PDA

View Full Version : philosophy classes



Tired_Of_You
04-06-2006, 04:15 PM
Anyone has philosophy classes? Anyone thinks they don't let the students be ceative enough? I do.

I understand that it's important to know who are the most well-known philosophers in the world and to also learn what they've talked about, what they believed, etc. Then the teacher gives you an exam and you have to explain their concepts. That's what I've been doing this semester in philosophy. We talk about their concepts. Theory, concepts. Yay.

I think that in philosophy there's a part where you have to use your creativity, where you need to ask yourself about the world, people, everything around you and make an opinion of that, etc. You have to be able to use critical thinking. We don't do that. Never. We don't have to ask ourselves if this philosopher is "right" or not. We never needed to use that in high school, because it was all so easy, we didn't need opinions and they never asked us to give our opinions. Now that we're not in high school anymore, we need to use critical thinking a little more. I don't have any problems with that, I don't know for others, though. However, why do we never have to use it in philosophy? I think it'd be much more interesting! I think you need that in philosophy... and in the world in general anyway.

Is it only in Quebec that our philosophy classes are just so...almost useless? What are your philosophy classes like? More interesting, less? How about critical thinking?

I want comments.

Paint_It_Black
04-06-2006, 04:18 PM
I took A-level philosophy in England. Then I stopped going after about a month. I agree with you.

Tired_Of_You
04-06-2006, 04:20 PM
I almost wish I could stop, but if I want to go to university I have to do these 3 philosophy classes.

Jebus
04-06-2006, 04:28 PM
I had a philosphy class in 9th grade. Yeah, it was pretty much memorize and repeat but I still loved it. Honestly, all my philosphical ideas were pretty stupid before I had the class. I just sort of adopted some of the things I learned and took them as my own after. Evertime I heard something new in the class, I thought "cool, I never realized that but its absolutly true." In a way, you do get to form your own opinions but you sort of keep them to yourself. For example, I completly agreed with what some philosphers said and absolutely disagreed with what some other people said but its good to know more than one point of view so you could form your own.

Sinister
04-06-2006, 04:32 PM
Valérie... I hope MY philosophy classes won't be like yours. I'm starting CEGEP (= college to all you non-Quebeckers) next year, and I was kind of looking forward to philosophy.

HornyPope
04-06-2006, 04:32 PM
Iza:

I agree, but on a basic level thats the only way to do philosphy because 95% of the students are too stupid to understand anything else or too uninterested to care. Most of the people that I knew just studied it to pass, they didn't care at all. But that's the fault of the academia in general.

Tired_Of_You
04-06-2006, 04:42 PM
I had a philosphy class in 9th grade. Yeah, it was pretty much memorize and repeat but I still loved it. Honestly, all my philosphical ideas were pretty stupid before I had the class. I just sort of adopted some of the things I learned and took them as my own after. Evertime I heard something new in the class, I thought "cool, I never realized that but its absolutly true." In a way, you do get to form your own opinions but you sort of keep them to yourself. For example, I completly agreed with what some philosphers said and absolutely disagreed with what some other people said but its good to know more than one point of view so you could form your own.9th grade is kinda far away from me now. I'm not saying that you were too young to have your own philosophical ideas, but we're in college now, I think it's time they let us do other things than memorize. I agree that you form your own opinions, I did. I agree with some philosophers and some I don't. I think they don't let the students be creative enough for where I am now. I'm not a kid anymore, I'm able to at least try to have my own ideas, which most of the teachers don't let the students do.


Valérie... I hope MY philosophy classes won't be like yours. I'm starting CEGEP (= college to all you non-Quebeckers) next year, and I was kind of looking forward to philosophy.There are many differences between high school and CEGEP and one of them is how teachers... teach. (Ils donnent tous la matière différemment). You might be luckier than me. I'm actually luckier than one of my friends who's learning the concepts of different philosophers while never knowing which one she's studying. Apparently the teacher stays in front of the class and talks, talks, talk...talks... I might talk to my teacher about that one day, I don't think she'd take it the wrong way. She's quite an interesting teacher. My class is not boring that much, I just think it's REALLY far from perfect.

