view or claim. 
  3. State and explain a view or claim, and explain an argument(s) or reason(s) given in its favor, e.g., that the view is true or reasonable to believe, or state and explain a view or claim, and explain an argument(s) or reason(s) given against it, e.g., that the view is false or unreasonable to believe.  
  4. State and explain a view or claim, and explain an argument(s) or reason(s) given in its favor or against it, and state and explain some objection(s) to that (or those) argument(s) - that is, a reason to think that the initial argument is somehow faulty - and explain whether that objection(s) is strong or not.  
And there are other tasks that one might do in a philosophy paper or presentation. It's important that whatever you decide you are going to do, you do it. See below the fold for more:

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Moral Experts, Deference & Disagreement

Moral Expertise: New Essays from Theoretical and Clinical Bioethics

Editors: Watson, Jamie Carlin, Guidry-Grimes, Laura K. (Eds.)
  • Contains all new essays that engage with a growing body of scholarly literature on moral expertise
  • The first anthology on moral expertise since Lisa Rasmussen’s excellent 2005 collection, Ethics Expertise
  • Brings together both academics and clinical ethicists on the contentious question of moral expertise

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Fall Classes


Intro to Philosophical Ethics - 44370 - HPHI 302G - 01

SYLLABUS 
Associated Term: Fall 2018
Registration Dates: Apr 09, 2018 to Aug 24, 2018
Levels: Undergraduate

3.000 Credits
Scheduled Meeting Times
TypeTimeDaysWhereDate RangeSchedule TypeInstructors
Class10:00 am - 10:50 amMWFSale Hall 105Aug 15, 2018 - Dec 07, 2018LectureNathan M. Nobis (P)E-mail

Intro to Philosophical Ethics - 44371 - HPHI 302G - 02

SYLLABUS 
Associated Term: Fall 2018
Registration Dates: Apr 09, 2018 to Aug 24, 2018
Levels: Undergraduate

3.000 Credits

Scheduled Meeting Times
TypeTimeDaysWhereDate RangeSchedule TypeInstructors
Class11:00 am - 11:50 amMWFSale Hall 105Aug 15, 2018 - Dec 07, 2018LectureNathan M. Nobis (P)E-mail
Topic:Metaphysics - 45789 - HPHI 475 - 07

SYLLABUS 
Associated Term: Fall 2018
Registration Dates: Apr 09, 2018 to Aug 24, 2018
Levels: Undergraduate

3.000 Credits

Scheduled Meeting Times
TypeTimeDaysWhereDate RangeSchedule TypeInstructors
Class1:00 pm - 1:50 pmMWFSale Hall 109Aug 15, 2018 - Dec 07, 2018LectureNathan M. Nobis (P)E-mail

Laptops and Phones in classrooms


https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1vmQ548UJ0WnoSwkfREU3iR-m2Co1xTWzGkhcv6bFbY8/mobilepresent?slide=id.g1bcb87dcc5_0_0

What this suggests is that students need some special reason for any phone and laptop use to be justified.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Early and Later Abortions: Ethics and Law

Early and Later Abortions: Ethics and Law

Early Abortions Are Not Wrong, Late Abortions Could Be Wrong,
but probably All Abortions Should Be Legal

For Ethics, Left and Right, edited by Bob Fischer (Oxford University Press, 2019)

For a reply to the "opposing side" essay, see my (9/26/18) "Reply to Christopher Tollefsen on Abortion"

Nathan Nobis; Philosophy, Morehouse College; nathan.nobis@gmail.com

Draft 7/31/18 ; Google docAlso available at Academia.edu and Dropbox

Abstract

Most abortions occur early in pregnancy. I argue that these abortions, and so most abortions, are not morally wrong and that the best arguments given to think that these abortions are wrong are weak. I also argue that these abortions, and probably all abortions, should be legal.

I begin by observing that people sometimes respond to the issue by describing the circumstances of abortion, not offering reasons for their views about those circumstances; I then dismiss “question-begging” arguments about abortion that merely assume the conclusions they are given to support; most importantly, I evaluate many arguments: both common, often-heard arguments and arguments developed by philosophers.


My defense of abortion is based on facts about early fetuses’ not yet possessing consciousness or any mental life, awareness or feeling, as well as concerns about rights to one’s own body.