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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?


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  • Aug 15 2012: Ayn rand is an argument against it. Young people tend to be aggressive, predatory and naive. Many people who read ayn rand in their teens outgrow them but many do not. Paul ryan.

    • Aug 15 2012: That is an excellent point! I am not at all a fan of Ayn Rand.

      However, she is not even considered literature much less philosophy. Would it not be beneficial for students to read the Western Canon to come to that conclusion themselves?
      • Aug 16 2012: The problem is human reasoning doesn't work on 'evidence' see what the science says.


        Also the brain is still developing and maturing when kids are young. In reality a persons mind has to be 'ripe' (at a point of readyness) for the information to have the desired effect. Think of all the boring classes you took that you weren't interested in and remember nothing about. Just because you teach people 'good books' doesn't mean at the time those kids will think they are 'good books'. i.e. you need maturity and perspective to understand the value of knowledge or sheer genetic endowment/talent to bridge the gap.

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