TED Conversations

Henry Maldonado

This conversation is closed.

What are the arguments for and against philosophy in high school?

Philosophy is seen as a dead science. However, how can we ignore the prevalence of philosophy in history. Whether it be the philosophy of science, language, or history, there has always been philosophical inquiry except near the middle of the twentieth century.

Should philosophy be taught at the high school level? Should there be a mandatory or elective class for philosophy? What are the merits of philosophy in High School? What are the draw back of teaching philosophy in high school?

Share:
  • thumb
    Aug 15 2012: I would propose we teach critical thinking as early as grade school. Call me radical but I think it would be interesting if students were able to develope their own philosophies. This would enable the student to formulate his/her own solutions to concepts and quite possibly come up with unique ideas we've not yet seen. If we introduce other philosophies before one has mastered his/her own ideas, we may inadvertantly bias their thought processes and in turn hamstring their own creativity.
  • thumb
    Aug 15 2012: I think philosophy could be integrated into other subjects as a way to show the relevance to life of what the students are being taught at any one time. For example: A short philosophical discussion of why it is important to understand the reasons behind the civil war in the US leading into a more in depth study of that time period and its aftermath.
  • thumb
    Aug 14 2012: I believe that philiophy is a great course in teaching people "how" to think, not what to think. Most educational courses seems to dictate "what" a person should think like, but it lacks the application of everyday life situations of "how" to think.

    I never took a course in philosophy, but I have taken many courses that are in essence philisophical. I was so lucky to have stumbled upon these teachers because they are unconventionally refreshing. All teachers should be required to minor in philosophy, which would greatly improve a whole generation of thinkers. Just my opionion, with some analysis.
    • thumb
      Aug 14 2012: As a high school student who just finished the AP US history course I can say that there was a presence of philosophy in our curriculum, but no emphasis.

      Our class was focused more intensely on politics and government and covering all the material rather than being able to sit down and assess and think about the intellectual atmosphere of the time period. Intellectual movements were used to justify political and social trends rather than stand for themselves.

