Building Philosophical Partnership Using Havruta to Teach Philosophical Reading Skills

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Sarah Zager


This paper explores the potential benefits of applying a technique of paired text study, usually used for the study of Rabbinic texts, called Havruta to teaching philosophy both undergraduate and divinity school settings. I also explore recent research on the significant gender gap in philosophy, which shows that much of the gender disparity occurs just after students' initial introduction to the discipline; some of this research suggests that this gap is linked to a "brilliance mindset," in which students think that success in philosophy is based almost entirely on raw talent, rather than a set of skills. I discuss how Havruta might be used to help students understand that it is possible to learn to how read and think philosophically, thereby helping combat the “brilliance mindset.”

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