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Michael Gumbrell


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I had another check through the guidance notes for tma2.

It is very clear. The tma is utterly about chapter 2. Nothing from the other chapters need to be in there.

So a very closed tma question.

Perhaps it is to make us reallt drill down onto how we write a philosophicaly logical essays.

We will see, i sure i will be on this blog bemoaning tma2 some more.

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Me in a rare cheerful mood

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"Perhaps it is to make us really drill down onto how we write a philosophically logical essay."

Yes, yes it is.  Spot on.  A222 is not about learning philosophy, it is about learning how to do philosophy.

That section I think you've just done - the philosophy of religion - made me particularly grumpy because it covered neither the better arguments for there being a god, nor the excellent arguments for why intelligent design is utter bobbins.  It was not until days before the exam that I was shown the light: the material in A222 has been specifically chosen - and showstoppers intentionally omitted - for you to construct arguments from it, not to believe it or learn it.  It really is all about the laying out of philosophical arguments.

It does not matter - you must not let it matter - whether you agree with the essay's conclusion.  The conclusion is merely a condensation of the evidence you have been given.  There are not right or wrong answers, merely well constructed arguments.

Also, A222 was the module where I learned it is far better to attend multiple tutors' tutorials than to assume your tutor - who has a philosophy PhD and who is a professor in a brick university and is a really nice bloke - is a competent teacher.  Sadly, I only learned that days before the exam.  But it has served me well on modules since then.

Me in a rare cheerful mood

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PS thank you for the comments you sent me one way and another about the OU and Cuban student business.  I have been very busy, head down, trying to catch up with my studies since that got cleared up.  But I have now got some 'trophies': letter and emails from my MP, a member of the House of Lords, a couple of Departmental Ministers and the head of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, including an invitation to meet Cuban MPs when they visit London later this year.  No acknowledgement though from any of the senior people in the OU to whom I wrote.  And the OU's spin on it, giving the impression it had appealed to the UK government for help as opposed to having its arse kicked from multiple directions behind closed doors, was a bit slimy.

It was interesting my attempts to mobilise just 50 OU students to kick the OU Students Association to act was unsuccessful.  I am still reflecting on what that means; how it is some things gain traction and others don't.  Having learned last year in A327 about the huge and influential 1960s student protest movement, it all seems a bit disappointing.  The OU S A is nothing like the radical and revolutionary (and totally corrupt) Students Union I was in back in the early 80s!

Michael Gumbrell

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All credit to you Simon.

All those letters sound fine, but the trip to meet the Cuban MP's at the embassy sounds awesome. If my memory serves me correctly, its on the Cromwell Road, but its been 20 years sincr i worked in London, so i might be wrong.

I did indeed read the OU statement, i agree it was slimey.

Bit well done to you for campaigning and getting a result.

I am hating A222. For tma2 there is no physical titorial. Its a online one, i would see if the software works and attend, but i am not convinced it will....

Glad your caught up with your work. That is always a relief.