Category Archives: Pedagogy

End-of-term report on “Living a Good Life”

My colleagues Tushar Iriani, Steven Horst, and I have a post at the Daily Nous site about our experience teaching a new “Philosophy as a Way of Life” course that centrally features students doing structured philosophical exercises associated with each of the four main schools we covered (Confucianism, Aristotelianism, Daoism, and Stoicism). The course website itself is here; each of the “Live Like a ______” weeks are linked from here. Comments or questions either here or at Daily Nous most welcome!

CFP: Teaching East Asia in the Humanities

Call for Proposals: Teaching East Asia in the Humanities

April 24-25, 2021 (via Zoom)

The past decade has produced a great corpus of literature which defends and reimagines the value of the humanities—its potential to cultivate critical reasoning and cultural literacy necessary for a healthy civil society (Helen Small, 2013), ethically meaningful reading practices (Peter Brooks, 2014), and the character and judgement required to become “more human” (James Hankins, 2017). For teachers of the humanities, maintaining the sort of engaged pedagogy necessary to deliver on these promises means frequent trial and error. This conference is designed to serve as a forum to discuss both our challenges and successes in achieving our goals as humanities teachers in East Asian fields.

We invite proposals that reflect on your own stories of challenging and rewarding moments in your teaching, as well as common pedagogical strategies within your fields. How do we grapple with tensions between global and local perspectives? How do we account for particularities (philosophical concepts, literary forms, and social institutions) in East Asia while avoiding essentialisms, or introduce students to Western theory without perpetuating discursive hegemony? How should we navigate or challenge the boundaries imposed by the premodern/modern divide, or disciplines such as history, literature, philosophy, and religion? What pedagogical hurdles and advantages accompany teaching translated sources? Ultimately, how should we tailor our pedagogy to foster humanistic thinking?

Continue reading →

Mellon Philosophy as a Way of Life Project

We are delighted to announce the Mellon Philosophy as a Way of Life Project, a new initiative to help scholars effectively teach philosophy as a way of life. If you teach philosophy at a post-secondary institution and are interested, please check out our website: and consider submitting a letter of intent. The deadline for applying for the first cohort is Jan 15, 2019.

Continue reading →

CFP: Notre Dame / Mellon Philosophy as a Way of Life Project

Many traditions in philosophy have aimed at helping individuals think more deeply and rigorously about the good life. Notre Dame and the Andrew Mellon Foundation are partnering with universities across the country to imagine new and higher impact ways to introduce students to these traditions. Please see for information about applying to take part in this new project. (As part of the project, there will soon be a robust website, including blog and resources; stay tuned here for more information.)

Using _Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction_ in class

I used Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction as the main textbook in a course on Neo-Confucianism this past semester. Student comments on the book (submitted anonymously as part of the teaching evaluation process) are available here. If any readers have used the book, Justin and I would love any further feedback! (I’d also be happy to share similar information about other course books, for other authors out there.)

Teaching The Yi Jing (I Ching) in a Course on Neo-Confucianism

Over at, which is the companion website for Justin Tiwald and my book Neo-Confucianism: A Philosophical Introduction, I have posted some reflections on how I taught the Yi Jing (Book of Changes) in the context of my recent course on Neo-Confucianism. We even performed a divination! Take a look, and comments/questions either there or here are most welcome.