Annotation

‘Philosophy' is a university degree course. It has successfully passed the accreditation procedure in the field of ‘Philosophy'.

 

The academic modules prepare specialists with a broad philosophical horizon and a narrow profile for specialization. The learning process at Plovdiv University is subjected to the following priorities, which differentiate it from the programmes in other Bulgarian universities: a wider framework for the studying of the European philosophical tradition of the 20th century; interdisciplinary education, oriented towards the social sciences and the humanities (most importantly sociology, ethnology and history); a broader framework for teaching logic and its applied aspects. Another characteristic feature of the programme offered at Plovdiv University is the model for curtailing the relative share of broader general and systematic courses in the curriculum at the expense of increasing the share of specialised courses.

 

Prospects

Future specialists may realise themselves in the fields of culture, science, the management of the spiritual sphere and humanitarian activities, oriented towards the business or the system of social welfare. These necessities cater for a wide range of realisation prospects in the following spheres:

  • Specialists in the teaching, scientific, methodological, organisational and management areas in the system of education and culture;
  • Experts in scientific institutions;
  • Experts in the means of information, experts in the editorial boards of public and academic magazines, in the state-owned and private publishing houses;
  • Highly-qualified teachers in subjects related to philosophy taught at high school level;
  • Experts in the NGO sector.

In cases where the optional pedagogical module has been chosen, upon graduation the students receive the qualification ‘teacher of Philosophy' in secondary schools.

Upon graduation, the students have the right to pursue further studies in a variety of master's programmes.

Description

  1. Ontology (Social Ontology)

One does not need to be philosophically trained in order to discern that in every mundane scene we come across "huge invisible ontology" (Searle 1995: 3) which is so thick and rich that sometimes makes the world of brute facts hardly tangible as such. Social or institutional facts like money, marriages or the European Union, for example, seem to differ from natural ones like mountains or pieces of paper as far as they are in certain sense constructed or constituted: generated by the way we think or talk about them, by our consensus about their nature, by the way we explain them to each other, and by the concepts we use to grasp them.

The unraveling of this metaphysical burden, however, undoubtedly requires special philosophical training since it poses specific puzzle: social reality crucially depends on human practices, beliefs, intentions, descriptions, recognition, acceptance, etc. and in the same time it possesses discouraging recalcitrance and capability to exert power and shape our identities and relations. In such a sense, the main challenge before social ontology is to lay bare the intricate workings of this hybrid nature of social reality, which obviously possesses at once ontological objectivity and subjectivity.

This course discusses the numerous attempts – analytical (John Searle, Raimo Tuomela, Margaret Gilbert, etc.), phenomenological and ethnomethodological (Alfred Schutz, Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann, Harold Garfinkel, Melvin Pollner, etc.), systemic (Niklas Luhmann), critical realist (Roy Bhaskar, Dave Elder-Vass, Margaret S. Archer, Andrew Collier, etc.), Hegel-influenced (Robert Brandom, Robert Pippin, Heikki Ikäheimo, etc.), ANT (actor-network theory)-inspired (Bruno Latour, Michel Callon, etc.) – which have been made to deal with this specific ontological hybridity. Its riddle Margaret S. Archer summarizes in a series of questions: what is it that depends upon intentional human action but which never conforms to these intentions? What is it that is reliant upon people's conceptualisations but which they never fully know? What is it that is always activity-dependent but that never exactly corresponds to the activities of even the most powerful? What is it that has no organisational form without us, yet which also forms us its makers? And what is it whose constitution never satisfies the precise designs of anyone, but because of this always motivates its attempted reconstitution?

 

  1. Introduction to philosophy for social scientists

This Introduction aims at presenting and discussing some key philosophical problems and notions as well as the conceptual and methodological approaches to them, which has strongly influenced sociological thought. The focus is on the constructivist discourses and categories, which has moulded the thinking about social phenomena, spaces and relations. The main objectives are to learn to work with and interpret philosophical texts, to become familiar with some major problems and techniques of solving or reformulating them and to develop critical attitude and thinking about the intricate mechanisms of power.

