Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Decisions are Tough. (Logic) – Matthew Gosselin

This argument was created from the situation of a teenager in high school being poked and prodded by family over what career they will pursue, and failing to come up with an answer.

I would like to premise my premises by acknowledging that with the second and third premises, the first one seems redundant. The only explanations I have for this is are that my argument needs an initial point like Premise 1 to give a distinct pathway to my conclusion, as well as that without Premise 2 and 3, Premise 1 seems much more easily contested.

Premise 1 – Much of one’s learning about adulthood occurs in university, if that is the direction they wish to head after high school.

Premise 2 – University is a place where failure is abundant and nurtured in a safe environment.

Premise 3 – In a primal state, learning derives from failure.

Premise 4 – Learning gives us a greater understanding of our strengths, weaknesses, and interests.

Premise 5 – With additional knowledge of our own strengths, weaknesses and interests, we are more equipped to select an intellectually suitable and enjoyable career path.

Conclusion – It will be more difficult to create an intellectually suitable and enjoyable career path before learning about myself in university.

I’m an analytical person, therefore my main goal was to simply create a valid argument for the situation. I’m proud to say that the conclusion directly follows from the premises, and that if all my premises are known or perceived as to be true, that the conclusion is certain to be true as well. I understand that the scale of truth in my argument is ambiguous, as my premises are primarily based off of opinion and/or contentious belief. The premises I believe to be least contested, or most commonly accepted as true, are Premises 3, 4, and 5. The touchy premises are certainly Premises 1 and 2, due to the fact that many students have drastically different experiences as they travel through their lives as university students. I am also somewhat personalizing this argument for myself, as I am a straight white male and therefore have privilege and a feeling of safety that others might not share. Because of these biased and contested issues, the soundness of my argument is also flawed.

I created this argument to relieve the feeling of anxiety over my career choice from both myself and my parents. I have been interrogated for the last few months about what field of study I will pursue, without an answer. This assignment, looking back, seems like a scapegoat for myself to delay the inevitable. I hope that my belief in my premises will inherently create a true conclusion for myself. The question concerning a career choice at an early age has been debated more and more with each coming generation. It was obvious in the eras leading up to and including the Middle Ages. You were born into your career and role in society, whether it be a noble or a servant. There was no argument. However, as the Renaissance occurred, the formation of a middle-class sprang up, allowing an average individual to pursue their own ambition into a grand selection of careers. This has only grown to this day, and the decision has become more and more difficult. (Often times I am overwhelmed by the amount of choice that I have, and wonder if it would be better or more efficient to have less choice. This is quickly silenced by my will towards life without shackles.) The implications of the argument, on a materialistic level, would make an individual have to spend (realistically) another year in university, and a few thousand dollars. However, in a society where the majority of the citizens agreed upon my argument, it would change the emotional state of students. There would still continue to be dreams and aspirations for students travelling through early stages of the education system. The change would come in high school. It would make high school a more enjoyable experience, by reducing the stress on students. It also would hopefully change the lives of every adult in new generations for the better. If everyone has made more educated decisions on their career choice, we would create a more inherently productive and happier society. This would drastically improve the economy through an enjoyment of work, and enjoyment fuels spending habits as well.

Matthew Gosselin

Logical Enigma


2 Responses to Decisions are Tough. (Logic) – Matthew Gosselin

  1. katherine says:

    Hey Matt,
    Loved you post. Honestly, the amount of pressure put on high school students to know what they want to be is overwhelming, so thank you for addressing that. #relatable. I’m sorry for all the anxiety – I feel you man.

    I only have one question about your post, and it’s about Premise 2 (yes, one of the touchy ones)
    You say that University is a place where failure is abundant and nurtured in a safe space. I was wondering if you could explain this a little more for me.
    When you say “failure is abundant”, do you mean that university students are more likely to fail classes than high school students are? Is there statistics or such? I’m also curious about “nurturing failure”. I’m assuming you mean it in a positive light: allowing students to fail so they can learn more about themselves, but you see how it could be taken in the wrong way: teaching students to fail, and increasing the amount of failure because it is allowed.

    Not gonna lie, love you post. Just want a lil more info.

    You go, Matt

  2. beatrize says:

    Hi Matt,

    Good job on choosing a topic that is really applicable and relevant for many of us right now. I know personally that I am struggling with what I would like to do post-secondary. I can really see why going to university will help with my career and finding myself. Yet I am curious to what you think about alternatives to post secondary? And if university helps you find yourself and your career, then what do you think about those who work right straight out of high school? Or take a gap-year to work or to travel? and how about those going to college as opposed to university? I am eager to hear your thoughts!



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