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Stephen Nathanson

Full Professor


Alma Maters: BA in Philosophy Swarthmore College; PhD in Philosophy Johns Hopkins University
Classes Taught: Social/Political Philosophy, Intro to Economic Justice, Problems of War & Peace
Countries Traveled To: UK, France, Australia, S Africa, Tanzania,Denmark,Norway,Italy, Israel, Canada
Companies Worked For: Northeastern U, SUNY College at Fredonia
What is your style of teaching?
In class lecture and discussion including small group discussion; I put a lot of emphasis on writing papers as a key to learning.
What materials and media do you use in the classroom?
Nothing fancy--occasional overheads or power point.
What is the most engaging assignment you give?
Paper assignments are intellectually challenging. To maximize learning of analytic skills, papers are highly structured; serious issues, no "mickey mouse".
When grading a student, what do you look for?
Ability to explain ideas in writing in a way that shows understanding of the problems, views, and arguments we study.
What kind of student would love your class?
Students who are intersted, want intellectual challenges, eager to learn new ideas, take class assignments seriously. Wanting to learn is the most important.
What is one piece of advice you have for students?
Find other students to talk to about the material in your courses. This is both fun and builds skills in thinking and putting your ideas into words.
What area in your field are you most knowledgeable about?
Ethical and philosophical issues regarding economic justice and moral/political issues related to warfare.
What is one accomplishment you are proud of?
I'm proud of the books and articles I've written and very pleased when students in my courses do better at the end than they have at the beginning.
Are you currently involved in something interesting outside the classroom?
I'm at the start of a new book project on issues about the proper role of government in the economy and what it would take to have an economically just society.
Is there anything else the student should know before taking your class?
Some students think that I grade papers harshly, but I want students to develop strong writing and analytic skills and am eager to help students succeed.

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