 

  1. Bioethical problems of reproductive biotechnologies

There is little doubt that recent advances in biosciences and biotechnologies have significant impact on various received patterns of social bonding as well as the power to engender novel forms of social groupings. In their efforts to respond and to offer some insights on the specific nature of these processes, on their consequences and on the ways our contemporary societies should try to govern and mould them, social science reflection has directed its attention to the ongoing transformations of citizenship, capturing them through the concepts of biological (Petryna 2002; Rose and Novas 2005) (or more narrowly - genetic) citizenship (Kerr 2003; Heath, Rapp and Taussig 2004). These notions together with concepts as "biosociality" (Rabinow 1996) and "biovalue" (Waldby 2000) are employed as tools for analyzing the emerging new dynamics, constellations and redefinitions of identities, collectivities, activism and governance at the intersections of society and biomedical knowledge today. They allow us to observe and analyze the ways in which our biological bodies or genetic conditions are used as grounds for political claims and demands for material and symbolic resources. All this facilitates the emergence of novel forms of collectivities.

The conceptual background of the course is outlined mainly by the analyses of the biopolitical regulation of populations, which is part of the modern art of governance, aiming to optimize the population through promoting its health, wellbeing, prosperity, increased effectiveness and through protection from pathologies.

The ethics of reproduction is also examined with reference to another conceptual perspective, which enjoys a prominent place in bioethical discussions and puts emphasis on the parental right to make informed decisions and to avoid the birth of genetically impaired children as well as to shape and enhance our offspring.

 

4. Social and political philosophy

The course is organized around the problematic relation between social theory (or social knowledge) and the ways in which we are governed (or power). It unfolds in three steps: 1. presentation of the reflexive problematization of the function, meaning and methodology of the social theorizing through the notion of phronesis; 2. this notion is mobilized as a means to understand the critical perspectives towards the main assumptions of the liberal political thought; 3. through the analysis of "liberalism as practice" the attention is redirected towards the problems of biopower and biopolitics.

 

 

 

Evelina Vardzhiyska – university courses, annotations

 

  1. Didactics of Philosophy

The Didactics of Philosophy course is a compulsory subject for becoming a certificate for teacher's qualification. The successfully completion of the course is precondition for participation in the next three practical courses – Observation in schools, Ongoing teaching practice and State teaching practice before Graduation.

The Philosophy teaching is examined in the context of interactive teaching in general and promotes actual conceptions like life long learning and project based teaching.

 

Main goal and expected results:

Mail goals of the course are:

  • To create opportunity for methodological reflection of basic situations in the teaching practice

  • To develop further the student's skills for applying basic philosophical technics

  • To make students acquainted with selected practical teaching technics for planning and implementation of philosophy classes in the high school

 

Competences:

The successful completion of the course will allow the students

To know:

  • How to reflect on basic philosophical concepts, methods and technics according to teaching them in the high school

  • Basic teaching technics

To be able to:

  • Implement basic teaching technics

  • Formulate concrete and realistic goals in the process of teaching

  • Plan and prepare meaningful philosophy lessons

 

Preliminary requirements:

Students should know and/or be able to:

  • Have basic knowledge in the philosophy fields which are presented in Bulgarian high school (history of philosophy, logic, ethics, psychology, philosophy of law)

  • Have basic knowledge in pedagogy and psychology (successfully completed the university courses in Pedagogy and Psychology)

  • Analyze a philosophical text and write a philosophical essay

  • Have basic argumentation skills

  • Know and use the new information technologies and internet

 

  1. Observation in schools

Main goal and expected results:

Observation in schools is a practical course which aims to introduce the students in real teaching situations through group observations of philosophy lessons in selected schools in Plovdiv. Based on observations and comments on them students will be able to judge about the practical applicability of the knowledge what they have gained in the course of Didactics of Philosophy, to develop their skills for pedagogical reflection and self-reflection  and to get acquainted with the way of functioning of the schools as educational institutions.

Students will enlarge their knowledge about:

  • Organization of  the educative process in high schools

  • Basic normative documents which regulate the teaching in philosophy

 

Students will develop their skills:

  • To observe purposefully and differentially the process of teaching philosophy

  • To analyze content, structure and process of teaching

  • To recognize basic philosophical technics in their practical implementation

 

Preliminary requirements:

The Observation in schools course is obligatory for becoming a certificate for teacher's qualification. It is a practical addition to the main course Didactics of Philosophy and is carried out as his parallel course.

