For a Better Society, Teach Philosophy in High Schools

Michael Shammas, Huffington Post, Dec 28, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I agree with Michael Shammas that philosophy should be taught in schools, but not for the reasons Shammas states. He argues that philosophy "creates and nurtures thoughtful minds, minds that can -- as Aristotle suggests -- entertain a thought without accepting it." Maybe sometimes, but - based on my experience with philosophers - not nearly often enough. Philosophers can be petty and closed-minded too, believe me. No, to my mind, the reason philosophy should be taught in schools is for the skill set: philosophers learn how to argue, how to formulate hypotheses and propose explanations, how to speak and write clearly and with precision, and how to observe and describe their environment.

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