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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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  • 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.

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