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Thread: Should Philosophy be taught as a Leaving Cert subject?

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    Default Should Philosophy be taught as a Leaving Cert subject?

    Considering the supposed emphasis that the Irish education system places on critical thinking, is there not a case to be made for Philosophy to be taught as a stand-alone subject at Leaving Cert level?

    In some countries, it is mandatory that this subject be studied. For example in France where it is a compulsory element of the Bac Litteraire, students are required not simply to understand the arguments of the philosophers studied, but to use their arguments to answer questions such "Can one be right in spite of the facts?". Given the rote-learning nature of much of the Leaving Cert (not necessarily a negative, BTW), would such a subject encourage deeper thinking among young adults? After all, all great discoveries and endeavours in all areas and disciplines start with a hypothesis or question even if success has been happened upon by chance (am thinking Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin).

    So, what do you think? Could philosophy, as a subject at LC level, potentially stimulate the next great Irish success story in the arts, science or business worlds? Or is this simply a subject worth studying for its own sake?

    BBC News - Why does France insist school pupils master philosophy?


    <Mod> This thread has been merged with "Should Philosophy and/or Politics be taught as a formal subject on the leaving cert?" </Mod>
    Last edited by stringjack; 1st August 2013 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Merged thread.
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    Politics.ie Member stopdoingstuff's Avatar
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    From much earlier in my opinion, especially logic, ethics and politics.
    Faoi mhóid bheith saor

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    And theology.
    Heaven and Earth Meet in the Human Heart!

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    if you taught people to think the Catholic Church would be finished!

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    Quote Originally Posted by stopdoingstuff View Post
    From much earlier in my opinion, especially logic, ethics and politics.
    Agreed. One of the most enjoyable courses I took in my high school days was an introduction to philosophy. I can still recall the dizzying excitement of reading Plato for the first time - it was the Euthyphro - and although I left school soon after, I credit that course with my subsequent study of the Classics as an undergrad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stopdoingstuff View Post
    From much earlier in my opinion, especially logic, ethics and politics.
    I'd agree. If it's to be studied meaningfully at LC level, it would have to be introduced earlier. I mean, if you think about it, young children will often start a sentence with "why?" or "how". Yet somehow, whatever happens to us as we get Oder, we cease to ask the questions we really want to.
    "Holding it together with pilates and gin."

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    Politics.ie Member RahenyFG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alloverbartheshouting View Post
    Considering the supposed emphasis that the Irish education system places on critical thinking, is there not a case to be made for Philosophy to be taught as a stand-alone subject at Leaving Cert level?

    In some countries, it is mandatory that this subject be studied. For example in France where it is a compulsory element of the Bac Litteraire, students are required not simply to understand the arguments of the philosophers studied, but to use their arguments to answer questions such "Can one be right in spite of the facts?". Given the rote-learning nature of much of the Leaving Cert (not necessarily a negative, BTW), would such a subject encourage deeper thinking among young adults? After all, all great discoveries and endeavours in all areas and disciplines start with a hypothesis or question even if success has been happened upon by chance (am thinking Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin).

    So, what do you think? Could philosophy, as a subject at LC level, potentially stimulate the next great Irish success story in the arts, science or business worlds? Or is this simply a subject worth studying for its own sake?

    BBC News - Why does France insist school pupils master philosophy?
    I wouldn't be in a favour of it myself as it's not much use as a degree either. Maybe could come in use as an option within the English syllabus but as a stand alone subject would be a waste when we need to focus on the core of maths, science, business and arts like history, languages and English.
    Last edited by RahenyFG; 3rd June 2013 at 11:21 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alloverbartheshouting View Post
    I'd agree. If it's to be studied meaningfully at LC level, it would have to be introduced earlier. I mean, if you think about it, young children will often start a sentence with "why?" or "how". Yet somehow, whatever happens to us as we get Oder, we cease to ask the questions we really want to.
    Perhaps people are worried that they will end up being thought of as that 'Rob' eejit from eMobile if they ask too many questions. Would learning Philosophy as an LC subject accelerate the study of Arts (particularly where it is a course requirement) at Third Level?
    Regards...jmcc

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    Quote Originally Posted by IbrahaimMohamad View Post
    if you taught people to think the Catholic Church would be finished!
    So would pretty much all organised religion, I'd have thought.

    However, this thread is not about religion, and I say that respectfully. They reason I posed this question was more to do with how well critical thinking is really deemed a valid element of our education system and to explore whether the teaching of philosophy would assist in life-long learning and development.
    "Holding it together with pilates and gin."

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    Politics.ie Member Burnout's Avatar
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    What...you want the great unwashed actually thinki=g for themselves, questioning their betters, stirring trouble in middle class Ireland.

    Philisophy is supposedly the study of reason, and it is, if studied, but how many that are of the 'elite' in this island ever bothered to educate themselves in reason.

    Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the time.”
    ― Voltaire


    Certainly enda or brian cowen or michael martin will ever be quoted in the future for a quotation of ANY reasoning as to why they did what they did. The Irish political philosophy is to bluster on get the pension and then blame their replacement eunach.

    The main Irish political groups do not really have a philosophy, except save the women and children last.

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