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Location: California, United States

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Be a philosophy student for an hour

When I started college I was an art major but my sister took a philosophy class and liked it so much she talked me into taking it too. I also liked it so much that I decided to have a double major - art and philosophy - and that changed my life forever :)

Here below is a video of a class taught by Harvard professor Michael Sandel on Justice. According to Wikipedia, more than 10,000 students have taken this course, making it one of the most highly attended in Harvard's history. He begins with the classic trolley car thought experiment and relates ethical concepts raised to contemporary social/political controversies. In the video, the professor issues a warning to the class and the thing he warns them about is what made philosophy wonderful to me back in college and still ......

Philosophy estranges us from the familiar not by supplying new information but by inviting and provoking a new way of seeing. But, and here's the risk, once the familiar turns strange, it's never quite the same again. Self-knowledge is like lost innocence, however unsettling you find it, it can never be unthought or unknown. What makes this enterprise difficult but also riveting is that moral and political philosophy is a story, and you don't know where the story will lead, but what you do know is that the story is about you.

You can also listen to this short podcast at Philosophy Bites - Michael Sandel on What Shouldn't Be Sold


Anonymous richard said...

Crystal, thanks for posting this. I find it very refreshing some how. Catching up with your blog. life much too hectic lately. Rich

7:55 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Richard :) Thanks for the comment - I'm glad you had time to drop by.

12:26 AM  

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