Philosophy in School!

Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 07:46 pm
There would never be enough students interested. Perhaps only 1 or 2 out of 1000. It would be nice to have a club or group where students could discuss and/or learn philosophical things. Maybe they would have to broaden the subject to include more things, but I'm not really sure about that. of course where I live, nobody would be smart enough to understand it.
Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 10:43 pm
Wonder does not require a smart person.
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Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 10:49 pm
Well, you would be surprised how many people are interested in philosophy. If no one at your school is, there may be regulars at local coffee shops that are. All it takes is a little effort, and you can find people in any community willing to get involved in philosophical discussions.
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Reply Thu 25 Jun, 2009 10:53 pm
In Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao, even there is no philosophy lesson in Senior school... the education authorities only provide traditional subjects to the students and force them to getting high marks......
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Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 08:51 am
Holiday20310401;15446 wrote:
Does philosophy class seem ethical to you?

Of course if the teacher clearly says what is the truth.
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Reply Fri 26 Jun, 2009 10:18 am
I have been following this thread with great interest and if you will allow me to offer my comments. IMO, there is a big difference in being a student of philosophy and a philosopher. Being a philosopher is a universal compulsion in my meager opinion. It is unavoidable. I honestly think it has to do with "karma" actually. This can get really deep and I would rather not go there. You see I do believe in our eternal existence and what goes around comes around and those who want to know the truth some how caused, in the past, the problems we are experiencing today and it is the role of the he who did, to solve the problem he created. I am by no means an exception to that rule, neither are we all. It is our universal "education" process as we search for that which is indeed true, just and right and we have an eternity to finally get it right. Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Nietzsche etc, etc, etc still live as is Adam, the very first among us if i am at all correct. To me it is common sense.

The ego is a power entity. Most students find a philosopher that "fits their case" and hang on for dear life and often quote those philosophers who support the foundation of their thinking which gives them solace. But that does not stop the aguments and encourages a debate and so we continue the game as we match wits with each other solving nothing.

We are all on that path to reach the truth, if only we didn't argue so much, a game the ego enjoys so very much. Knowledge is such a wonderful thing if it is complimentary with the knowledge of another allowing peaceful communication. We honestly don't know what that means. We don't do that. The ego will not permit it. It has to win. Life is not a game, IMO. It is real and we all are "players", we just differ in opinions. Some are just "smarter" than others and use that to trump the deck, until those opponents become inept and incompetent to compete and are turned away in defeat. Such is the reality we live in. You can't have a winner without a loser. You cannot have wealth without poverty, etc; such is the reality we have created. It would be nice if we were all on he same team, working together in this thing we call life to perfect it as we look forward to tomorrow with anticipation as to what it will bring. Time to reel me back in. Ha. Food for thought. Man, I can get out there. Ha.

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Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2009 08:47 am
Even if there were enough students interested in philosophy and capable of understanding it at that age (especially considering the quality of education received in other ancillary subjects), one doubts if there would be enough teachers with the ability to teach it, and very few public schools could afford the necessary faculty to provide anything like a well-rounded philosophical curriculum.

If a skeleton is to be preferred to a living human, it might be possible and realistic, though, to provide teaching in formal and informal logic that easily fits into a single class. Formal logic supplements mathematical studies, and informal logic has practical applications useful to anyone in a democratic society.

Outside of this class, both useful and teachable, what could be taught except a very general survey of a few important philosophers, probably without allowing students access to the original writings, and with the same profit as a survey of ancient history done without requiring acquaintance with Herodotus or Thucydides. One wonders how much such a Cliff-note excursion into philosophy would benefit even a freshman in college except to be able to recognise a few names when mentioned in lectures in other humanistic disciplines.

Kant notes, in his Critique, that philosophy is not for everyone. Those who are seriously interested in philosophy, who receive from her a summons that cannot be refused, and who revere a tradition of two thousand years maintained by those who came before and consider them companions, will find their way to her on their own and as solitary thinkers.
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Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 04:37 am
Philosophy is a very subjective based thing, and are very vunerable to manipulation. The one with the greatest rethorical gift wins, not the one with logic. It's a demagogues paradise.
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Twilight Siren
Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 08:24 am
Holiday20310401;15446 wrote:
Should there be philosophy courses in high school? Does it seem ethical?
Lets pretend that there would be enough students interested unless you think otherwise, like me.