      Our school does offer a philosophy in literature course for seniors who are not taking AP English lit, but here again we see an example of how the emphasis on taking "college appeasing" courses trumps taking classes that may actually teach you how to think.
  • Aug 30 2012: There is a monumental distinction between "teaching philosophy" and leading people to understand why philosophers do what they do. As a teen I had awakenings that caused me to question everything I has been told up to that point. I then thought that by choosing philosophy as my major in college that I would be encouraged to think and find myself. On the contrary, either philosophy became a culture of hero worship where the objective was to compete on how much we could subsume from the works of published philosophers, or we spent ridiculous amounts of time splitting hairs on definitions and what I considered minutia. The fact is no philosopher comes to be a philosopher through study of other philosophers. Each philosopher is a student of the times in which they live where they are called want to stop the world and articulate a clarity they are not finding in anything else they see in the way of thinking and speech. Holding philosophers up on a pedestal and making the substance of their work a memorization contest is analogous to me of Jesus going to his death on the cause that acquiescence to blind authority is wrong only to have people come along and make him a good who must be worshipped instead of emulated. The distinction has to be owned in a way that can't be wishy washy. And I suspect that education will do the usual thing of diminishing the students whilst deifying the objects of their study. The whole thing should be about finding your engine of reason so you can know what you've created so that you never look at yourself as a "composite" of other people's philosophies.
    • Sep 1 2012: James McGuiness, I’m sorry your philosophy teacher didn’t make a good impression. But students of any discipline need to know where the current world knowledge is at in the field of choice is the basis of a good education; Its partly so people don’t waste their time re-inventing the wheel, and partly to be able to communicate efficiently to others in the same field, and partly as a bit of personal discipline in developing a bit of patience and losing a bit of hubris . I found the whole lot fascinating for a raft of reasons, and wish I had more critical analytical reasoning taught early in my education and less religious indoctrination. But on the other hand the religious indoctrinators were not realising what they were doing, as they themselves didn’t have critical analytical thinking taught to them.
      • Sep 1 2012: There is nothing of waste or shame in "re-inventing the wheel" if one has no knowledge of wheels. On the contrary, every person who is able to reason a solution conceived by their own wits needs to be "led" by the educational authority/ the society and culture around them to credit themselves with the capacity to do what the one we hold up so high as the original inventor has done. This is where it goes wrong so often--hero worship diminishes motivation and discourages further achievement. I have worked in education and industrial design for 30 years and I know it wasn't just my experience with a "bad teacher" that tells me that there are dysfunctional systems and attitudes still in place today which wind up discouraging or humiliating a potential achiever rather than leading them to believe in themselves and fulfill their potentials. Yes, we need people to get to the front edge of innovation quickly, but more will get there with greater enthusiasm if there are no dinosaurs in the way with stop watches and ratings systems and casual attitudes about writing off people who don't jump through the hoop the "right way" according to factory model prescription. The same is true of philosophy--you can make it a contest of how much you can memorize of other people's philosophies, but you can't "teach" maturity or perspective. You must do something entirely different to produce new philosophers. IMO what usually does that is facing arrogant, intransigent authority who has it wrong and risking stepping up to say "you're not seeing what I do. And here's what that is". But authoritarian systems dissuade people from risking that. If inspiration also happens to reinvent a wheel, that person should get the same credit as the other wheel inventor and should not be mocked and tossed aside. There is no shame or waste in duplicating greatness--there is only shame in dishonesty. My philosophy is called "facilitarianism" perhaps you'll read about it some day I hope.
        • Sep 12 2012: Since the wheel has got 'jammed' in the slush, we have to relearn/reinvent the wheel in the midst of all the mud - to go back to the design board - start from scratch by first of all finding the right questions that provoke people at an early stage to think about them and struggle with them.
    • thumb
      Sep 3 2012: I admire your level of understanding in this area, James, especially of citing a difference between teaching philosophy and leading people to understand why philosophers do what they do. Brilliant. I think an unbiased curriculum would be essential and key in prevention of "hero-worship". No matter what past conflicts has arose, an empathetic view must be maintained for true teaching of the subject. I feel there is no "reinventing the wheel", more appropriate, for me, is creating new inventions that allow us to farther utilize the wheel. Facilitarianism? Yes. Let's make it easier and more effective. If in fact that is your meaning.
      • Sep 3 2012: Thanks Justin. "Facilitarianism" is the word I came up with to conventionalize a "successor" to the order we have long been born into which gives us no choice or contract called "authoritarianism". It's been said for a couple of decades now that information technology--even before the Internet took off where there were products like Lotus "Notes" that the PC revolution "flattens hierarchies". Nothing really "flattens hierarchies"--technology has only threatened to. Hierarchy is so pervasive and ingrained in society that to grow beyond it and "facilitate" all the human potential it currently and previously writes off, a successor must be formally engineered. Initially I called my facilitarianism an antithesis to authoritarianism but in writing it it became clear that hierarchy should not be abandoned or demonized--it needs to just be greatly tempered with new understanding of human potentials that we can now address with technology and especially the "cyberspace" metaphor which make for a "secondary plane" of reality in which time and space can be conventionalized more productively.The heart of my brainchild is the assertion that authoritarianism reduces human beings to units of "utility" and there is a range of capacity it fails to address I call "facility". This explains why the title of my philosophy--"facilitarianism".

        To supplant hierarchy means creating a culture and that demands the definition of new metrics, new politics, much improved scope of what we think of our own potential. I have long wanted to be perhaps the first philosopher to skip the linear book and instead synthesize my understanding and new language directly into the non-linear inter-active multimedia network to estblish it as a medium much more capable than being the electronic page turner it's been. But find compatriots has been a tough slog. I welcome engagement by anyone who wants to make the Digital Revolution a true revolution of design rather the evolution of defaults it has been.
        • thumb
          Sep 3 2012: Great! I believe we have similar goals. I have no tangible credentials but I am open to new ideas and offer my assistance. If I may make a suggestion, there is a man by the name of Jacques Fresco who has an organization called The Venus Project whose lectures and ideas may be able to further assist your task.
  • Aug 24 2012: I think, no I know, that philosophy is not a dead science. I know that it should be taught in high school and middle school and junior high and elementary school as well.

