Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Majoring in being human

Everyone should major, or at least minor, in "being a human being." But you can do that in philosophy too.
"Soon college students all over America will be trundling to their advisers' offices to choose a major. In this moment of financial insecurity, students are naturally drawn to economics, business, and the hard sciences. But students ought to resist the temptation of those purportedly money-ensuring options and even of history and philosophy, marvelous though they may be. All students—and I mean all—ought to think seriously about majoring in English. Becoming an English major means pursuing the most important subject of all—being a human being..."
'The Ideal English Major - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Monday, July 15, 2013

Philosophy and true freedom of speech

Mark Vernon makes a strong case for philosophy.
...really good philosophy, the kind that will appeal to students, is not just about reason and logic. They are important qualities, but thinking rationally is not the main aim of philosophy, in my view. Rather, the ability to sort through what you think serves a greater purpose.
If you can learn how to think freely through the practice of philosophy then true freedom of speech can be yours.
The ability to speak freely is harder than it might first seem. The ability to communicate with clarity is one component, the element with which rational thinking can help. To be able to offer three or four reasons for your point of view is far more persuasive, and personally satisfying, then huffing and insisting that such and such is just what you think.
But also, to speak freely, you have got to have discovered what you think about something to start with. That means having the inner freedom to explore possibilities...
The good philosopher is the individual who can take risks, can tolerate uncertainty, can play with ideas. The heart is developed alongside the mind. And of course, such qualities should be central to education.
Philosophy and true freedom of speech - Philosophy and Life

Monday, July 1, 2013

Anxious? Depressed? Try Greek philosophy

"Growing up in the Nineties, my friends and I were amateur neuroscientists. Every weekend, we conducted experiments on our brains with various chemicals, to see what happened: marijuana, LSD, MDMA, amphetamine, mushrooms, all tossed into our system like ingredients in a cauldron. We had some hilarious, beautiful, even spiritual times. Then I noticed my friends beginning to burn out..."

Anxious? Depressed? Try Greek philosophy - Telegraph

Carlin Romano on "America the Philosophical" on the radio

"Philosopher Carlin Romano talks with Jim Fleming about his book, "America the Philosophical.""

Carlin Romano on "America the Philosophical" | To the best of our KNOWLEDGE

Want a job in journalism? Study Philosophy

Posting this for Older Daughter, heading off to college and telling people she thinks she wants to be a journalist.
"It must be summer. In anticipation of fall course schedules, several people have asked what I think someone who wants to be a journalist should study.
A few years ago I realized my favourite answer -- not journalism -- was depressing for someone who had already reserved a seat for himself or his child at one of Canada's more than 50 journalism programs.
That's right: 50. According to J-Source, the journalism website, there are 1,600 J-students at any given time preparing to work in an industry that has lost anywhere from one-third to half of its jobs in the last decade. The U.S. is always slightly ahead of us in trends, and in June the Chicago Sun-Times fired its entire photography staff, replacing it with iPhones for the remaining reporters. Since most reporters shoot about as well as most photogs spell, I'm breathlessly awaiting the next report of their declining circulation.
But apparently those sorts of comments were "killing the dreams" of future journalism students, so I've stopped saying things like that. I figure if they don't read enough news to know that media outlets are dropping faster than Stephen Harper's approval rating, who am I to point out that it's unwise to go to trade school to learn a dead trade.
Instead, I tell people the most useful classes I took were all in philosophy..."
Be Employable, Study Philosophy - TheTyee.ca - Mobile