“Canadian universities face potential funding problems as a result of United States protectionist policies, but the bigger threat is of populism spreading across the border. As a result they need to embrace their role to teach more than skills, educating individuals to take responsibility for their part in society.”
There is a good bit of dusty German philosophy in Karl Jaspers , who doesn’t seem to be known as a philosopher so much as a psychiatrist and for his contributions to that field. Some of his dusty philosophy can be found in the book The Idea of the University, a couple of chapters of which I discuss here because, well, I had to discuss it in class so I might as well.
The poem “There is ample metaphysics in not thinking at all” is one of the most popular by Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. In “Philosopher’s Walk”, Conditioned Things brings the poem to life while highlighting an apparent contradiction: can a philosopher proclaim that it is best not to think at all?
About a century ago, prominent educational thinker John Dewey argued that education is the means of the social continuity of life. He also predicted that, by the end of the 20th century, Bachelor’s degrees would be as commonplace as high school diplomas, or even literacy. And he meant Bachelor of Arts degrees, and with concentrations in philosophy, no less. Unfortunately, public perception towards higher education has remained fundamentally flawed: we value a degree only to the extent that it affords professional success.
Disappointment and dissatisfaction are the products of distortions in our perception that obscure our ability to see things as they really are. This means that a happier life is to be sought not by wishing that things were different, but simply by seeing what is there. In doing this, “it is not that something different is seen, but that one sees differently” . And we need to look differently at things if we are to understand what Ancient Eastern Traditions have known for thousands of years: that we live in an interdependent world.
Informative and indispensable, interesting but unnecessary, complex and useless; many and varied are the opinions concerning philosophy and its role in our daily lives. This is, perhaps, due to the difficulty we have in understanding just what philosophy is. In any case, with a little reflection we learn that aspects of philosophy are everywhere shaping our daily lives, and, as such, that philosophy really is essential. But why? And for what?
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