    Please google Philosophy for Children Alberta and see what exciting things are happening at the University of Alberta with Philosophy for Children. Check out Eurekamp and see what wonderous fun young children are having as they play and discuss philosophical ideas.

    Still not convinced, try their facebook page. There are thousands of photos and videos to prove me right.

    Still not sure....then talk to the organizers and parents and children.

    Philosophy is alive and thriving.

    Why do we need it? Because in an increasingly technology based world, people (children especially) need to learn how to listen, to reason, to argue, to work together, to think critically, logically, face to face. Philosophy teaches these skills.

    I know. I have seen it.
  • Aug 16 2012: I guess, as a student of philosophy, i am inclined to be biased in favor of philosophy in schools.

    but at a time when schools are looking to cut curricula left and right due to budget constraints, I can understand that it is an unlikely proposition.

    But what about teachers? Students learn to think from their teachers do they not? And, as many commenters have said, philosophy is pervasive. It underpins math and language; literature and science.

    If teachers were philosophers by training and employed the principles of logic and critical reasoning in explanation of a certain field, we might achieve what the original proposition to teach philosophy sought: students who are intellectually and critically engaged.
  • thumb
    Aug 15 2012: Jostein Gaardners' Sophie's World, a novel with a teenaged protagonist and quite accessible to teenagers, presents philosophy for young people. It was an international bestseller, translated into fifty-three languages, with 30 million copies sold. When I say "presents," there is some presentation, but the ideas are fleshed out through dialogue among the characters.

    His Solitaire Mystery is pitched lower.

    I believe many students are ready for and intrigued by philosophical ideas at high school age. Not all ideas are suitable or interesting for presentation at that time, but there is no serious developmental barrier in introducing and debating many ideas.

    The same might be said of great novels that are typically introduced in high school. A younger person may not grasp every nuance, but then many younger people grasp nuances more surely than many older people and can be better critical thinkers sometimes as well.

    We should be wary of under-estimating the potential of young people to wrestle with ideas. My view is that exposure to many important philoso[phical ideas can be introduced to kids in k12.
    • thumb
      Aug 15 2012: Thanks for the book references! I'll check them out for my daughter! I agree with all of your reasoning here. When I was in high school, just reading and analyzing poetry and Shakespeare in english literature class was difficult for me, but I found the challenge rewarding. I think the same would have been true of philosophy.
      • thumb
        Aug 15 2012: If your daughter is in high school, I would be optimistic about Sophie's World, particularly if you are reading it as well and can interact about it. When I was in high school, reading philosophy was part of AP English. I remember finding it very useful and excellent preparation for university. In fact, I still have a paper I wrote about Descartes at that time. And let's just say it wasn't in the last couple of decades.
  • Sep 2 2012: It seems the debate has rightfully shifted from teaching philosophy in high schools to teaching philosophy in general, including in lower schools. I pointed out earlier that teaching philosophy in schools requires exceptional teachers. I agree with James McGuiness that the teacher and the teaching process is a critical element in any person’s education. I agree totally, and look forward to hearing more of James on his philosophy of education. It also seems that it’s the educators that need the tenets of philosophy just as much, or even more, than the students do.
    Maybe teachers should be made to recite the Hippocratic oath that says, “Firstly do no harm”. How many of us have been damaged by an incompetent or poorly-educated teacher, or a poor education system, worse than not being taught at all. It’s those early experiences that set the whole tone of what follows.
  • thumb
    Aug 30 2012: A short answer:

    Absolutely! I even think philosophy should be taught since the first years of school. And the most important part of philosophy isnt' the history of old philosophers such as Platon and Kant, but the exercise of the mind.

    Through philosophy one can learn how to think properly, and recognize good and bad arguments wheather you they are your's or not.

