(I apologize in advance for any grammatical errors. My wife didn’t get the chance to proof read this).
So normally I like to post some fairly serious philosophy but today will be different. Normally, I just post slightly revised assignments from school. As a philosophy major I probably write 3 papers a month (mainly because I am taking 4 philosophy classes a the moment and 3 of them are upper division). The readers of this blog do not get the chance to the see the most polished pieces of work, I will admit, but this makes it easy to keep up on weekly posting (God knows what will happen in the summer). Today I finished a paper on Berkeley and I considered posting it but something happened that must be talked about.
So, every Sunday I wake up early with my beautiful wife and go to work with her. She works at the best coffee shop ever (Goldy’s corner) so I go with her because I can sit and drink unlimited drip coffee while I write this blog and do homework. Last time I ran into a peer at school, a philosophy major, who is graduating soon. This person is now teaching high schoolers philosophy and they are facing a problem; they must continually convince parents their subject is important.
I myself have friends who consider what I study useless (they won’t ever know I mentioned them since they will never read this blog) but I want the world to understand that we philosophy majors can get other jobs, in fact, our specialty is convincing people to hire us, but we should have a larger number of teaching positions available to us as early as middle school and this is why; philosophy teaches you how to think. Philosophy is a gym for the mind. America cannot think rationally and doesn’t want to. If you believe I am wrong I implore you to consider the political system we have in place. Right now we have rhetoric, which is a weapon in the hand of skilled wielder, being used to slash and hack at the weak of mind. This political system is reinforced early in life and needs to stop. If we can train children early in the art of rational thought then some people wouldn’t have even made it into office. Imagine Bush or Obama trying to convince Kant, Hume, Berkeley, Lewis, Russell, or any other philosopher of some of the the crap they convinced America to believe, it just wouldn’t happen. This is simply because philosophers think critically and often are skeptical. I don’t know of many philosophers who believe something they hear right away even if they want to believe it! People only will believe what they want to believe and it is a huge problem. We currently value beliefs that help us support our bias. We need to value beliefs that are true. If you don’t think having philosophy taught would change this I would like you to consider the fact that every political system, including the United States’, is based on the work of some philosopher. If everyone read Locke, Hobbes, Keynes, Malthus, Smith, and Marx (and many others) and were educated in how to think rationally, we would have a well informed society that can decide for itself how to vote. The standards for political rhetoric would be much higher. If the standards are higher then the people spewing the rhetoric would themselves be of a higher standard intellectually to keep up with the demand.
Hire philosophers to teach your kids and we will save the world.