1. How long has the Department of Philosophy offered the Part One ‘Reason and Argument’ module (PP1RA) and why have you decided also now to offer a new Part Two module ‘Truth and Bullshit’ (PP2TBS)?
The module ‘Reason and Argument’ was offered for the first time last year. It is a revised version of a long-standing skills-based course called ‘Critical Thinking’. My colleague Professor Emma Borg redesigned the course for First Years to include a career component in line with the University of Reading’s push to include career advice and placement opportunities in curriculum design. ‘Truth and Bullshit’ is based on a module that I taught at the University of Chicago that was called ‘Telling the Truth: Scepticism, Relativism and Bullshit’. The course was developed as part of a Tave Teaching Fellowship–a competitive teaching award at the University of Chicago–and it subsequently also won an award for course design from Chicago’s Center for Teaching and Learning. The idea behind the ‘Truth and Bullshit’ course is to introduce central topics in philosophy that will have broad appeal not just to students majoring in philosophy but also to joint-degree students across the School of Humanities and the University. And it’s a really fun class to teach!