THE VALUE OF TEACHING PHILOSOPHY EARLY

THE VALUE OF TEACHING PHILOSOPHY EARLY

“Introducing philosophy to children at a young age provides a great opportunity to cultivate their sense of wonder; it helps to develop their ability to ask big questions and think independently.”

“Philosophy can awaken and extend a child’s sense of astonishment. A deep-rooted sense of amazement and awe in a child can give rise to a lifelong passion for learning and inspire them to set out on great thought-adventures. It is impossible to tell where such thought-adventures will lead. By their very nature thought-adventures involve stepping into the unknown. Moreover, a child who is truly prepared to learn might not even know for certain if they are on the right path to the knowledge they seek or if they will ever attain it. Yet the discoveries they make along the way can fill a child’s life with a wealth of meaning and joy.”

#philosophy #education

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/why-it-s-crucial-that-children-should-learn-philosophy-1.3733926

STOP DISSING PHILOSOPHY!

STOP DISSING PHILOSOPHY!

“It has become sadly common for science popularizers to dismiss philosophy as an empty, altogether useless discipline consisting of circular abstractions. Even scientist Stephen Hawking went as far as to declare philosophy dead. I believe this public dismissal of philosophy, rather than reaffirm science, brings harm to its integrity.”

“When science popularizers dismiss philosophy, they are making one or more of several mistakes, amongst which:

(a) being unaware and uncritical of the intrinsic boundaries of their preferred method of knowledge acquisition;

(b) taking one particular ontology—usually, mainstream physicalism—for the self-evidence truth, thereby projecting an unexamined belief system onto nature;

(c) extending the scope of science beyond what is justifiable by its method, thereby putting the integrity of science itself at risk.”

#philosophy #bernardokastrup

POP CULTURE PHILOSOPHY

POP CULTURE PHILOSOPHY

“The Good Place is having a very good year. It’s just been nominated for couple of Golden Globes and renewed for a fourth season, and it’s on everyone’s year end roundups of the best shows on television. But much like the fate of one’s immortal soul, the show’s success was by no means a sure thing. It’s a candy-colored fantasy about the arithmetic of virtue (can we put an absolute value of good and bad and tally them up?) that regularly name drops Kant, Aristotle, and Hume.”

#philosophy #thegoodplace

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/arts-and-culture/a25426147/michael-schur-interview-the-good-place-season-3/

KREMLINGATE – WATERGATE FOR MORONS

KREMLINGATE – WATERGATE FOR MORONS

“The scandal surrounding President Donald Trump and his reputed secret ties to the Kremlin has swirled around him since before his inauguration 15 months ago. For his entire presidency, just what the commander-in-chief’s relationship with Moscow—no friends of ours, no matter how ardently Trump wants the Russians to be—actually it has hovered darkly over the Oval Office, never moving on. It’s no wonder the president has rage-tweeted so frequently about the investigation into his Russian links, proclaiming NO COLLUSION! too many times to count anymore.”

“However, the greatest distinction between Watergate and Kremlingate is the underlying crime. In the case of the former, it was a politically-motivated break-in; with the latter, it appears to be collaboration with a hostile foreign power that may be tantamount to treason. Whatever Nixon’s flaws, he was a veteran and former Navy man who was impeccably loyal to the United States. Trump is a draft-dodger who tears down our national institutions, one by one, while possessing a strange unwillingness to criticize Vladimir Putin—whose nasty crimes abroad have increased since January 2017—under any circumstances, for anything.”

#philosophy #donaldtrump #impeachtrump #kremlingate

https://observer.com/2018/04/mueller-investigating-trumps-ties-to-russia-is-watergate-for-morons/

ARE WE MORALLY BOUND TO LEAVE FACEBOOK

ARE WE MORALLY BOUND TO LEAVE FACEBOOK

Excellent article which asks some very relevant moral questions about Facebook. The author’s points are valid and to be honest I have reflected on all the same moral concerns raised.

“The platform has been used to disrupt elections, disseminate propaganda and promote hate. Regular users should ask if they are implicated in these failings.”

“…choosing to remain on Facebook might not directly undermine democratic values. But such an action could also be wrong because we might be failing to participate in a collective action (that is, leaving Facebook) that would prevent the deterioration of democracy.”

“That said, we should not place the responsibility to uphold democratic values entirely on Facebook. As moral agents, we should also hold ourselves responsible for our conduct, and we should be reflective about what we say, react to and share when we are on social media. “

“For now I’m going to stay on Facebook. But if new information suggests that Facebook has crossed a moral red line, we will all have an obligation to opt out.”