    If you learn how to think you can have better discussions, discussions that can actually take you somewhere. This is very important in politics. An educated population can better distinguish between good and bad arguments from politicians and therefore make a more educated choice, being certain that they are not being played.
    • Sep 9 2012: couldn't agree with you more :)
      Teaching philosophy to high school students is like giving them food for thought.
      In this fast changing, competitive society, learning how to think philosphically--doesn't need to be too academic--would save them from being disoriented.
      And fundamentally, it would play the important role in their life. Especially when they have to make major decisions.

      They need to know what they should consider and pursue.

      Philosophical thinking might lead them to be wise and let them face the truth not just reality.
  • thumb
    Aug 24 2012: So are you debating whether to enlighten people and expand their horizons at a young age or not?

    The younger the better. But as with all topics, it has to be gradual. You cannot teach kids calculus before teaching them addition and multiplication.

    Start early. Give it to them in scaled phases. Let them nurture it.
  • Aug 22 2012: The key 21st C skill is, ironically, a very ancient skill: philosophical thinking. And like mathematics or languages, it is a discipline and deserves its own time. Chesterton has a good wag about teaching philosophy: http://www.nd.edu/~afreddos/courses/43811/Why%20Philosophy.htm

    But why restrict the teaching of philosophy to high school students. I've been teaching it very successfully for years to middle school students and up: practical reasoning for grades 6/7, ethics for grade 8 and a survey of philosophy for grade 9. At Island Pacific School, on Bowen Island off the coast of Vancouver, BC, philosophy courses are the foundation of the school. I gave a paper at a humanities conference at Columbia Univiasity a few years back in which I called for the reanimation the dscussion of metaphysics in grade schools (http://ijh.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.26/prod.971)

    The point is, rather young people are not only perfectly capable of studying philosophy, in my experience, they are eager to do so.
  • Aug 20 2012: Philosophy would be really helpful because it encourages searching for the truth using rational thinking.
    If my high school had it available I would've taken it in a heartbeat.
  • Aug 17 2012: IMO, philosophy should be taught in high school, and it should be narrowly focused on the needs of high school students, specifically their needs to learn how to think, how to think about thinking (self knowledge), and most importantly how to develop their own personal values.

    My dictionary lists ten definitions of the word philosophy. The tenth definition is:

    The system of values by which one lives (as in: has an unusual philosophy of life)

    By this definition, our every decision is influenced by our personal philosophy.

    In the USA, our public schools purposely avoid teaching values because it is too controversial. By not teaching values we are teaching our children that values are not important and that you can get by in life without ever considering them. This is just wrong, both factually and morally. High school is a good place to discuss how we develop values, even if specific values (like religion) must be avoided.

    Many people believe that philosophy has little to do with practical living. Consciously developing your own personal philosophy is the most practical thing you will ever do. Young people in their late teens and early twenties are developing their own personal philosophy, and many are doing it without any framework, without any cultural or historical context. It is no wonder that these years seem to be so perplexing. A few hours in a course on philosophy would at least teach them that a context is available to them. Rather than let them stumble around in the dark, we should at least point out that there is a shelf in the library where they can find a light.
  • thumb
    Aug 17 2012: I think philosophy would be good for high school students; especially aspects that focusses on critical thinking and logic.
    I fell in love with philosophy in my High school days after reading 'Utopia' by Thomas More; and later, the writings about Aristotle, Plato and Socrates in some books.

    But philosophy sometimes seems like a study that focusses too much on an elusive search for knowledge. As if we can never be sure of anything, as if every question has to be questioned just for the sake of questioning.