The students should know and be able to:

  • Have basic knowledge in the philosophy fields which are presented in Bulgarian high school (history of philosophy, logic, ethics, psychology, philosophy of law)

  • Have basic knowledge in pedagogy and psychology (successfully completed the university courses in Pedagogy and Psychology)

 

  1. (Ongoing)Teaching practice

The Ongoing Teaching Practice course is a compulsory subject for becoming a certificate for teacher's qualification.

Main goal and expected results:

The Ongoing teaching practice course aims at:

  • Developing student\s skills for purposefully and differentially observation the process of teaching philosophy and for pedagogical reflection and self-reflection

  • Getting students acquainted with the way of functioning of the schools as educational institutions.

  • Preparing students for their state teaching practice before graduation

 

Students who complete successfully that course will

Know:

  • How the educative process in high schools is organized

  • Basic normative documents which regulate the teaching in philosophy

  • The specifics of teaching philosophy at high school be personal first-hand experience

 

Be able to:

  • Observe purposefully an differentially and document the whole process of teaching philosophy

  • Analyze content, structure and implementation of teaching process

  • Recognize basic philosophical technics in their practical implementation

  • To estimate the effectiveness of teaching they have observed

 

Preliminary requirements:

The students should know and be able to:

  • Have basic knowledge in interactive teaching and have successfully completed the Didactic of Philosophy course

  • Have basic knowledge in the philosophy fields which are presented in Bulgarian high school (history of philosophy, logic, ethics, psychology, philosophy of law)

 

 

  1. Audio-visual and Information Technologies in Teaching

The Audio-visual and Information Technologies in Teaching course is a compulsory subject for becoming a certificate for teacher's qualification.

Students who complete successfully that course will

Know:

  • The specifics of some selected media relevant to teaching philosophy at high school - internet, power point, film, music, web 2.0. (blog, webquest)

  • the opportunities to improve the effectiveness of teaching by using new technologies

 

Improve their skills to:

  • Analyze films

  • Analyze philosophical questions and problems in different media (text, film, music)

  • Create power point presentations

  • Formulate assessment for research in internet

  • Plan a philosophy lesson with using new media and technologies

 

Strengthen student's attitudes of

  • Willingness and confidence to use new media as specially motivating high school students

  • Purposefully, properly and with due measure usage of new media in teaching process

 

Preliminary requirements:

The students should know and be able to:

  • Have basic knowledge in interactive teaching and have successfully completed the Didactic of Philosophy course

  • Have basic knowledge in the philosophy fields which are presented in Bulgarian high school (history of philosophy, logic, ethics, psychology, philosophy of law)

 

  1. State teaching practice before Graduation

The State teaching Practice before Graduation is a compulsory subject for becoming a certificate for teacher's qualification.

Main goal and expected results:

The State Teaching Practice before Graduation has aims as follow:

  • To develop student\s skills for concrete planning, preparing and delivering philosophy classes in the high school

  • To give students opportunity for orientation and getting acquainted with the educative process in high school, the school environment and documentation

  • To develop student's abilities for self-reflection on their own pedagogical attitudes and values and in this way to make easier their professional orientation

 

By successfully completion of the course students

Will know

  • How the educative process in high schools is organized

  • The school documentation and be able to work with it

  • What the specifics of teaching philosophy at high school are based on their personal first-hand experience

Will be able to:

  • Plan, prepare and deliver lessons in philosophy

  • Practically implement basic philosophical technics in the teaching process

  • Grade the achievements of the high school students and estimate the effectiveness of their work as teachers

 

Preliminary requirements:

The students should know and be able to:

  • Have basic knowledge in interactive teaching

  • Have basic knowledge in the philosophy fields which are presented in Bulgarian high school (history of philosophy, logic, ethics, psychology, philosophy of law)

  • have successfully completed the courses in Didactic of Philosophy, Observation in schools, Ongoing teaching practice and Audio-visual and Information technologies in Teaching