Dive
04-06-2006, 04:44 PM
I have had several philosophy classes. We don't really take exams; it's usually just discussion, so there's always the opportunity to voice our views on different philosophers. However, when I first took a philosophy class in high school, we had to present our views on different areas (metaphysics, aesthetics, etc.) after we covered them. It was kind of fun, but it wasn't really philosophy, since it was just our opinions (and philosophy is much more rigorous, with epistemology and all that jazz). But anyway, why don't you just raise your hand and say what you want to say? Most philosophy teachers like the debate.

Tired_Of_You
04-06-2006, 04:47 PM
Iza:

I agree, but on a basic level thats the only way to do philosphy because 95% of the students are too stupid to understand anything else or too uninterested to care. Most of the people that I knew just studied it to pass, they didn't care at all. But that's the fault of the academia in general.I don't think 95% of the students don't give a shit. Like I said it's not high school anymore. I was talking about that to one of my friends and there's a big difference between high school and college. We all have to do the phylosophy class, but we pay to go to college and a lot of people aren't there just to do nothing and waste their time. I think a lot of people in my class would be intelligent enough to form their own opinions. The others would have to if they'd want to pass the class.


why don't you just raise your hand and say what you want to say? Most philosophy teachers like the debate.I'll do it.

Preocupado
04-06-2006, 04:48 PM
The fun philosophy classes i had were only the ones where the teacher was more *interested in making us think than in making we memorize quotes and dates.

I've had teachers and teachers, but i only remember these* classes.

HornyPope
04-06-2006, 04:56 PM
Izie:

The fact that you all "have to do the class" means that most people don't actually care enough to engage in discussions. Or so it was in my university. I could elaborate more but im so lazy.

(she is. im typing this for her)

I took over. I'm not THAT lazy. Anyway. My uni had a lot of people in the philosophy class. Most of those didn't care about the philosophy to any further extent than the fact that they had to pass the exam. Also, with a lot of people in the class (like it was the case with us), it's pretty impossible to get a good discussion going. People were mostly just interested in taking notes. *shrug*

And in highschool, actually, we did it much better, with a lot of discussions and oppinions and whatnot. I totally loved it back then.

Mota Boy
04-06-2006, 06:49 PM
I've taken a couple philosophy classes in my time. One was taught by this blind-dumb Marxist grad student, the other was taught by one of the better professors I've ever had. We'd actually have to write critiques of the thinkers. I can't remember it too clearly, as I took the latter one three years ago now, but our paper topics were generally something along the lines of "How would Kierkegaard respond to Hegel's theory of the dialectic? What are your thoughts?"

Betty
04-06-2006, 07:24 PM
My philosophy classes were fine in uni. I've taken two: a general intro course, and a metaphysics course.

We studied the "thinkers" but there was always lots of class discussion, and the essays generally involved not only a discussion of the philosophers' thoughts but also a critique of some fashion. Needless to say, it resulted in my thinking of my own opinions quite a bit.

I kind of equate CEGEP to highschool almost, so maybe there's still hope if you're gonna pursue philosophy in uni. Or maybe you were just unlucky in your specific courses.

I agree with Dive to an extent though that there needs to be a degree of rigourousness and it can't just be a "what are your thoughts on..." type of deal.

Tired_Of_You
04-06-2006, 07:29 PM
Izie:

The fact that you all "have to do the class" means that most people don't actually care enough to engage in discussions. Or so it was in my university. I could elaborate more but im so lazy.
Yes, I agree. Some people don't want to do the course, that's for sure. However, we sometimes discuss in class and I think that everybody would be able to discuss more and use critical thinking more than we do at the moment. Unfortunately, we haven't done any debates yet and I don't think we'll do any. A part of the problem is the school system.


Also, with a lot of people in the class (like it was the case with us), it's pretty impossible to get a good discussion going. People were mostly just interested in taking notes. *shrug* There are like 25 people in that class, so it's not a lot. We could discuss things easily and more often than we do.


I've taken a couple philosophy classes in my time. One was taught by this blind-dumb Marxist grad student, the other was taught by one of the better professors I've ever had. We'd actually have to write critiques of the thinkers. I can't remember it too clearly, as I took the latter one three years ago now, but our paper topics were generally something along the lines of "How would Kierkegaard respond to Hegel's theory of the dialectic? What are your thoughts?"I had phylosophy today and I have an essay to do and for once it's something that is more interesting... that requires to think a little. It's similar to what you had to do. We actually have to do a conversation between Nietzsch and Sartre and they have to talk about liberty.