    Now, what is the purpose of searching when one has made up one's mind never to be sure of what is found?
    I guess the most important thing in philosophy is the journey and what it does for one's reasoning abilities; not the destination.
    And for some people, journeys could be helpful, even when they find out that the path they've chosen may be a road to nowhere.
  • Aug 16 2012: Philosophy can and should be explored in high school because this is the ideal time for students to engage its questions, arguments, and methods of thinking. High school students have not yet fully formed their habits of mind. They remain open, inquisitive, and intellectually playful. For many adolescents, the perennial questions posed by philosophy have urgency and personal significance. A formal guided society would allow for students to actively engage with the concepts and topics that they wouldn’t normally come across in subjects such as History or English, and help them in understanding the world around them. Simultaneously, high school students will develop the skills that will enable them to begin serious work in reading philosophical texts, identifying and evaluating arguments, and constructing arguments of their own. They will learn how to pose a good question, how to inspect and scrutinize their deeply held beliefs, and how to work out their own ideas with care and rigor.From a school-wide perspective, philosophy can be invaluable because the skills it imparts are transferable to every part of the curriculum that requires, logical reason, problem solving, clear, critical and out of the box thinking, reading with scrutiny, and writing with a purpose i.e. English, Mathematics, Art, History Physics and many more. Philosophy also supplies connective tissue, since its fundamental questions apply to all disciplines and address the full range of human experience. For example, questions about ethics and free will deepen students appreciation for great literature and history, logical argumentation will teach students how to construct and refute complex arguments which would prove useful when writing essays. Philosophy is the key to understanding history and culture, without which can lead to cultures being misunderstood and history not being fully appreciated. High school students currently lack exposure to philosophical questions, issues and debates.
  • Aug 16 2012: Philosophy is quintessential to the human life. We use philosophy to gain understanding of our surrounding world. Be it through the creation or manipulation of schema, creating ethical drive for a common goal, or to put our minute self in perspective with an infinite universe. Philosophy is a tool we have created to further enhance the meanings of life. It has given rise to critical thinking, logic, culture, government (for good or bad) and gave birth to modern day sciences. Philosophy is part of everyday life yet we as a society seem to ignore its existence. We should equip teachers with the ability to teach historical philosophy within the classrooms at every level. Students should actively participate in lectures, even teaching the lectures . As a teacher, Socrates' method produced illuminated students who's grasp on logic and critical thinking lead to many great advances in Western civilization. This dialectal form of learning provides a stimulating environment that encourages the acceptance of many ideas until the most suitable resolution is found. Personally I believe we should challenge our education systems throughout the world to embrace a more philosophical backing in their approach to learning process. I believe that empowering students to think and create their own realizations of the world would be arguably one of the greatest things we could do for future generations. Hopefully more people will bring this debate to life and encourage its growth into a fruitful endeavor at creating a better tomorrow.
  • Aug 16 2012: Unless one feels that the problems of the world are chiefly attributable to a superabundance, rather than a lack, of self-knowledge and logical reasoning, then philosophy should most definitely be taught. And not just in high school, but at all levels. To speculate on the demise of philosophy is to suggest that all avenues of philosophical inquiry have been exhausted. This is obviously far from being the case. Not only have the fundamental questions of existence not been solved, but they have been compounded by new and pressing issues which demand rigorous critique and analysis. The idea that children cannot be taught philosophy is self-evidently absurd: "people cannot be taught to think logically until they can think logically". The result of this catch-22, of course, is that no one ever learns to think logically. This breed of reasoning is not only twisted, but is contributing to the ongoing infantilization of the upcoming generation.
    • thumb
      Aug 17 2012: The basis of philosophy isn't logic though it's better perception of logic... Philosophy was the great great grand-daddy of all sciences so why not give children a solid base on which to build from...
  • Aug 15 2012: I think it has some importance, perhaps not as an exam subject, but as a boon towards our future decisions. We able to decide if principles and guiding systems are headed in a better direction than that of our ancestors.

    In many cases, found in modern times we find a repeat of history. We can assume by this that we simply not getting the essence.

    Define Insanity - doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result.