#philosophy #morality #socialmedia #facebook

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/24/opinion/sunday/facebook-immoral.html

HOW TO ARGUE RESPECTFULLY

HOW TO ARGUE RESPECTFULLY

“Many find themselves arguing with someone on the Internet, especially in these days fraught with political tensions. A great tool, the web also seems to drive dispute. It is also a reflection of the larger reality, where divisiveness has spread throughout our society. A classic essay from one of the Internet’s pioneers suggests that there is a way to harness such negative energy of the online world and disagree with people without invoking anger—a lesson that extends far beyond the web.”

#philosophy #argument #formallogic

https://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/how-to-disagree-well-7-of-the-best-and-worst-ways-to-argue?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&#Echobox=1543322509

CLIMATE CHANGE & THE PHILOSOPHY OF IGNORANCE

CLIMATE CHANGE & THE PHILOSOPHY OF IGNORANCE

“Philosophers have been talking about skepticism for a long time. Some of those insights can shed light on our public discourse regarding climate change.”

“No matter how smart or educated you are, what you don’t know far surpasses anything you may know. Socrates taught us the virtue of recognizing our limitations. Wisdom, he said, requires possessing a type of humility manifested in an awareness of one’s own ignorance. Since then, the value of being aware of our ignorance has been a recurring theme in Western thought: René Descartes said it’s necessary to doubt all things to build a solid foundation for science; and Ludwig Wittgenstein, reflecting on the limits of language, said that “the difficulty in philosophy is to say no more than we know.””

#philosophy #wisdom #knowledge #climatechange #psychology

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/26/opinion/skepticism-philosophy-climate-change.html

The #MeToo Movement – Can It Go Too Far?

The #MeToo Movement – Can It Go Too Far?

“The #MeToo movement is a one-way system of justice: With a few Tweets, it can serve to forever stigmatize a man as guilty; but it can never restore his reputation if he turns out to be innocent. #MeToo can deliver infamy, but never absolution. There is no judge, no court, no Archdiocese to which one can plead the case for review, pardon or parole.”

“Some critics of #MeToo have worried that, in extreme cases, it might become an inquisition. But the comparison is inapt. The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition could condemn a person to death for practicing Judaism, witchcraft or blasphemy. But it could also authoritatively absolve a person of such charges. This is the benefit of a system in which some formal mechanism of church or state pronounces definitively on matters of guilt, innocence and redemption: No matter how inexact or unfair the process, there is always hope that one can re-enter society, rebuild one’s reputation, and earn a livelihood. In the case of the current wave of men accused of sexual assault or harassment, on the other hand, that’s impossible.”

“An all-or-nothing process that can mete out exactly one kind of punishment — a lifetime of disgrace, or nothing at all — provides us with a thrilling kind of moral theatre, in which pure villains such as Harvey Weinstein get their due. But in cases where the facts are less damning, this black-and-white, permanent-ink approach doesn’t reflect the way most ordinary men and women judge — and eventually forgive — one another.”

#metoo #philosophy #morality #justice

http://nationalpost.com/opinion/jonathan-kay-why-a-murderer-may-have-a-better-future-than-a-metoo-accused

The Anthropocene Era

The Anthropocene Era

Now that we have solidly entered the Anthropocene Era (geological period where humans are having a significant effect on climate and environment), many serious philosophical, moral and existential questions arise.

“Earth has lost half of its wild animals in the last forty years. What does it mean to be philosophical about this? The last time there was this much carbon in the atmosphere, humanity didn’t even exist. What should we think or feel about this terrain we’re entering: the prospect that future generations may see those born in the late 20th century as the last humans to know ecological innocence?”

#philosophy #anthropocene #survival

http://www.newphilosopher.com/articles/a-new-human-era/

The Normalization of Wickedness

The Normalization of Wickedness

I find myself agreeing with those who argue that one of the most damaging effects of the Trump Presidency and rise of racist, bigoted, xenophobic and divisive influence in American politics (euphemistically called “alt-right”), is that we are lowering the bar to what constitutes “normal” behaviour and thinking.

“What we regard as Evil is capable of a fairly ubiquitous presence if only because it tends to appear in the guise of good.” (Joseph Brodsky)

“The essence of totalitarian government, and perhaps the nature of every bureaucracy, is to make functionaries and mere cogs in the administrative machinery out of men, and thus to dehumanize them.” (Hannah Erendt)

“What he said was always the same, expressed in the same words. The longer one listened to him, the more obvious it became that his inability to speak was closely connected with an inability to think, namely, to think from the standpoint of somebody else. No communication was possible with him, not because he lied but because he was surrounded by the most reliable of all safeguards against the words and the presence of others, and hence against reality as such.” (Hannah Erendt)

#philosophy #morality

https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/02/07/hannah-arendt-the-banality-of-evil/