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Should the philosophy curriculum be revamped?

 
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 06:51 am
@Victor Eremita,
Victor Eremita;95973 wrote:
Eastern philosophy is of great historical and cultural importance to the respective Eastern countries, just as Western philosophy is to the respective Western countries. Great works of literature like the Tao Te Ching, Buddhist Scriptures, and the I Ching pour from the words of those philosophers. I don't see why philosophy has to be so Western-centric all the time.


Well, philosophy in the West is Western-centric (is there such a word?) because it is in the West, I suppose. And, it isn't, all the time. I suppose you are really asking whether there is any good justification for Western philosophy being taught so much in the West, and I suppose it is partly because Eastern philosophy is so intermingled (I was going to say, "mixed up with") religion, that it is not what we in the West think of as philosophy. It is also so intermingled with advice about how to live, that it does no more than touch on the problems of philosophy in the West like epistemology. The similarity between Western philosophy and Eastern philosophy is mostly the both deal with very general and abstract matters. Except for that, the term, "philosophy" as applied to both, would be a pun. (But, it ought to be noticed, too, that the gap between analytic philosophy, as practiced (for the most part) in the English-speaking countries, and continental philosophy, is also quite wide, so it is not quite right to talk of Western philosophy as monolithic either).
Victor Eremita
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 07:40 pm
@kennethamy,
I guess I'm just looking for pluralism in the philosophy departments.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 07:43 pm
@Victor Eremita,
Victor Eremita;96121 wrote:
I guess I'm just looking for pluralism in the philosophy departments.


How about pluralism in the biology departments? A few courses on Creationism? And what about Lamarkism?
Victor Eremita
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 01:17 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;96122 wrote:
How about pluralism in the biology departments? A few courses on Creationism? And what about Lamarkism?


Tsk tsk, I didn't think you'd be that petty. Which makes me think that exposure to different ways of thought, at least an intro or survey, is warranted in order to increase cultural awareness of the other side of the world.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 06:50 am
@Victor Eremita,
Victor Eremita;96174 wrote:
Tsk tsk, I didn't think you'd be that petty. Which makes me think that exposure to different ways of thought, at least an intro or survey, is warranted in order to increase cultural awareness of the other side of the world.


It is petty only if the analogy is false. Is it? Why?
If the idea is to teach "cultural awareness", it seems to me that the place to do it is in sociology, or anthropology, or even history. Why in philosophy? Why not in physics?
Victor Eremita
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 10:15 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;96205 wrote:
It is petty only if the analogy is false. Is it? Why?


You seem to be insinuating that Eastern philosophy is backwards or outdated, when in fact it is still alive and well in Eastern philosophy departments, which also include Western philosophy as part of their studies. Take the Hong Kong University Philosophy Department whose mission states: "The Department of Philosophy strives to offer a diverse, balanced curriculum incorporating Eastern and Western philosophical traditions that meets international standards while maintaining national and regional relevance." Or the Tokyo University which studies contemporary research in Confucianism. They study our philosophies, we can't take few moments to study theirs? (Although we do in some small measure, such as the Kyoto School philosophers)

Quote:

If the idea is to teach "cultural awareness", it seems to me that the place to do it is in sociology, or anthropology, or even history. Why in philosophy? Why not in physics?
If an Asian physicist writes something of importance in physics, should we not consider it? Same with Asian sociologists, anthropologists, historians, and philosophers in their respective fields.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 10:32 pm
@Victor Eremita,
Victor Eremita;96447 wrote:
You seem to be insinuating that Eastern philosophy is backwards or outdated, when in fact it is still alive and well in Eastern philosophy departments, which also include Western philosophy as part of their studies. Take the Hong Kong University Philosophy Department whose mission states: "The Department of Philosophy strives to offer a diverse, balanced curriculum incorporating Eastern and Western philosophical traditions that meets international standards while maintaining national and regional relevance." Or the Tokyo University which studies contemporary research in Confucianism. They study our philosophies, we can't take few moments to study theirs? (Although we do in some small measure, such as the Kyoto School philosophers)

If an Asian physicist writes something of importance in physics, should we not consider it? Same with Asian sociologists, anthropologists, historians, and philosophers in their respective fields.


