SWA#1

I believe that an introduction to philosophy course should be required. It broadens the students’ horizons and develops the necessary critical thinking skills that drive us toward more successful lives. Not only that, but it also has lead to the advancements of knowledge and societies in the past. Without philosophy, we would not have many of our modern sciences. Mathematics, psychology, astronomy: they all started as a form of philosophy. Only when we get a definite, irrefutable answer to our philosophical questions do we create a new science. Therefore, in order to advance our knowledge as a society we must ponder the questions brought forth by philosophical minds. Now, that’s not to say that we should only ponder things we feel may be answered. Every question is worth exploring, no matter the chances of answers. My favorite quote from the two readings was one from Plato’s The Apology. Socrates is speaking to the court about his reasoning for examining the citizens, “the unexamined life is not worth living” (Plato, The Apology, 38). It is so simple, yet so profound. Why go through life ignorant of yourself and your surroundings? Without the critical thinking skills and expansion of our way of thinking, we cannot hope to develop as a society. Furthermore, the skills we learn in philosophy, and the questions we bring up, can be applied in other courses during a student’s academic career. I am taking a Sociology class along side this one that is examining deviant behavior. I have found many of the philosophical terms and ideals carrying over into this class. I feel that phrase “Ignorance is bliss” is very misleading. The word “bliss” makes it sound so happy. But where do you get joy from not knowing? Maybe it’s just me, but I think if I were not allowed or able to question things or learn things, I wouldn’t be too happy. I correlate the word ignorance with, really, idiotic or not having any knowledge of anything. I, personally, get a sense of wonder at the contemplation of life, the universe, and everything (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference). I often find myself sitting and trying to imagine what nothing looks like. By that I mean “nothingness”. The absence of anything, light, matter, sound, color. I find that I cannot really know what nothingness is like because I have never experienced it. Maybe, in that sense, we can’t really “know” anything without having experienced it for our selves….. A posteriori for the win!!! So, in summary I suppose, philosophy should be required for any and all higher education degrees. Without it, how do we know that we know what we know, you know?

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