Tuesday, January 17, 2006

and this is how I spend my time*

...arguing about philosophy on a stranger's blog. I don't know which is sillier--falling into this trap or thinking that what I wrote is actually something worth reposting. ;)

1) The "goal" of philosophy is not singular, is not agreed upon, nor is it "discovering the absolutely fundamental reason everything is a mirage."

2) Philosophy is as necessary as art.
"Purely optional" you say. An important part of culture, nonetheless. Whether you are a critic, an artist, a museum patron, or a person walking by a publicly-funded sculpture, art and philosophy have been ingrained in our lives long before Aristotle wrote his Poetics. It is a luxury, perhaps, and one that should be valued.

3) Philosophy is as necessary as mathematics.
"A method of rational thinking ... people are born with," you say. And yet, not all of us would come up with the Pythagorean theorem on our own. Maybe you've stumbled across your own cogito ergo sum, but I've yet to find any who has discovered Godel's incompleteness theorems unaided. Who cares? Anyone who uses a computer should care.

4) Philosophy is as necessary as history.
"Countless many have lived full and satisfying lives without being exposed [to it]," you say. One could lead a relatively peaceful and satisfying life without ever knowing about the Holocaust, Gandhi, or the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. I'd like to think the world would be a better place if more people also knew about John Rawls, Immanuel Kant, and Confucius.

5) Is it necessary? Yes.
Should it be a mandatory part of a liberal arts curriculum for all students that includes Latin and Shakespeare? Not for everyone, perhaps. But don't you dare take Shakespeare out of school libraries or take philosophy classes out of colleges. Not everyone grows up to be a physicist, but that doesn't render quantum mechanics any less useful. Philosophy contributes to fields as wide as international relations, business ethics, medicine (bioethics), design, computer science, law, et al. Philosophy isn't just getting a kick by debating theology late at night with some friends over beers, it's a crucial part of our lives, whether we know it or not.

*This post has been post-dated to Tuesday because I'm anal and like to have one post per day. I'm also pretty sure that all this procrastinating is going to catch up with me.


Blogger Renegade Eye said...

I found this interesting and entertaining blog surfing.

I was at Roman's blog today for the first time also.


11:21 PM  
Blogger James said...

It is an essential part of being human. Whether we know it or do it unconciously everyone develops a philosophy of some kind over the course of living. Some do it through formal study, others just by aquiring experience. Either way it's there and a part of us.

It seems to me that it's as necessary to developing our minds as exercise is for the body. Like exercise, you can exist without it, but you won't live well or long.

4:19 AM  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Arguing on the internet is just the best.

5:53 AM  
Blogger dusty said...

Is this about the Intelligent Design class being pushed as a philosophy class here in Kern County?

just curious..

8:56 AM  
Blogger Notsocranky Yankee said...

I think it was worth reposting. I did the same thing with a rather long-winded comment I made on another blog.

I think philosophy is necessary in schools in order to provoke thought. I majored in Civil engineering so when I was required to take a philosophy class, it was a great challenge for me but I enjoyed the class and it contributed a lot to my overall education.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

And I would add that law has its roots in philosopy.

Excellent post Jessica!


3:02 PM  
Blogger roman said...

Oh great, now I have every Philosophy major , teacher and self-proclaimed "lover of wisdom" coming to my site to get a piece of me.
Thanks a lot.
Only kidding, thanks for your comments.
ps. I may have unwittingly promoted, instead of downplayed, the interest in Philosophy.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Ha. I had no idea so many people cared.

7:03 PM  

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