I think that our universities should teach what they think ought to be taught. Certainly, if they want to teach Eastern philosophy/religion, and there are enough customers for that kind of thing, and the economics permit it, then I have no objection. If they study our philosophies, I suppose that there are those who want to teach those philosophies, and there are customers who want to learn those philosophies. And the economics are favorable. I suppose that in some American universities some Eastern thought is taught. I know of one, anyway.

Of course, if anyone contributes anything worth-while, it should be considered. What would make you think I believe it should not be? I suppose there is no difference between Asian physics and American physics.
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 05:09 pm
@jgweed,
I consider most classical philosopy grossly outdated, naive, selfcenterd and groupthink ..navel gazing mastrubation ..at best.

Philosopy rarely takes account for fanatical, moderate, indifferent behaviour. Less the shortcomming of humans, their mental illnesses, their primitive instincts ..etc.
But mostly describe things with a naive idealistic view.

If general philosopy should be of any practical use, they should spend wastly more time in studying economy, psycology ..etc.
To achive this, we have to root out the groupthinkers, the demagogues, the naive and other such delusional people.
0 Replies
 
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 05:53 pm
@richrf,
richrf;82100 wrote:
Should equal weight be given to Eastern philosophies?


no

look at what Eastern philosophy did to the East

I don't want to be surrounded by boring protofascist social conservatives who support the death penalty and plagiarize academic papers

richrf;82100 wrote:
Should there be more experiential aspects as opposed to emphasis on just thinking about it?


no

richrf;82100 wrote:
I would like to see philosophers actually experience yoga


yoga is painful

and I say this as a physically fit individual

pass

richrf;82100 wrote:
Should there be more discussion of scientific thought such as Relativity and Quantum Physics


there is

look for "philosophy of physics"

richrf;82100 wrote:
Should there be more emphasis placed on skepticism of facts as they are presented in the world. For example, yesterday I read of a medical study that showed "There is vigorous evidence that verebroplasty [a medical procedure that is used 100,000 times a year] doesn't work any better than control intervention."


that's the job of evidence-based medicine

Evidence-based medicine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

richrf;82100 wrote:
Should be look at how philosophy affects the way we live. For example, Eastern philosophies evolved from everyday observable events such as health practices and relationships with people.


... and uncritically accepting the words of the teacher
0 Replies
 
Jonblaze
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 08:42 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;95995 wrote:
Well, philosophy in the West is Western-centric (is there such a word?) because it is in the West, I suppose. And, it isn't, all the time. I suppose you are really asking whether there is any good justification for Western philosophy being taught so much in the West, and I suppose it is partly because Eastern philosophy is so intermingled (I was going to say, "mixed up with") religion, that it is not what we in the West think of as philosophy. It is also so intermingled with advice about how to live, that it does no more than touch on the problems of philosophy in the West like epistemology. The similarity between Western philosophy and Eastern philosophy is mostly the both deal with very general and abstract matters. Except for that, the term, "philosophy" as applied to both, would be a pun. (But, it ought to be noticed, too, that the gap between analytic philosophy, as practiced (for the most part) in the English-speaking countries, and continental philosophy, is also quite wide, so it is not quite right to talk of Western philosophy as monolithic either).


Given my experience, I am inclined to agree. Philosophy means two different things in the eastern mode and western. To force a marriage of the two (in some circumstances) is "wierd" -they answer very different questions.

Your point about eastern philosophy as "experiential" is well understood, but it is hard to see how you can call that 'philosophy' in a modern sense.

