We’re so excited about our new online classes, and we thought it would be fun to give you a sneak peek at what’s on the lineup for this summer. Today, Shelly’s got the scoop on why everyone should learn How to Think Like a Philosopher. (Summer registration opens May 1!)
WHAT IS YOUR CLASS ABOUT?
We think all the time, but we don’t always understand exactly what we’re thinking in why. In this class, we’ll start to unpack some of the reasons, assumptions, inferences, examples, implications, counter-examples, and truths that underly the way we think. We’ll start by putting these skills to work exploring a fairly straightforward television episode and gradually work together toward tackling a Socratic dialogue.
WHAT WILL STUDENTS LEARN?
How to think! It’s a simple—and as complex—as that. You won’t walk out of a philosophy class with a list of facts and data. Philosophy doesn’t mean the love of knowledge—it’s the love of wisdom. You’ll be able to ask more and better questions and to think better and deeper about the questions we all think about all the time—life and death, right and wrong, how we become who we are. (At least, I think about those things all the time. Other people do, too, right?)
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT TEACHING THIS CLASS?
Honestly, I just love teaching philosophy. There’s a philosopher who writes about how when you’re actually teaching philosophy, it always feels too good to be true, like someone is going to come and tap you on the shoulder and say, “”We were just kidding—you don’t really get to do this for a living.” I totally identify with that. Teaching philosophy is so fun—I still can’t believe I’m lucky enough to get to do it every day. I wish I’d been able to take classes like this in high school, too, so I have really enjoyed getting to put together the kind of classes that I would have fallen in love with as a high school student.
WHO WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS CLASS FOR?
If you love thinking—really thinking, thinking deep, relishing the questions as much as the answers, embracing the notion that you can’t relax in absolutes, getting up in the middle of the night to look at the monsters under the bed—you will love philosophy. And philosophy is so open-ended. It equips you to be a philosopher, sure, but it also arms you to go back to science or history or art or whatever your passion is with the ability to think deeper and make better connections about it.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO TEACH THIS CLASS?
I always say if I’m going to jail, I want it to be for blasphemy and corrupting the youth—just like Socrates.