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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 29 2012: It seems to me that someone can usefully do some research here. Philosophy was being taught in a few State run primary schools in Queensland Australia, (started at East Brisbane) ten years ago and about six years ago I went to a discussion on its effectiveness; It seemed to be good and very exciting, although I haven’t followed the subject further until now. My recollection is that the teachers are/were a major the limiting factor to wider application. Most primary school teachers are/were not suitable to teach philosophy , as many had wrong ideas themselves. From the replies in this forum, it seems that philosophy is being taught also in some other countries around the world. A review of their results would be very interesting. Additional comments: some students will be very interested in the subject; some/many will not, and their mind set is probably permanent; different individuals respond to different things, so don’t expect widespread excitement; philosophy is not for everyone. I myself love philosophical thinking, but my wife doesn’t get excited by it one iota; But then sport seems a great waste of time and effort, but for many people it’s the light of their life.

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