So, Philosophy 12 has officially begun. And in true Jackson fashion, what better way to start the year than a document of learning?
Now, I’m a little rusty on the whole format of these documents, but I’m pretty sure we start off with what we’ve done in these past two weeks.
Thoughts about love, wisdom, and loving wisdom:
I was very confused why Mr. Jackson was asking us about love and wisdom, and I only learned today that the actual definition of philosophy is “loving wisdom”. This explained a lot. In my discussions with people in the class, I had come up with a definition of “loving wisdom” as “the passion for gaining knowledge and improving yourself through experiences.” That actually sounds pretty close to philosophy to me, though in my head philosophy is a lot more thinking and looking deeply at sunsets. the most fun about loving wisdom was hearing my classmates’ thoughts on it.By talking to so many people and getting so many ideas put together, I reached a much deeper and better understand of both the words.
Thoughts on class readings:
While I’ve been a little lost in class discussions (as you’ll see later in my goals), I’ve found some pretty interesting things in our class readings. My favorite was the “Talk With Me” essay by Nigel Warburton. It was about how the stereotype of philosophers living as hermits and never talking to people is quite misleading.
I know right, Socrates??? The essay was about, funnily enough, the Socratic Method. It is about how conversation and argument have a large place in philosophy. While many philosophers spent years in solitude, doing their best work in exile, most of them actually used letters to get other human perspective, or spent their time imagining people to talk too. Somehow, while all in isolation, they realized: there is something about human interaction that is essential to philosophy.
Audible non-verbal aspects of the interaction, such as hearing the smile in someone’s voice, a moment of impatience, a pause of doubt perhaps?), or insight – these factors humanize philosophy
As for the whole essay, the other part that really stuck with me was about argument. As someone who loves debates and arguments with classmates, family or teachers, I could easily see how disagreement is a driving force
It is the dissenters who force us to think, who challenge received opinion
Now, onto the more personal part of this post: My goals and aspirations. (Yes, it’s all about me)
Coming into philosophy, I had a pretty good idea of the atmosphere: mostly self-directed, making our own assignments, lots of class discussions. It was the content that surprised me. Epistemology?? I suppose I’ll learn more about that later, but it was really hard to form any goals without knowing what they were supposed about. He then said that anything we were worried about, or questions we had would also work. Thank god, because I am literally made of worry and questions.
- Worried about being over-shined in a class of such keen and smart students. Will I speak up enough? Are my points good enough? Can I go “deep” enough?
- Worried about finding a topic. What pool of topics am I choosing from? the subjects we cover?? It’s too big.
- How to find a personal philosophy. I don”t know if this means one that I make up, or speaks to me, or even exactly what a personal philosophy is.
My only real, concrete goal for this class is: engage in class discussions and debates
I know right, Socrates?? Seems so simple, yet so unattainable. The thing is, while I absolutely adore class discussions and all the fun and wacky things they lead too, I suck at speaking in them. You find me mostly burying my head in a notebook, still listening intently, but with nothing to add. I really want to get more involved in the discussions in this class and debate more with the other classmates. that’s my main aspiration. (My aspiration for this project is to get an “exceeds expectations”, but we’ll see how that turns out.)
Until next time,
I’m really feeling the Bill and Ted vibe today