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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Bring Back Philosophy for American High School Students!

Philosophy should be taught in American High Schools. It is a required subject in many European countries for this age group, and rightly so. It develops critical thinking skills, helps students develop a moral operating system, and allows for the integration of knowledge that only metaphysical conversation can do. Of course, all metaphysical conversation became verboten when John Dewey's adulterated pragmatism was ushered onto the American educational scene.

A recent article posted at reminds us that Philosophy was once an important part of the Amercan curriculum. Here is an excerpt:

In the U.S., it’s commonly believed that philosophy is too complex for high school students.

But in the history of the West, that’s actually a fairly recent notion, and not one universally held.

In ancient Greece, the specialized study of philosophy at a school like the famed Platonic Academy would not begin until about the age of 18. However, students in secondary school would learn logic and undertake a detailed study of poets like Homer and Hesiod with heavy philosophical tendencies in their works.

In the Middle Ages, students at Oxford would enter at the age of 14 or 15 and would begin a course of studies in the trivium – grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic – the latter of which included philosophy and, according to Robert Rait, “was the real interest of the medieval student.”

Read it all here.

Related reading: Schools Discovering the Value of PhilosophyPhilosophy for Primary Students?; Why I Teach Philosophy in Primary School by Giacomo Esposito; Teach Philosophy in Primary Schools; The Benefits of Philosophical Studies; Philosophy: The Most Impractical Practical Tool; Philosophy Education in France; Popularity of Philosophy in Germany