Well, it’s been a long semester! We’ve all learned so much and come so far, but we have only just scratched the surface. And with that notion I stand by what I said from day one…philosophy is on going. I’ve gone on to believe that no one will ever finish their studying of Philosophy because that is an unachievable goal. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But that isn’t a bad thing! But there are a lot of things we know a lot more about anyway. I sure learned a lot, and I even learned what learning is! Now isn’t that interesting!
I stand by much of what I said from my first reflection. My first reflection was brief, and of a more confused version of me who was more than rushed to get his homework done. But I still feel when looking back on my first post that it sums up how I still feel about philosophy. It is confusing, but it is important. Everyday I come to class I learn something new, and it seems that everyday, we have a new topic to discuss that is often a part of our everyday life. We’ve learned more than just how to put an argument together, or test an ethical idea under the umbrella of a categorical imperative or utilitarianism. I know that my way of thinking has changed. I’ve opened my mind to new ideas and thought deeper, for example, on the consequences of the decisions we make on life. How to treat people, what is just and unjust. What is subjective and what is objective (if you even believe that objectivity is possible). But I know from day one, I’ve never faced a more thought provoking or challenging subject such as philosophy. I never thought that I would go home every night and lay in bed and just think…think about anything. Think about life and argue life’s limits and what is real and what isn’t.
This class has also opened a new way of learning for me. Now the rest of the school may call it sitting around in comfy couches until lunch, but we have a different idea of what we do…it’s called class discussion. Not only did I find it helpful and insightful to sit around with my peers and learn from them and share views and opinions on various subjects, but I also found it helpful that Mr. Jackson wouldn’t just give is the answer, he would make us work for it and actually put us through the process of learning. If I remember correctly someone had screamed out “my brain hurts!” And Mr.Jackson said “that’s what it feels like in your head when you’re actually physically learning something!”
Now what am I proud of?! I’d have to say that I’m proud of opening up to a new way of thinking/learning (class discussions, blog, actual learning). I am also proud of what we accomplished as a class. As a class we discussed and feverishly depated some of the most controversial and intense topics out there, from abortion to capital punishment, and the ins and outs of the rights and wrongs of murder under all circumstances, and of course what to call “the Joels” and “the Kevins”. I’m glad we all furthered our knowledge of the world around us which in turn will make us more conscious citizens and will push us to question all aspects of life and allow us to make more informed and stronger decisions from how to vote to what to make for breakfast (if you choose to use your knowledge in such a way).
Personally I would really love to go back and improve my involvement in this class. I look back and I missed a blog post or two and I could have commented more. I do care but that’s on me to be better and push myself. But no matter the grade I get, I know I’ve learned a lot and I’ll take it with me wherever I go and I will apply my newly formed knowledge to my life. I know what I’ve taken from this class and that is for me. I know that I will apply my knowledge to how I live my life from now on. I have no control over my thoughts now as they will always go through a philosophical filter. I will think with more purpose on my actions and will consider the possible outcomes of my decisions. I will allow my new knowledge to make me a better person for those reasons. I will not be ignorent and intolerant, but will open my mind to all opinions and views and consider them before I argue them or not. And going forward I know I will continue to learn philosophy, by research or experience…which ever comes first. I know I’ve only scratched the surface, and I’m sure by the time I’m dead and gone I’ll have only moved up ever so slightly on a philosophical ladder.
With all that has been said in the last few months, and all that we’ve learned, we’ve all taken something different out of this course and our journeys have all been very different even though we’ve all been on the same path. So just to review, my views on philosophy have expanded more than solidified. I still believe in the same things I said in my first reflection like that philosophy touches all aspects of life. It does and I can feel that presence touching mine right now. Philosophy is kinda like a glove with some holes in it…its still pretty cold but it’s better than nothing. And I believe it is definately a lot better than nothing. I won’t say philosophy has made my life easier, in fact it’s made it more challenging. But life is all about challenges. Life isn’t supposed to be easy. I don’t think life should be easy, because it wouldn’t be so amazing if it was. And thats what we are here to do, we are here to live. And we should live it to the fullest and do our best as individuals to continue to search for that ever so slippery meaning of life. Hopefully when it’s all over we can at least figure out the meaning of life for us as individuals. But philosophy is ongoing and may hold the key to unlocking the door to the room that has the locked vault, and in that vault is the directions to where the meaning of life used to be. So I’ll say like I said on day one…”If after reading this you are confused, that’s ok, cause you still probably aren’t as confused as me!”