Howard Gardner (well-known professor of education at Harvard) makes the case for why students should be required to take two philosophy classes as part of their college education. Oddly, he doesn't even mention the benefits of critical thinking that come from wrestling with philosophy. Don't want your student to wait until college to reap the benefits of studying philosophy? There are still spots available in the "Philosophically Speaking" class I'll be teaching at Compass in the fall.
From Howard Gardner: "[Philosophy] would help students understand that reflective human beings have been asking and answering such questions for millennia, across many cultures and many epochs. Some of the answers those people came up with to the perennial riddles of life have been profound, as indeed have some of the subsequent critiques of their answers. I want students to appreciate that this conversation over time and across cultures is important and — crucially — that they can and should join in. But they should do so with some humility and respect, building on what has been thought and said before. ... [As seniors] students would approach the discipline more directly through the use of philosophical texts that deal with timeless as well as contemporary issues — for example, seminal texts on just and unjust wars, human and artificial intelligence, bioethics, the nature of consciousness. The goal: to equip graduates with a philosophical armamentarium they could draw from — and contribute to — for the rest of their lives."
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