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“Philosophy begins with a sense of wonder.” – Aristotle

In philosophy, students grapple with questions about life, the universe, the existence of God, morality, governance, freedom, the mind, the limits of knowledge, and the nature of humankind. While philosophical questions can be abstract, philosophy is an intellectually rigorous discipline in which philosophical claims must be supported with argument and evidence.

The study of philosophy helps students to cultivate critical thinking skills and to hone their capacity for ethical deliberation.  By studying the ideas of great philosophers from history, students will develop the skills required to analyze competing positions, to advance arguments in the spirit of reason, and to solve real world problems.

Jenkins

The American Philosophical Association has identified four basic skills, valued by every prospective employer and academic program, that improve through the study of philosophy:

1)      General problem solving and critical thinking

2)      Communication skills

3)      Persuasive powers

4)      Writing skills

Even more valuable than these skills is the self-understand imparted by the study of philosophy. In emphasizing the search for beliefs that are rationally justified, as well as in emphasizing the application of philosophy to everyday life, the study of philosophy helps students fulfill the edict of the ancients to “know thyself.” Truly, as Socrates said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”

The goal of all philosophy instruction at Takoma Park/Silver Spring is to improve the lives of students by making them more effective critical thinkers and more compassionate ethical decision makers. Through the study of philosophy, students will lead a more fulfilling and satisfying life.

“Philosophy is to be studied…for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind also is rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good.” – Bertrand Russell
 

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