Sunday, March 15, 2009

10 Most Popular Philosophy Syllabi

It’s time once again to find the most influential syllabi in a discipline—this time, philosophy—as determined by data gleaned from the Syllabus Finder. As with my earlier analysis of the most popular history syllabi the following list was compiled by running a series of calculations to determine the number of times Syllabus Finder users glanced at a syllabus (had it turn up in a search), the number of times Syllabus Finder users inspected a syllabus (actually went from the Syllabus Finder website to the website of the syllabus to do further reading), and the overall “attractiveness” of a syllabus (defined as the ratio of full reads to mere glances). It goes without saying (but I’ll say it) that this methodology is unscientific and gives an advantage to older syllabi, but it still probably provides a good sense of the most visible and viewed syllabi on the web. Anyway, here are the ten most popular philosophy syllabi.

#1 - Philosophy of Art and Beauty, Julie Van Camp, California State University, Long Beach, Spring 1998 (total of 3992 points)

#2 - Introduction to Philosophy, Andreas Teuber, Brandeis University, Fall 2004 (3699 points)

#3 - Law, Philosophy, and the Humanities, Julie Van Camp, California State University, Long Beach, Fall 2003 (3174 points)

#4 - Introduction to Philosophy, Jonathan Cohen, University of California, San Diego, Fall 1999 (2448 points)

#5 - Comparative Methodology, Bryan W. Van Norden, Vassar College, multiple semesters (1944 points)

#6 - Aesthetics, Steven Crowell, Rice University, Fall 2003 (1913 points)

#7 - Philosophical Aspects of Feminism, Lisa Schwartzman, Michigan State University, Spring 2001 (1782 points)

#8 - Morality and Society, Christian Perring, University of Kentucky, Spring 1996 (1912 points)

#9 - Gay and Lesbian Philosophy, David Barber, University of Maryland, Spring 2002 (1442 points)

#10 - Social and Political Philosophy, Eric Barnes, Mount Holyoke College, Fall 1999 (1395 points)

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