Tired_Of_You
04-06-2006, 07:37 PM
My philosophy classes were fine in uni. I've taken two: a general intro course, and a metaphysics course.I don't know if I'll have any phylosophy classes in university. It might be more interesting there.
We studied the "thinkers" but there was always lots of class discussion, and the essays generally involved not only a discussion of the philosophers' thoughts but also a critique of some fashion. Needless to say, it resulted in my thinking of my own opinions quite a bit.I think it'd be interesting. We don't do have the oportunity to critique enough.

I kind of equate CEGEP to highschool almost, so maybe there's still hope if you're gonna pursue philosophy in uni. Or maybe you were just unlucky in your specific courses.It's still a bit like high school, but you get to study what you want and people want to be there more than in high school, because usually they decided they wanted to study and they have to pay to study there. It's not catastrophic like high school was. I couldn't really imagine a phylosophy class in the high school I used to go, it would have been impossible to do anything. Maybe I just went to a shitty school...well, I did. People are also more mature and the teachers threat us more like adults. They don't follow us and tell us to do this or that, it's our own problems.

I agree with Dive to an extent though that there needs to be a degree of rigourousness and it can't just be a "what are your thoughts on..." type of deal.That's for sure. I just want more creativity and critical thinking and not only in philosophy. However, I think it's one of the class we need it the most.

Duskygrin
04-06-2006, 11:36 PM
I had philosophy for three years (one year approach, two years intensive marathon thru antiquity to 21st C, given its close linkage to ethics...) & I'm thankful for what my teachers brought me. That is a method (Descartes, method = path), a way of thinking, delving into contradictory theories, never taking anything for granted, the love of books written by the authors, not a compendium of their thoughts.

Vera
04-07-2006, 01:34 AM
I took every Philosophy class available in senior high and they kind of opened my eyes as to what philosophy was really about. It's so easy to assume philosophy is just conversation about questions like "What is the meaning of life?" and stuff like that. Anyone can do that, with their friends over a cup of tea or coffee and it makes for good conversations but it's not really philosophy in essence.

I mean, to me it seems absolutely vital that you know all the philosophers and the main schools of thought. Only then can you start to sort of put questions like "What is the meaning of life?" into pieces and through there start to figure out each piece at a time. To me Philosophy is a science of thinking, in a way. It creates vocabulary, terminology for thinking and perceiving the world and all the complex problems we can never really wrap our minds around.

Our teacher used to ask us sometimes, "Does Plato seem plausible to you anymore?" (or something like that) and then we could say what we thought. She also asked, "Do you like Kant over Hume or vice versa?". Not so much critical thinking but here's a thought: why not practise critical thinking yourself?

I think you already do, whenever you read about some theory, you either question it or accept it in full or in some parts and thus let it become a part of your world view. Or then you just let it stay there in the back of your head, as a one way of looking at things. That's really the beauty of philosophy, sometimes, the amazing different ways of thinking about things. Like I, who find it difficult to question or replace materialistic monism in my thought because every "spiritual" phenomenon seems to come down to materialistic causes in the end, am really fascinated by idealism, especially Berkeley.

I think there are questions in phiosophy that definitely get the discussion going - ethics, for example, and religion, of course. Not just between religious folk and non-religious folk, but even between the religious folk who belong to the same religion there might be disagreement about God's attributes, his place in the cosmos etc.

The main reason why you probably don't have any discussion in the class is probably just lack of time. There was this guy in my philosophy group and he was such an ass, he interrupted everyone and from his controversial opinions always started debates. Usually the teacher ended shutting him up because we had stuff to learn, simple as that.

Vera
04-07-2006, 01:43 AM
Hahaha, I was so off topic.

Yeah, I agree with Iz, I remember the compulsory Philosophy course everyone had to take. Oh man, that was a pain. Most people just didn't get it. Okay, I admit I was overconfident about my leet Philosophy skillz, as well, but at least I understood some things, like the method of questioning. So we had to question some obvious fact like "The sky is blue" to the person sitting next to us and this girl just didn't get it because she'd always learned to take everything at face value.

And yeah, most of the "What do you think about [theory/philosopher]?" would just be "Uhm, I dunno, I kinda like him."-type of answers. Like, you could try to have debate about some things but with certain things most likely people's thinking just isn't that "philosophically tuned" to use a stupid clever phrase.

killer_queen
04-07-2006, 10:06 AM
I had philosophy lessons this year and I liked them so much because I was in love with the teacher and blah blah blah... Lessons were fun, the teacher was smart and his jokes were funny, that's all. He never made us think about anything but I thought the reason of giving philosophy lessons was making the students think. Which didn't happen to anyone so it seems pretty unnecessary for now. I don't know, with a better teacher it could be great. Most of the people in my class are going to be scientists and it's impossible to be creative and productive without thinking.