    This applies to most belief systems.
  • thumb

    R H 30+

    • +1
    Aug 15 2012: For: Philos is gymnastics for thinking. It is the one thing that has made us as successful (as humans) as we are. We need to study what types of thinking have worked, and what types have failed in the past, evaluate what types are working now and how, and what new types we'll need to develop as we enter this new phase of the human experience - our not-as-of-yet technological triumphs and their fall-out.
    Against: We want people to be drones. They need to do what we tell them. It's good for business, gov't, and social stability.
  • Aug 14 2012: Personally, I feel that philosophy is good for everyone. It expands the mind into an understanding of seeking empirical knowledge and truth and how it is created, understood, and shaped by the human condition. It allows people to understand what it means to be human. If we can have a deeper connection with ourselves, we can have a deeper connection with others.
    That being said, our new world doesn't put a value on philosophy and critical thinking. People who are in touch with their minds are more likely to question the way things are done which will challenge the bosses who just want us all to to be productive without rocking the boat.
  • thumb
    Aug 14 2012: In England, philosophy is being taught even at the primary levels. Yes, the thinking is not as sophisticated, but a foundation is being developed. The kids enjoy it and become excited about thinking on their highest possible levels. Check these podcasts out! The kids obviously love it, and it gets them excited about learning! I wish I had been exposed that young.

    http://philosophynow.org/podcasts/Teaching_Philosophy_to_Children http://philosophynow.org/podcasts/Primary_School_Philosophy
  • thumb
    Aug 13 2012: IF, I say IF, we define Philosophy as the science that considers Truth (Aristotle), is that not sufficient reason to teach it in High School (or sooner)?
  • thumb
    Aug 13 2012: "Philosophy is seen as a dead science. "

    by whom?
    • Aug 13 2012: That's a good point. I am not being facetious when I write not enough students study areas such as metaphysics, which is viewed by many as a predecessor to physics instead of a supplement to it. I think most about metaphysics because of the rigor. Kant and Hegel are viewed as outdated thinkers and thoughts.
      • thumb
        Aug 13 2012: i don't think that philosophy is a prerequisite of science. you can do pretty good science with no philosophical background of any sort.

        i think it is similar to differential equations. real science, real deep understanding is not possible without diff.eq. but high school level science and especially grade school level science can be understood without them. (disclaimer, i'm not saying should, i said can.)

        but i also would not say that philosophy is looked down. check out daniel dennett for a counterexample.
  • thumb
    Aug 12 2012: I honestly think philosophy should be a core class that everyone is required to take.

    Philosophy is more like metaphorical science lol. But what I think the subject does well in, is make people think, and think really hard. And I think everyone needs to think and interpret things in their own way, not let someone else tell them how to think.

    On sidenote: with more and more computers and machines out there who can do many of the blue-collar work much more efficiently than humans, there should be an increased demand for more intelligent humans. A computer cannot "think" especially on a philosophical level, only humans can atm. It is one of the biggest differentiating characteristics between human and computer, and we will soon need to really capitalize.
  • Sep 12 2012: I once had an English professor in college ask the class to write a two to four line poem to communicate an idea. I did mine based upon my own philosophical toils in trying to figure out who and what I am. He read it and sneeringly said in front of the class "hmmm, who have you been reading?".

    Does this not typify how academics can be agents of dismissiveness and hurt? I was 31 years of age trying to finish college at night. It was beyond this man to see my poem as MY creation. He had to associate it with a wheel that had already been invented by someone else and imply that I had either stolen it and tried to pass it off as an original or because someone else had said something like this I'm flawed for also stumbling across the same thing and not avoiding it. Is he the only dysfunctional academic and me the unluckiest person as Lyndall would seem to assume as she did above? No. There are millions of cases of "hero worship" causing teachers/professors to think similarly and denigrate a student as a plagiarist or reinvent of the wheel.

