Philosophy Classes

Just question now… I’ve seen a lot of people talking over Philosophy classes that they have in school… how are these usually conducted? And what facets of ‘philosophy’ are taught? People, different types, or types of thought… ?

Just very interested now.


In my college it was supposed to be a way to incentivate students to be more intellectual people. If you looked at the things we had to study you’d see it was actually the history of philosophy. But in reality it was the teacher trying to show how his ideas about life, the universe and everything else were superior to our own ideas.

My teacher has us reading stuff from Plato and Aristotle, but that’s because its focus is supposed to be greek philosophy. I believe my friend in one of the other classes has to do a mess of reading by different philosophers over the ages and comment and critique their ideas.

I had history of philosophy just like Ren two years ago, but more geared towards understanding each philosopher’s point of view and then drawing our own conclusions at the ends. We started with Pre-Socratic moved until somewhere around Kant (or someone else, all I remember was having my head full of “Does thought define matter?/Does matter define thought?/Does anything truly exist?” questions).

All in all, it was a pretty fun class but that may be just because I enjoy overthinking to the point of causing a brain meltdown.

Philosophy requires a degree of interest in order to be better understood.

Philosophy is what you get when you really should go get a job instead.

I had 3 philosophy classes in, uh, college. Each of them were based on specific authors and had little to do with history. The first one was about “Le Sophiste” by Plato, the second one was about varied Sartre’s texts (and probably other existentialist stuff I forgot… I actually remember nothing about this class <.<) and the third one was about Kant vs Jung. The last one was great mainly due to the teacher. My two first courses had more to do with writing essays that would satisfy the teachers, which of course, destroys the point of a philosophy class that should be to make the students think on their own.

No, the only point of such classes is to give jobs to philosophy teachers.

These classes force people to spend a lot of time in a subject that will never have any practical use in their lives. If the manpower of students was put into something else, they’d learn to be productive people.

Sure, there are always people who actually enjoy these classes. But so far as I know, where such classes are obligatory, these people are a minority.

I had a blast in my Intro to Logic class.

However, I, Frame and Jo the Mighty all had the same whorebag of a professor for Intro to Philosophy. Never trust a class that takes the “issue approach.” That’s an excuse to ignore the history under the ruse of teaching “pure ideas.”

I’ve had three philosophy classes. One was some ethics course (mainly there for the PhD student to rant on a soap box). One was an Intro to Critical Thinking dealing with truth tables, and fallacies, and proofs and such. The third is a Symbolic Logic (Boolean Algebra) class. It’s basically more of the same from Crit Thinking with more in depth truth tables, proofs, and shit.

I had “PHIL 101: Logical Argumentation,” which actually has practical applications, though I just took it as a “for the hell of it/getting a credit in category x” class (I’m a CS major).

“To be is to do.” Socrates

“To do is to be.” Jean-Paul Sartre

“Do be do be do.” Frank Sinatra

“Yabba-Dabba-Doo!” Fred Flintstone

I took 2 philo classes in college. One was Philosophy of the Mind, which mostly talked about the question: “what does it mean when we speak of something that doesn’t exist?” I thought it was an interesting topic, if a bit narrow for an entire 10-week course. I did get introduced to Bertrand Russell though, who’s turned out to be one of my favorite philosopher.

Then there was Intro to Logic. I took this because it sounded fun, even though it didn’t count toward my degree at all – which is ridiculous, since I see logic come up everywhere in computer science. Excellent class it was. :cool:

I encourage everyone to take classes in a variety of fields in college, even if you’re not forced to. (As long as you don’t have assholish departments that only let their majors take their classes, like our Art department.) I would have liked to take some ecology and music theory classes, but alas, I’ve been here 6 years and its time to move on. :stuck_out_tongue:

I take optional classes that don’t count towards my degree. But philosophy was forced upon me >_<

I took one actual philosophy class, one political theory class, I’m in two political theory classes right now, I’ll be taking another one next semester, and I’ll be taking a criminal justice theory class next semester. The common thing in most of the ones I’ve taken so far has been to look at the theories and how they apply to the real world. To see how the thinkers would view certain issues (usually modern day). It is also about just trying to figure out why things happen, since then you can find solutions or undersand various sides of an issue.

People need classes to have them learn how to think. However, I have doubts on their effectiveness. Philosophy is one such topic. Sadly, though, as was pointed out by Ren and I think someone else, the point of humanities classes is to give jobs to people that went into humanities (ie perpetuate the cycle) since ultimately it will do few people any good, especially if you consider how few people really think critically/independently/logically. This comes into focus especially when you notice that if you actually do what you’re supposed to in the philosophy class instead of telling the prof what he wants to hear, then you’ll get fucked.

I’ve never had to take any philosophy class myself. Woo science!

Many philosophy majors go into law. The background in critical thinking, particularly logic courses, helps them on the LSATs and whatnot.

Meh, philosophy. It really is obvious that there is only one reason to study philosophy and that is to learn and at least somewhat understand the thoughts of someone else so that you can hide that you’ve none. You won’t be taught how to think in a philosophy class, you’ll be taught how others thought. Thinking is something you do while talking to others, not while listening and taking notes to someone rambling about the metaphysical realities of Locke, Berkeley and Kant.

I agree and disagree with Nulani. I agree that essentially you’re taught how others thought, but a critical mind will be able to evaluate all this information and be able to comment on it.

If you just sit passively and do nothing , then you’re doing what most bio majors do, which is not think and memorize. In other words, missing the point.