I don't know
04-07-2006, 12:54 PM
I have philosophy classes, one class the teacher talks about the concepts, the philosophers, and all those shit, and the other class we discuss, it's pretty cool

Tired_Of_You
04-07-2006, 03:44 PM
I mean, to me it seems absolutely vital that you know all the philosophers and the main schools of thought. Only then can you start to sort of put questions like "What is the meaning of life?" into pieces and through there start to figure out each piece at a time. To me Philosophy is a science of thinking, in a way. It creates vocabulary, terminology for thinking and perceiving the world and all the complex problems we can never really wrap our minds around.I agree that we have to know the main philosophers, etc. We should have done that in our philosophy class of the first term. Instead, we have to do that in our second term, which doesn't make much sense I think. My first philosophy class was worst, we had a racist teacher who didn't care about the opinions of anyone. We had to write essays about subjects such as marriage and homosexuality...

I think you already do, whenever you read about some theory, you either question it or accept it in full or in some parts and thus let it become a part of your world view. Or then you just let it stay there in the back of your head, as a one way of looking at things. That's really the beauty of philosophy, sometimes, the amazing different ways of thinking about things. Like I, who find it difficult to question or replace materialistic monism in my thought because every "spiritual" phenomenon seems to come down to materialistic causes in the end, am really fascinated by idealism, especially Berkeley.I agree. I think it'd be interesting to have more discussions in class and not only to give an example linked to the concept X of philosopher Z, because it's what we do most of the time. It gets a little boring. On a side note, I think we won't study Berkeley. I can't know for sure, because I can't find my book. Heh. I'm always like that. :/ Idealism is interesting, but then I think pretty much anything I study about philosophy is interesting whether I agree with what I read or not.


I think there are questions in phiosophy that definitely get the discussion going - ethics, for example, and religion, of course. Not just between religious folk and non-religious folk, but even between the religious folk who belong to the same religion there might be disagreement about God's attributes, his place in the cosmos etc.My first philosophy teacher always said that religion didn't have its place in philosophy, so we never talked about that in his class.


The main reason why you probably don't have any discussion in the class is probably just lack of time.Yeah, time might be a problem. I have philosophy 3 hours a week.



And yeah, most of the "What do you think about [theory/philosopher]?" would just be "Uhm, I dunno, I kinda like him."-type of answers. Like, you could try to have debate about some things but with certain things most likely people's thinking just isn't that "philosophically tuned" to use a stupid clever phrase.Most of the time, I have to explain the concept of a certain philosopher. No questioning. It's just memorizing stuff.

I didn't think it'd be that long. :|

Vera
04-07-2006, 04:39 PM
Religion philosophy has its own realm in the field of theology, of course, so it's kind of not a thing for Philosophy class, true, but on the other hand many philosophers like Kierkegaard, Leibniz and Hegel were believers or Christians and had thoughts about God and his being. So you can't avoid it entirely.

I feel like sometimes just memorizing & learning Philosophy has taught me a lot. I mean, it's great when you talk to someone and they present some idea they thought of themselves and think they're all that and then you can tell them some dude in the 1700s actually thought of the exact same fucking thing, only in a more compact, analytical form - in other words, better. Also, have you been taught Logic and debate? Those have proven to be REALLY handy for me at least. I loved that course and I totally PWNED in my Philosophy final when I got to do a truth chart.

Anyway, I think I'm better at learning Philosophy and using my knowledge in it than passing judgment on philosophers' theories or critisizing them or realizing their problems. I guess it shows the kind of smart I am (that is: not all that smart).

calichix
04-08-2006, 01:26 AM
I took a moral philosophy class. it was really hard cause you had to remember countless theories and all these people's opinions and these wild scenarios like, "If you buy crappy burglar bars for your house, can you blame the burglar bar company because you got robbed?" in reference to broken condoms. there was another one about a soul-sucking plant and a giant baby that you had to kill in order to survive. and in my class you didn't write your own opinions much, you just had to reiterate other peoples'. we learned a lot of kant's stuff.