Words from a PSU Philosophy Major

The Philosophy for Children course caught my attention as I was browsing class entries to fulfill capstone requirements. Having spoken with a student at the end of their senior experience, I had a chance to glean some general insight that contributed to the final decision process. She mentioned finding a capstone that could add breadth of knowledge yet contribute some focus or clarity to post-graduate plans. Just a few short years ago, I received my first introductions to the discipline of philosophy via a selection of Plato’s dialogues, which actually took place in my HS writing class. The mode of thinking fascinated me, and I noticed the potential practical value to our own lives. Over the past years, I have become increasingly more concerned with the status and process of philosophical thinking in our most fundamental social institutions, education. This capstone will allow for exploration of philosophy in children and provide valuable experience in refining goals.

The aspects of the course that drew me in most were ethical thinking and philosophy in the high schools: The Oregon HS Ethics Bowl. Providing a forum for collaboration and analytical thought is essential in any educational system. I hope I can serve as a mentor and resource to the students and act as an aid for the instructors and community members. Throughout the new few months, it is my goal to expand my own understanding of ethics as well as my understanding of teaching ethics, logic and critical thought to those not immediately familiar with the practice and content of philosophy. Because my interests are in policy, academia, and general appreciation of knowledge, the Oregon HS Ethics Bowl project will be a good fit.

Initially, I experienced some worry with minors being able to transcend troublesome ways of thinking, or their reception of a critique of views or values. The observations and theory presented throughout the reading, and the experience of former ethics bowl coaches, has remedied any major concern of bridging a gap between ideas and genuine, philosophy-like inquiry. I am excited to be a part of the first Oregon HS Ethics Bowl, and to contribute to a tradition of mutual understanding and critical investigation.

Post by David Hargis Rosales, PSU Philosophy Major

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