The first two weeks of philosophy has been quite interesting. This class is unique from any other class in how it is run, and it is an refreshing change from the “teacher gives notes and student studies them” approach. So far we have looked into several topics, including the purpose of education, what it means to love wisdom, and the importance of conversation in philosophy. These topics have generated more questions than answers, which is a little frustrating, but it has made me understand that philosophy does not always have an ‘answer key’ hidden somewhere, and many questions will never have just one right answer.
The article “Talk with me” discusses about how philosophy isn’t about finding answers in solitude, only collecting what yourself knows. Instead, it discusses how important it is to discuss and share viewpoints with others. I found myself agreeing to pretty much the entire article. One line that stuck with me was “philosophy is a subject that weighs positions, not just airs them.” I think this is very important because it changes the discussion from simply sharing opinions, to critiquing and challenging perspectives. This pushes myself and others to improve their arguments, in a search to find how “things really are”.
We also spent some time discussing what philosophy (‘to love wisdom’) really meant. Many of us have a pretty clear handle on what is love. It is not only an primal attraction, but a dedication and care for something (or someone). Wisdom however, was harder to define. I believe wisdom, is experience, something that cannot be found in books or online. I believe wisdom is Knowledge may be about learning facts, but I believe learning how to apply knowledge to the real world is wisdom.
This leads into some of my goals for this course. My first goal is to partake in interesting, thought-provoking discussions/debates with my peers. I want to avoid the ‘my opinion vs yours’ type conversations and be able to critique others’ arguments as well as take in criticism, to further my understanding about these large philosophical ideas. I hope these conversations will lead into another goal of mine, which is to form my own philosophical opinions about different topics, based on my own set of values and morals. Without being knowledgeable, it is impossible for me to establish my own views on topics. Through some of the knowledge I gain from the course, I hope to gain a better understanding of where I stand on certain issues, especially around the topics that intrigue me most, which are logic and ethics.