I think in a 'history of philosophy' context, it is manageable to compare the two side by side, as they developed. I took a conceptions of mind class that was split into eastern (mainly hindu and buddist) and western (greek and kant) conceptions of mind.
0 Replies
 
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 09:39 pm
@richrf,
rich's issue with modern philosophy is that it actually contends with facts
Jonblaze
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 01:52 am
@odenskrigare,
odenskrigare;126609 wrote:
rich's issue with modern philosophy is that it actually contends with facts


I disagree. Rich's issue with modern philosophy is he does not think it takes into account eastern perspectives on certain issues. The idea that modern philosophy is the only one with any factual bearing...seems rather optimistic.
0 Replies
 
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 02:28 am
@richrf,
well rich no longer posts here apparently (maybe he's finally kicked the bucket after avoiding Western medicine for decades) but I'll bring up a classic example of his:

http://www.philosophyforum.com/philosophy-forums/philosophers/ancient-philosophers/plato/5570-classics-substance-plato.html#post86271[INDENT]The Five Shen are the spirits associated with each of the body's five yin organ-systems (Heart, Kidney, Spleen, Liver and Lungs).

Shen: Emperor of the Heart

Within the Five Shen system we find something like a spiritual hierarchy: Shen - the spirit of the Heart - is the Emperor, with aspects of its power - like Ministers - residing as the spirits of the other organs.[/INDENT]now, richrf appears to believe that the heart has a spirit in it governs over the other bodily spirits, like an emperor

pretty important huh? except there are people alive today with artificial hearts, presumably lacking this essential spirit

this is really the kind of thing that's going to serve me working in public health, very useful![INDENT]Yi: Intellect of the Spleen

The spirit of the Spleen System is Yi, or intellect. A healthy Yi manifests as spirit-infused intelligence and understanding.[/INDENT]having a spleen is useful but if injured you can have it removed without suffering cognitive deficits

facts put a cannonball in the waterline of this philosophy: that's why it sucks ... why would anyone in their right mind entertain this crap? what if you got your spleen punctured and you were sent to dr. tcm? he'd say well I can't remove your spleen it's the root of your intelligence and you'd be a zombie without it. and you'd bleed to death. nice

good philosophy needs to contend with facts

by and large Asian philosophy fails to do so

I don't know whether it's multiculturalism or what that is telling us we need to pretend the emperor isn't buck naked
Jonblaze
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 02:54 am
@odenskrigare,
odenskrigare;126666 wrote:
well rich no longer posts here apparently (maybe he's finally kicked the bucket after avoiding Western medicine for decades) but I'll bring up a classic example of his:

http://www.philosophyforum.com/philosophy-forums/philosophers/ancient-philosophers/plato/5570-classics-substance-plato.html#post86271[INDENT]The Five Shen are the spirits associated with each of the body's five yin organ-systems (Heart, Kidney, Spleen, Liver and Lungs).

Shen: Emperor of the Heart

Within the Five Shen system we find something like a spiritual hierarchy: Shen - the spirit of the Heart - is the Emperor, with aspects of its power - like Ministers - residing as the spirits of the other organs.[/INDENT]now, richrf appears to believe that the heart has a spirit in it governs over the other bodily spirits, like an emperor

pretty important huh? except there are people alive today with artificial hearts, presumably lacking this essential spirit

this is really the kind of thing that's going to serve me working in public health, very useful![INDENT]Yi: Intellect of the Spleen

The spirit of the Spleen System is Yi, or intellect. A healthy Yi manifests as spirit-infused intelligence and understanding.[/INDENT]having a spleen is useful but if injured you can have it removed without suffering cognitive deficits

facts put a cannonball in the waterline of this philosophy: that's why it sucks ... why would anyone in their right mind entertain this crap? what if you got your spleen punctured and you were sent to dr. tcm? he'd say well I can't remove your spleen it's the root of your intelligence and you'd be a zombie without it. and you'd bleed to death. nice

good philosophy needs to contend with facts

by and large Asian philosophy fails to do so

I don't know whether it's multiculturalism or what that is telling us we need to pretend the emperor isn't buck naked


Point taken. His posts up to this point didn't really convey that ....perspective...?