Philosophy allows for intellect instead of the gathering of knowledge which I see students lacking. All I hear my classmates talking about is a reflection of the MSN conversation they had yesterday, or that game that just came out on xbox. So I believe that innovative advancement could potentially slow down. English class, to me isn't really good enough. It deals more with formal logic which always ends up dealing with books that have been analysed for the past 100 years anyways. We need debates and informal reasoning, its much more fun than memorizing formulas or reading books that I could read on my own time at home.
Highschool is an opportunity for teens to be all together in a classroom, there isn't any other place where that happens, so why no take the opportunity for us to argue our opinions and gain eachother's insight while coalesced.
Does philosophy class seem ethical to you?

I think that it would be fantastic if they taught Philosophy in school, however, I feel more strongly that Philosophy (in the sense of living philosophically) and Ethics is something that is more strongly the responsibilty of the parents to try to instill value structures (hopefully non-biased, but likely not so) into their children. It seems like no one knows what "raising" a child is anymore. They sit them in front of the T.V. or computer and let the media teach them. I think sex ed. should be taught by the parents too, but that's another thread . . . . .

Not only would Philosophy and ethics be a great thing to learn, but I think that they can gain a lot through debate of the subjects. It's as they say . . two heads are better than one. They could also be shown some examples of how this Philosophy would apply to everyday life, so that maybe it will all "stick" in their heads.

GoshisDead;15459 wrote:
Some high schools have philosophy courses, of course, most do not. The main reason I would assume that high schools avoid formal philosophy is that it is not practical or trade driven. The trend in modern education, especially in America, is towards vocational teaching. The core college prep curriculum is still maintained but non core classes are less and less abstract and/or artistic.[1]

At the peril of ranting, the third reason philosophy is probably not taught in high school is because unlike sciences humanities and vocational classes there is no definitive right and wrong when it comes to testing. In a different vein, unlike the arts, formal philosophy cannot be judged on pure aesthetic theory. Thus the evaluative testing/performances required by state and federal law become very difficult, especially if philosophy is taught right by the teacher and practiced right by the student.[2]

1. He's right. No one teaches anything to anyone in America that someone can't make money on. I wish they would just teach, so we could know . . . and that's all. Not just so we could pass a test, look good on paper, so we can get into college, work 9-5 in a crappy job my whole life so I can pay "the man" . . grow old and die. . . . .I feel like there's a lot more to life then fueling this type of cycle.
2. This is why I mentioned practical application.

urangutan;15470 wrote:
....I don't know Holiday. I don't feel that learning philosophy is reading Plato or Socrates and understanding it. I don't imagine that any of them were great philosophers at sixteen and being philosophical is more of an awakening than being indoctrinated.

I imagine that it would be wiser to teach children philosophically rather than teach them philosophy. It could be applied to a broader spectrum of education.

That's a pretty good idea, then maybe we'd have more people that care more about things that aren't themselves (in a shallow sense) and $$$$$. I think we'd have a lot more well-rounded, thinkers. . . instead of ignorant texters.

Victor Eremita;20771 wrote:
It's probably not safe to discuss theological questions in high school; besides that, survey courses in metaphysics, epistemology, and history of philosophy are good non-politically charged topics.

My city's school board has an agreement with one of the universities. Grade 11 or 12 students can take Philosophy 12 and learn metaphysics, epistemology, and the history of philosophy from Plato to Derrida. When they pass the final exam, they earn transfer credit for 1st year philosophy. (this was probably the selling point for keeners to get ahead in their studies lol). . . .

That's pretty awesome. Wish I went to that school. My Junior and Senior years, I had 3 different music classes. I started and ended every day with a music class, or I probably would have skipped school more. (I wasn't such an advocate for learning then . . only learning what I wanted) My school had a good music program and reputable sports teams . . .but that's it.

