17

Great question. This will be an incomplete and potentially unsatisfying answer, and I will be interested to see other answers, but here are five answers to start with: There is a historical-sociological sense in which Philosophy, narrowly construed, is a phenomenon of Greek culture and the cultures it influenced. It's a Greek word describing a distinctly ...


13

Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy (Worldcat link) might be better for an 11 or 12 year-old, but is worth mentioning. It follows a 14 year-old girl who starts wondering about philosophical questions and engages with a philosophy teacher to discuss in an accessible way ideas from early modern philosophy.


11

We stop the slide on step 1. Children are taught that different cultures have different values and that no one culture (even our own) has any higher claim to knowing right from wrong. Right and wrong must be made in the context of a particular system of belief. Actually, children aren't taught this. They are taught that different cultures have different ...


11

When I was young I really enjoyed the books of logician Raymond Smullyan, who wrote several books of logic puzzles held together with minimal but amusing narratives, including The Lady or the Tiger? and To Mock a Mockingbird. They are very accessible, even to a young audience, but cover some surprisingly sophisticated and advanced concepts. Lewis Carroll ...


9

There is a movement known as P4C (Philosophy for Children) which collects and develops resources of this type. You can read more about them here. There's also a Wikipedia page on the subject.


8

MMR taught in schools? I must concur with Michael Dorfman's answer: Your claim that the first point (let alone the others!) is factually taught in schools is false. So here we go into a debate about matters of fact (not really sure how they can be settled here). I think that, at most, a descriptive relativism is taught, but this - as Paul Boghossian, a ...


8

This is a significant question. On the one hand, each of us is embedded in the culture of a particular time and place, but on the other, our expectation of philosophers is that they stand outside the framework of ideas and assumptions that entraps everyone else. There's the added wrinkle that it isn't always clear how a philosopher's ideas will actually be ...


8

A second major in Mathematics could definitely be an asset for applying to graduate school in Philosophy, but whether it is, or how much it could be, depends a great deal on what specialization you suggest you are likely to pursue in your application statements. If you anticipate specializing in (a) an area where mathematical methods are used (e.g. logic, ...


7

Welcome xaratustra. I think you over-rate the importance of originality in philosophy. There are genuinely original papers such as Russell's 1905 paper, 'On Denoting', but a good philosophy paper can have many virtues besides originality. For instance, a paper might reduce ideas and arguments to coherence. A service is done by organising disconnected ...


6

As a practitioner of philosophical enquiry with children, I agree with Rex Kerr’s suggestion that offering and expecting good reasons can be highly instructive for children. I’m glad to recommend some books which could help you lead your own philosophical discussions with your child. An excellent introduction is "The Philosophy Shop" (ed. Peter Worley, ...


6

I don't see any reason not to teach Spinoza at school - so long as it pitched at the right level, done sensitively and placed in context within the history of Western Philsophy. One shouldn't be expected to read his Ethics at school. But I see no harm for example looking at commentaries at certain extracts. After all when studying Physics at school in the UK,...


6

Let me question your question briefly, then reassure you, then try to answer it. Precious few experts in philosophy lack what they and other people would consider serious gaps. Many, many philosophy professors are not all that familiar with material that's taught by others even in fairly introductory-level courses. This is far from unique to Philosophy. You ...


6

I think Orwell's Animal Farm can also be a good read for 9 year old. Its not strictly philosophical but still worth a read for every smart kid ( and adult ), I think.


6

The general answer is "no, there are no special prerequisites for philosophy." However, Philosophy is a topic which rewards those who are willing to accept challenges to their deepest held beliefs, and to those who are willing to view a topic from someone else's point of view. I cannot speak to you as a person, but I can speak to the particular set of ...


6

Plato and Pythagoras There is evidence that the Platonic Academy was modelled on Pythagoras's school in Sicily : The Academy (probably modeled after Pythagoras's school in Sicily) was established as a quasi-religious association (or thiasos), a "brotherhood dedicated to the muses" and charac- terized by reciprocity, equality, and friendship (...


6

The question is what does the following sentence from John Dewey's Democracy and Eduction mean: Education is the laboratory in which philosophic distinctions become concrete and are tested. In that same paragraph Dewey warns that students of philosophy may see philosophy as relevant to philosophers alone: The student of philosophy "in itself" is ...


6

Rhetoric is closely connected to Sophism and Sophistry Rhetoric is usually described as an art of persuading (some audience about something). It is not particularly interested with truth, only with appearance of it. Rhetoric appeals not only to the reason, but much more to the emotions. In this regards, rhetoric is close to the psychology - many good ...


5

I think there are several contributing reasons (as someone who has both published and taught both canonical Western philosophy and Chinese philosophy). The style of classical Chinese texts does not lend themselves to the same sort of classroom experience. It's a pain in the butt having to explain some of the most important passages in Chinese philosophy ...


5

I want to expand on my comment a bit: You'll definitely want to talk to the professors at each university you wish to apply to see what kind of requirements they have for applying. Typically though, I would imagine it's not as important what your bachelors degree is (say, as it would be compared to getting a Ph.D. in Computer Science) so much as that you ...


5

I don't want to generalize, but when i was 9 years old (also a fan of logic) i loved reading fantasy novels. I'm 19 now and i don't claim to have any knowledge on how to bring up a child, but maybe it's a good idea to buy him a book he enjoys to read. What i would suggest (if he likes fantasy): Artemis Fowl it's a book/series about a teen super genius who ...


5

I am aware of very few places where you could simultaneously pursue a masters in math and the "professional pursuit of philosophy." You would need to research programs specifically. But most of these are not going to be targeted at the MS/MA level. Instead, what I would suggest is to do your masters in math and take a course or two in philosophy -- outside ...


4

When presented with scientific evidence and logical reasoning, he slams it as being conspiracy theories, inventions of loonies, and nonsense like Ancient Aliens. Is there any way to pry open this person's closed mind? Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance can account when belief is held with lack of, in spite of or against reason and evidence. ...


4

The canonical figures are who they are mainly in virtue of their extensive influence on the tradition, so an alternative canon can only be of minority interest. It is a separate question whether there are any important figures in the history of philosophy which have been overlooked. I think Wittgenstein, while certainly not overlooked, has been widely ...


4

I have not read Spinoza's 'Political Treatise'. But after reading Spinoza's 'Ethics' I would say his ideas can definitely be found to be disrupting to most societies around the world so I think this could be a reasons why he is not thought in Holland; but it might simply be because people who decide reading material sincerely think he is wrong :) In '...


4

Firstly, it's worth drawing out the distinction between what is conceivable and what is possible. It's an open question whether it can be useful to view one as a guide to the other, so make it clear that the ability of the human mind to dream up weird and fantastic scenarios doesn't mean that what they describe is something that is in the realm of ...


4

Some points regarding philosophical texts: Topic and focus of the question (writing only on the question and actually answering it, no digressions and unnecessary remarks) Handling of concepts (definitions and descriminations made explicit, interdependencies shown) Showing insight into current discourse (paraphrasing and referencing at least the most ...


4

According to Wikipedia Ivan Illich opposed "institutionalized education" or "compulsory mass education", but he favored "self-directed education, supported by intentional social relations, in fluid informal arrangements". It may be a misrepresentation of his position to simply say he was "so opposed to schools" unless one clarifies that what he was opposed ...


3

Whether or not teaching mathematics to children helps to spread the idea of equality is an empirical, psychological, maybe educational question. It is not a question of philosophy. That said, why should mathematics help with equality? There will be a whole bunch of counterexamples, crazy murderer that are genius at math, early civilizations (most notably ...


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