Tim Gowers has begun what he plans to be a long series of posts on his blog giving advice for beginning Cambridge mathmos. But the posts should of course be of great interest for new undergraduate mathematicians anywhere. So spread the word.
And already some of his advice seems pretty applicable to beginning philosophers too. That shouldn’t be too surprising: in both cases, what we are trying to teach isn’t a body of facts so much as an understanding of argumentative moves. In both cases, students need to learn how to see how to fillet out the key ideas (and tell what’s just joining-up-the-dots).
So I might be inspired to do what I have meant to do for a while and put together some how-to-get-started-thinking-philosophically and how-to-approach-your-work notes for new philosophers. It shouldn’t be made a mysterious business, whether it’s maths or philosophy. But meanwhile, read Gowers!