Teaching

My goal in my courses is to create an environment where students can engage within their own culture as well as cultures of others. This is achieved through teaching a diverse variety of traditions introduced in the course and showing how these traditions directly influence our modern epoch. This helps students see their presuppositions and assumptions arising from their own traditions which helps develop critical reasoning skills. Students achieve this through group discussion and writing.

Testimony:

“His enthusiasm to teach the material made me more excited and open to learning. His classes are very well organized and he’s very invested in ensuring that the students learn to best of their abilities. I appreciate that he consistently made himself available to answer any follow up questions from lectures or about upcoming assignments. Additionally, there was a great balance of independent work and group discussions. The way classes were set up, I feel as though it was great to be able to digest the material taught at our own pace, and then come together to take polls and discuss our opinions.”

“I initially had no interest in philosophy, but his lectures were engaging and kept me awake despite it being early in the morning. I genuinely enjoyed attending class. He is also very accommodating towards students with disabilities and cares about all his students.”

“He demonstrated social ability to efficiently and kindly reason with students when it came to ideas concerning a certain philosophy in order to find common ground for expanding students ideas to allow them to assimilate the material more effectively.”

“He was very good at explaining and explained things multiple times. He clearly cared that we understood the material, not just memorizing facts. It made learning more interesting and fun.”

Courses Taught:

Introduction to Philosophy

This course was framed around five questions:

  1. Why is there something and not nothing?
  2. Who am I? What am I? What is a person?
  3. How is the mental connected with the physical?
  4. How do we know anything? Do we actually know anything?
  5. What is the good life?

Through engaging with these questions, we discussed possible answer arising out of European, Islamic, Feminist, Buddhist, Africana, Vedantin, Confucian, and Daoist philosophies.

What students said about the course (taken from SET survey):

“Presentations and summaries were neat and easy to follow. Great understanding of students and very clear assignments.” 

“He was enthusiastic about our enthusiasm which pushed us to open up more and want to continue discussions.”

NonWestern & Comparative Philosophy

This course is framed by the question: who am I? We focused on Indian and Chinese traditions to this answer and discussed how identity relates to both the social and the ethical.

What students said about the course (taken from SET survey):

“Professor Rawles did a wonderful job at making a class that has content that is difficult to understand, fun, and understandable.”

“He broke down the information well, at first was rather confused, by the end I was building a comfort level.”

Philosophy & Logic

The course provided an introduction into critical thinking and provided steps to Propositional Logic. Comparative accounts of Buddhist Logic where discussed regarding Categorical Logic. 

What students said about the course (taken from SET survey):

“Overall the class was easy to follow and challenging in a way that did not feel impossible. the workload was very manageable and I like how the lectures were structured with collaborative in-class assignments and a short homework assignment each week. Instructor Rahlwes explained the material in class and with additional recorded lectures which I appreciated and did a good job responding to questions in an easy to understand way.”

“He was very accessible to all students and taught in a way that was easy to learn. This was my second time taking the course and I somehow understood everything completely, purely because of Professor’s excellent teaching. I am so so grateful!!”

Other courses taught focusing on a comparative methodology:

Philosophy & Social Ethics

Philosophy & Gender

Environmental Philosophy

Courses I Plan to Teach:

Philosophy of Language

Buddhist Philosophy 

World Philosophy

Other courses: Logic, Indian Philosophy, Chinese Philosophy, Africana Philosophy, and Mesoamerican Philosophy