Correct me if I'm wrong though, but doesn't the word "theological" deal more with "god theories" and religion. That's all I see in "theological studies" section of every bookstore I've ever been in (and I worked for 3 of them). In that case . . keep that crap out of school. You shouldn't try to teach faith . . you should just come into it in your own way . . . outside of public. It's a very personal thing. . . Please tell me if there's more to this than what I'm seeing. I wouldn't want to be the ignorant one, in this case!:rolleyes:

Theaetetus;21279 wrote:
A basic logic course should be taught in high school along with a survey course that pertains to the history of philosophy. The class would pretty much be structured like this: here are a bunch of philosophers that lived during these dates. Here is what they had to say. There is no reason why this could not work in a pre-college school setting.

Ethics is another subject that could be taught to advanced high school juniors and seniors. Hell, everyone should be trained to look at many different perspectives ethically. Maybe people's interpersonal relationships would improve as a result.

True. I feel that the Philosophy course would probably be just like you say . . . such a square solution to what could be a very "open" thing . . . sounds like just what they would want for the class.

Not saying that that's so bad . . . better than nothing.
Ethics is the job of the parent, but they're sucky at their jobs sometimes.

urangutan;21283 wrote:
. .. . . Most students do not go on with an education for the myriad of reasons that exist, of which less that do, will continue the line of study that you so wish to enrich them with and your only point of salvation is that an even less percent will ever read again but they can be counted on, to look at the work that they do read in a different light.[1] .. .

. . . why wait till the end to enlighten them, when you can show them the path to enlightenment the whole time[2].

1. Sad but true
2. :cool: :a-ok:
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Reply Tue 23 Mar, 2010 09:51 am
Critz;20500 wrote:
To work on what was being said above- in this wonderfully politically correct world of ours, when there is highschool philosophy class, it is NOTHING like what im assuming you wan't it to be. In Catholic school, for example, you would study and memorize 10 reasons why god exists (no, im not making that up)- little room for debate, and the rest of the course proceeds much the same way. In public school, however, philosophy was little more then a more specialized history course, where only the concrete was taught (irony?) such as the life of famous philosophers, dates, and very brief overviews of individual beliefs.
Aswell, marking the course would (I'de assume) be hell on earth. Would the mark be based in participation and the logic you use in essays? Unless teachers have something concrete to stick too, the marking scheme would probably be highly reliant on favoritism and the loudest arguer. And concrete is hardley something that should ever be used to describe philosophy today.

Using the line of thinking that in practice schools will mess it up and so it should not be taught, it would follow that they should not teach anything. Remember the science issues in Kansas in the recent past? Or how about current Texas:

Backstory: How The Texas Textbook Revision Came To Be

Texas Textbook MASSACRE: 'Ultraconservatives' Approve Radical Changes To State Education Curriculum

You can use a search engine for "texas textbooks" for many more articles, if you are interested.

You are, of course, right that a private Catholic school is going to mess things up in their favor. But in their case, they already have "philosophy" that they teach as part of the curriculum.
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Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2010 04:34 am
Holiday20310401;15446 wrote:
Should there be philosophy courses in high school? Does it seem ethical? :confused:

I studied philosophy as a senior student in high school. Complemented the other subjects I was doing were predominately with the desire to enter postgraduate law. Keep in mind I was, and still am, a very unusual young man. I picked subjects that were pretty far-fetched to most such as literature and psychology. I wanted subjects that allowed me to express myself and understand the values of society and what rational reasoning there was behind such ideas and notions - particularly religion to begin with. If you have a student with a desire and thirst for intellectualism and the willingness to challenge their beliefs, allow them the opportunity to act on that thirst.

Although, a little word of warning: discussing some things can immerse you in a very uncomfortable mental state, such as solipsistic thinking, the existence or non-existence of freewill and whether or not identity is an illusion. Confronting for a person who is unable to leave the problem aside and go along and complete their other work and other activities. I remember sitting at home, my hands wrapped around my head with a splitting headache trying to write a paper on freewill.

You need to be a particular type of person to be a student of philosophy. If you start of getting so immersed in the problems, you need to have the incentive to leave them alone and do something else - relax. Philosophy is a little bit of a bastard when it comes to trying to relax when you have been meditating on your own existence, "Is this video game real or am I in a video game?" ;-)

Anecdotal, and possibly irrelevant, but I thought I would put it out there and see if you think my personal experiences have any truth on this topic.

- Minimal.
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