A lot of people in 100 level philosophy courses thought they could fulfill a university requirement by taking what they saw as a “cakewalk” Nietzsche nihilism means nothing to me philosophy class, but most of them ended up dropping them once they saw what they were really about.
Nietzsche nihilism means nothing to me shirt
When people who don’t know philosophy want to sound deep, they (mis)quote Nietzsche, just like when people who don’t know poetry want to sound deep, they quote Bukowski. Oh, also, 1) those aspirational quotes attributed to Socrates aren’t Socrates, 2) that post about a philosophy professor talking about putting golf balls and pebbles and sand and water into a glass jar have nothing to do with what is taught in actual philosophy classes, and 3) that post about the philosophy professor whose final exam consisted simply of the question “why?” and the student’s response “why not?” Nietzsche nihilism means nothing to me getting an A also has nothing to do with what an actual philosophy final would be. A lot of people think that philosophy is touchy-feely aspirational stuff or just thinking creatively or in an off-beat way, when in reality, philosophy is about understanding and constructing complex arguments, being able to clearly and precisely articulating all relevant premises (making sure any potentially implicit premises are made explicit,) understanding that a argument is only valid if its premises are true and it’s logic is sound. Philosophy is more about honing your critical thinking skills than anything else.
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I’m hardly a philospher, but I remember being exposed to Kant, and psycho-physical dualism, and a bunch of other “really interesting things” for my core elective 27 years ago with a cool professor that was like a John Houseman w/o the stick in his ass. I want to finish my Masters so that I can start taking more philosophy classes without worrying about their usefulness to any given program of study. I tried to tackle Tao later on in a world lit class, deceptively complex. Love your points, my circles call those that employ them “pseuds”.
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When I was getting my bachelor’s in philosophy, there were so many classes I wanted to take but couldn’t fit into my schedule. So after I graduated and went back for my masters in English (yeah, I was Ms. Practical with a double major in undergrad of English and philosophy I stopped by the philosophy department to say hello (it was a very small, tight-knit department.) I mentioned a Buddhist class I always wanted to take but never got around to, and the department secretary asked “well, if you’ve got a slot open at such-and-such time, you could just sit in on it!” Studying philosophy was so fun, but seemed so impractical until I was working in 3rd tier tech support and realized the one piece of a solution I was working on for a while could be solved by calling my old logic professor