• How did I first encounter philosophy as a subject - and what did I make of it.
• Why am I studying philosophy? How did it happen?
The first course I took in Philosophy--Introduction to Philosophy: Reality and Knowledge--was at a local US community college. It was the summer after my sophomore year in high school. That class got me hooked like nothing else in my life. The basic philosophical ideas were so unconventional and fascinating. I was enthralled while listening to my teacher lecture and while reading the textbook--The Experience of Philosophy, by Daniel Kolak and Raymond Martin, a really great book for introductory philosophy. Before my high school graduation, I’ve taken all of the offered philosophy courses in that college with a truly great and inspiring teacher, including Critical Thinking, Human Nature, Ethics, and Logic courses, all of which I enjoyed and which proved to be of great value to me.
The biggest advice I can give for Philosophy and Ethics students is shop for professors (ratemyprofessor.com is a great site), pick the one that suits your desired level of difficulty and clarity, and one which has most positive responses. It is paramount that the professor is passionate about teaching and that he/she connects with students. Also, try to learn and understand as much material as you can in your courses so that you will find out what interests you most.
I first enrolled in philosophy to make sense of the world around me, to get some answers, to find out how the world works, and perhaps to find myself. Instead, I got something even better—more questions. I found out about ideas which I haven’t considered before, both the abstract and the practical. I found out that the world is much more extraordinary than I have believed. Philosophy is where the greatest minds that ever lived share their views on the nature of this world and ourselves. It is the most relevant field of study that you can take. In all, one of the greatest lessons of philosophy is to have humility. The more we learn, the more humble we should become from understanding of just how little we know.
Jun 19, 2007