They seemed very much in the sort of "philosophy isn't just in stuffy classrooms" vein, which has it's place.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 08:09 am
@Jonblaze,
Jonblaze;126671 wrote:
Point taken. His posts up to this point didn't really convey that ....perspective...?

They seemed very much in the sort of "philosophy isn't just in stuffy classrooms" vein, which has it's place.


Where?.................
0 Replies
 
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 12:59 pm
@Jonblaze,
Jonblaze;126671 wrote:
They seemed very much in the sort of "philosophy isn't just in stuffy classrooms" vein, which has it's place.


it tends to be very abstract

it's not taking something like a digital logic class where you can have an immediate, concrete application of what you have learned

philosophy shapes beliefs, and hence goals ... it's more general than a trade skill or even a particular discipline and I see no reason to believe that the convictions philosophy students form don't go on to impact their lives somehow, generally speaking
0 Replies
 
jgweed
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 01:28 pm
@richrf,
And not just their (hopefully) considered opinions, but in the adoption of a whole habit of mind and techniques of critical thinking that one associates with Intellect that impacts their lives, both in a general sense and often in a very existential, immediate sense as well.

And isn't it a philosophical position that philosophy must be useful or of practical benefit or "relevant to life" and have a "cash-value"?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 01:52 pm
@jgweed,
jgweed;126798 wrote:
And not just their (hopefully) considered opinions, but in the adoption of a whole habit of mind and techniques of critical thinking that one associates with Intellect that impacts their lives, both in a general sense and often in a very existential, immediate sense as well.

And isn't it a philosophical position that philosophy must be useful or of practical benefit or "relevant to life" and have a "cash-value"?


Critical thinking, eh. Like in analytic philosophy?
0 Replies
 
odenskrigare
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2010 02:10 pm
@jgweed,
jgweed;126798 wrote:
And isn't it a philosophical position that philosophy must be useful or of practical benefit or "relevant to life" and have a "cash-value"?


well I wouldn't say it needs a financial value

but it does need some value

otherwise it's crap
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Mar, 2010 09:41 am
@richrf,
richrf;82100 wrote:
Hi,

It has been a while since I took philosophy in school. It was one of my favorite subjects, but it seems to me, 40 years later, that the curriculum at the time was too narrow, and from what I can tell, it has not changed much since. Do we need to begin to change the curriculum to make it more relevant?

Should equal weight be given to Eastern philosophies? Should there be more experiential aspects as opposed to emphasis on just thinking about it? I would like to see philosophers actually experience yoga and Taiji so that they can understand the actual experience that led to the philosophies.

Should there be more discussion of scientific thought such as Relativity and Quantum Physics, and the philosophical and metaphysical debates that surround them?

Should there be more emphasis placed on skepticism of facts as they are presented in the world. For example, yesterday I read of a medical study that showed "There is vigorous evidence that verebroplasty [a medical procedure that is used 100,000 times a year] doesn't work any better than control intervention." Yet, "Most doctors in this country thought taht the trials was unethical, because they were so convinced vertebropasty works. Several hospitals didn't allow their doctors to participate." Do we need to teach ourselves to be much more skeptical of that which we believe to be true?

Should we seek out the practical applications of what ideas in every day life, beyond the possible economic benefits, e.g. Ayn Rand? Should be look at how philosophy affects the way we live. For example, Eastern philosophies evolved from everyday observable events such as health practices and relationships with people.
Imo modern philosophy doesn't really dig deep enough, sure there are subject which are modern, such as psycology, physics ..etc, but it's all on a low lvl niveau.
It doesn't teach to to have guts, be a rebel and step really out of group think.

Modern philosophy doesn't have the guts to say "you are a retard if you belive in things such as good, bad, truth, lies" ..but says it too suble for the masses to understand. you'll still see many who speak in such naive ways. Philosophy are still too much of a "gentelman".

~1% of all the posts I read in this forum are actually of some practical value, rest are just some navel gazing babble.

I bet no one in this forum can fully crak my story http://www.philosophyforum.com/lounge/general-discussion/7744-greater-logic.html
 

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