Monday, August 25, 2008


Another stupid philosophy article? Yoooou betcha. I'll hit the highlights.
"Would the world be a better place if kids began learning philosophy in school? Yes. It would result in a more inquiring society, a society of thinkers who are rational and reasonable."
We live in a society that also depends on automotive mechanics, short order cooks, retail cashiers, and police officers. Do these people really need to know the predicate calculus?
On the world stage, philosophy is part of the high school curriculum throughout Europe and Latin America; it's only the English-speaking countries such as the United States, Britain, New Zealand, Canada and Australia that are to catch up.
I've always suspected that Anglo-Americans were sensible people. And look! I was right. Again.
The Queensland program is taught to year 10, 11 and 12 students at Calamvale and is composed of three strands: deductive logic, critical thinking and pure philosophy.
Pure philosophy. What is that, speculation about the metaphysics of philosophy, or what?
"I now question absolutely everything, and I take everyone's word as opinion and not fact," Said says.
Perhaps when he gets to "pure philosophy," Said here will discover the utter stupidity of this ouroboros of a first principle. I'm skeptical, though.
As for Sara: "I'm Christian so I had very firm beliefs to begin with. But I found that even then I was able to become more sceptical and think about things in a different way because I had learnt to reason. Philosophy is not a yes or no subject."
"p and ~p" is a satisfiable schema. Yes or no, Sara? The law school "it depends" answer won't fly, but I don't want to be too hard on someone who hasn't taken logic in high school, thus being totally unable to figure out what this means.


So this is what philosophy-in-high-schools is - a justification for philosophically-bankrupt, intellectually-dishonest, faux-transgressive skepticism about everything. The problem with skepticism about everything is that it's totally absurd, self-defeating, and leads absolutely nowhere, so, while one can entertain the thought that nothing true exists, it's the basis for a dead philosophy of nothing. Naturally, philosophers, not wanting to be put out of business by too-clever-by-half sophistry, tend to disdain extreme skepticism.

But by all means, let's create an entire country of nihilists, eagerly impaling sensible people with their razor-sharp negation signs.


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