Topics are arranged alphabetically in the INDEX.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

C.S. Peirce's Principles of Learning

Charles Sanders Peirce

"Upon this first, and in one sense this sole, rule of reason, that in order to learn you must desire to learn, and in so desiring not be satisfied with what you already incline to think, there follows one corollary which itself deserves to be inscribed upon every wall of the city of philosophy: Do not block the way of inquiry." --Charles Sanders Peirce, 1896

Related: Peter Leithart, Peircian Trinity

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Benefits of Philosophical Studies

Penn State New Kensington's associate professor of philosophy, Donald Bruckner

Interest in Philosophy on the university level has increased in the past decade. There are more colleges offering undergraduate philosophy programs today than a decade ago, according to the College Board. Some schools with established programs include the University of Chicago, Rutgers, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and the University of Pennsylvania.

In part, the increased interest is due to the fact that American public schools have failed to address students' interest in metaphysical topics.  Additionally, intelligent young people are discovering that philosophy is useful in a wide range of fields, especially in business and technology.

Dr. Damon Horowitz quit his technology job and got a Ph.D. in philosophy -- and he thinks you should too.

"If you are at all disposed to question what's around you, you'll start to see that there appear to be cracks in the bubble," Horowitz said in a 2011 talk at Stanford. "So about a decade ago, I quit my technology job to get a philosophy PhD. That was one of the best decisions I've made in my life."

Read more here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Philosophy Education in France

Hugh Schofield

I have been staring in admiration over the shoulder of my 17-year-old daughter, as she embarks on a last mental rehearsal before a much-dreaded philosophy exam.

My primary thought is: Thank the Lord I was spared the torment.

I mean, can you imagine having to sit down one morning in June and spend four hours developing an exhaustive, coherent argument around the subject: Is truth preferable to peace?

Or: Does power exist without violence?

Or possibly: Can one be right in spite of the facts?

Perhaps you would prefer option B, which is to write a commentary on a text. In which case, here is a bit of Spinoza's 1670 Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. Or how about some Seneca on altruism?

I take these examples from my daughter's revision books. My heart bleeds for her, as I look at the list of themes that have to be mastered.

Ruby has chosen to take what they call a Bac Litteraire - the Literature Baccalaureat.

There are alternative, more science-biased versions of the Baccalaureat. They all include an element of philosophy.

But in the Bac Litteraire, philosophy is king.

Read the full article here.