TED Conversations

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?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • 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.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.