Learn to Listen, and Study Your Speech. (Something I’ve Learned in Philosophy (Recompense for DOL #1)) – Matthew Gosselin
Something I’ve been bestowed with by this Philosophy class is the opportunity to speak and to listen. Unbeknownst to myself until this class, I have grown up through the education system with an abundance of privilege looming over me. I am a decently academic, straight, white, male, in a fairly financially stable position. Prior to arriving in Philosophy 12, I had been in classes which I had my hand up more often than it was down, and spoke excessively when I thought I had a decent point. In my mind, I was always right and I never gave others opinions much thought or the chance to be simply an alternate perspective.
Along comes Philosophy 12. Early on, I thought my views were somewhat adamant and so I shared them. Upon self-reflection, I’m unsure of whether it was to develop my curiosity to the subject or simply to seem intellectual. (I’m sorry that I occasionally became like a control in some conversations, not letting others speak.) I think one of my motives was also that other people in the class, minus a few exceptions, were inherently “passive,” in discussions. I still am unsure if that was due to having a lesser amount of natural privilege that made them uncomfortable or vulnerable, or simply that they didn’t feel like speaking. As the course progressed, my opinions shed their façade and proved to be malleable. I was less confident in being, “right.” Eventually this allowed me to realize that the objective of the course wasn’t to be, “right,” and therefore allowed me to value the opinions of others and simply share on occasion when I believe I can better my own or another individual’s understanding of a dense reading or heavy discussion. My mom always told me that I was given two ears and one mouth for a reason, and that was to listen twice as much as I talk. Finally I’m proud that I’m trying to act on that basic principle. Not only did I learn to listen to others, but the ambiguity of some of the course objectives and readings continuously left my thought process murky, and I’ve had to struggle with articulating my thoughts in a valid and sensible manner. I was frustrated at first but now it has inspired me to augment my vocabulary! I’m enjoying myself and hope everyone else can find solace somewhere in the hieroglyphics of Immanuel Kant! (My moments of newfound clarity occurred shortly after the Logic unit.)