    Philosophy is a good thing. How it's handled is an open book. And as long as it is subjective to individual human professors, there is a wide margin for poor results--some of which can turn off otherwise potentially brilliant minds. My view of education--after the elements--is to cease "teaching" anything and start "leading" people to discover each art and science. That is the future and CBS 60 Minutes segment on Kahn Academy recently showed that this is more or less the model that is emerging. IMO it should have to take decades. But adults who make decisions for their children today don't know what they don't know and tend to view the education by their own experience and simply want something a little better. We can have it all and the world can change in our lifetimes so much for the better. Tradition is in the way--authoritarian hierarchical traditions..
  • Sep 12 2012: My Dear Henry. If, truly Philosophy is (seen as dead) dead "to you", then, respectfully, YOU ARE DEAD...!!!.. To "understand" the "term" Philosophy, you "must" know what the words means..."Philosophy"..."Philos"..(Friend)..."Sophia"... (Wisdom) : My Dear Henry, if, you are not a "Philos" of "Sophia"..("a Friend of Wisdom"), what the heck kind or type of being are you, and that goes for all types of "other beings", who are "attempting" to kill Philosophy. Did you go to College? Did you become "Greek". Were you part of the "Greek Club(s)??". Do you know why kids "kill" to become Greek in University / College?. Do you know that if you are "not Greek in College, you are nothing".. and do you know why?..[ Truly, Frankly, the "proper" word to use is, "Ellinas" - for the word "Ellinas" - means - "you are the Son / Daughter of Light / Enlightenment". Plato taught us "an Enlightened Man / Woman can do no wrong", since, when you are Enlightened you know what Respect is, and since you are Respectful, you cannot possibly be dis-Respectful, wherein you automatically know what Honour is and since you Honour you cannot dis-Honour, and thus automatically you are Disciplined with your life and ways and means and when you are Disciplined you cannot possibly be Un-Disciplined.
    The problem my Dear Henry is that, Philosophy is not taught "enough". Think for a moment, how many "fewer problems" we would have in our society today, if, honour, discipline, respect, love, "manners", respect for elders, respect for family, respect for each other and respect for country were taught in Elementary, and High School.
    On the contrary, we have kids who attend 10-12 years of elementary and high school and graduate with 90's and are ILLITERATE.
    Philosophy...to be Philos - Friend of Sophia - Wisdom, means, is, one of the "key criteria" of being an Enlightened, Positive and Productive "Human Being", Worthy and "Entitled" to be on this Beautiful "YAIA" - ("GAIA") - Mother Earth.
  • Sep 12 2012: We are all philosophers. Stop and search..We are always wondering. Kinds are the number one great philosophers. Our school system does not help in teaching philosophy. It should rather explore the philosophy in kids and find answers to them.
  • thumb
    Sep 12 2012: Were philosophy to be taught at high schools I suspect that they would most likely make a mess of the whole thing. Most of the children I see tend to become philosophical thinkers of their own accord; it's simply human nature to question things. If philosophy were to become a class in school it would be standardised so that it could be more easily assessed and as such would do more harm than good.
  • Sep 12 2012: Philosophy is possible only if we can articulate questions for which so far we have no clear answers or the answers given so far are inadequate, insufficient, inarticulate or have led us into a 'dead end' or 'black hole'. This has happened to Philosophy - it has died. We no longer even know what are the relevant questions that NEED to be articulated - the necessary drive, the need has lapsed into our unconscious. Perhaps if this need is regenerated in schools we may make some progress. Otherwise we will continue to learn and teach only data and information about smarter machines while we ourselves become dumber, but fooling ourselves that we are 'evolving' and that we can easily prove this.

    " We have learned the answers, all the answers: It is the questions that we do not know." ..Archibald MacLeish

    The first step in Philosophy is to have the necessary curiosity and the constant needling feeling that there are fundamental and perennial questions that haven't even been sufficiently articulated, much less an attempt made to find answers for.
  • Sep 12 2012: I do believe that Philosophy should be implemented into the high school curriculum. It is beneficial to the students in the sense of all the skills they obtain, analytically, critically, and logically, in addition it promotes a certain freedom of expression and of thought. If philosophy was tied into other not so popular subjects such as math, history, and science I believe it would promote a growth in interest of these subjects that extend beyond the classroom. I myself am a senior at my high school and although we do cover philosophical movements in the language art classes we have I do not believe it is enough. The students of today are the innovators of tomorrow. How are we to, as a human race, grow and learn if we keep the next generation in the darkness that is so prevalent in society today; raised like calf for veal to the corporate fat cats? I believe that the only drawbacks are the tools given would not be used and that is the biggest travesty we all face in our daily lives, but it is a matter of free will, which we have in any condition to exercise.