When a student goes through the state of California’s University system, the student is encouraged to take many different courses of broadly ranged material including courses dealing with philosophy. Some individuals argue that studying and reading philosophy is a waste of a student’s time and has little value to the student and his/her education. Though this argument shows valid concerns for a university student’s education, it is more beneficial for a student to take courses dealing with philosophy because these courses teach students how to think logically and critically. Without the study of philosophical thinking and lack of philosophy courses taken throughout a student’s educational journey, university students would not be given the necessary critical thinking skills they need to be successful in their society.
The first question you may find yourself asking is, what is philosophical thinking? According to Dr. David J. Yount, a professor at Mesa Community College with a PhD in philosophy, philosophical thinking is more than pondering unanswerable questions, it is a means of logistical and critical thinking. It is a process of questioning one’s own opinion and other possible opinions to “discover and hopefully articulate good reasons for [one’s] opinion.” (Yount) Also through philosophical thinking and processes such as the processes practiced by Buddhist monks, one learns to detach themselves from their opinion and observe opposing opinions through an unbiased perspective, giving the thinker well-rounded education on the topic at hand. Thus, in order for an individual to be able to develop a reasonable educated opinion, the individual must begin with a process of philosophical thinking.
Though the study of philosophy and philosophical thinking may seem purely positive and beneficial to students, there are individuals who oppose it. The predominant argument against the study of philosophy is that by the time students reach the university level they have already gained the necessary problem solving skills needed to successfully navigate their society through their pre-collegiate study of mathematics and sciences. It is true that students have learned many problem solving skills throughout their time in their society’s pre-collegiate educational system, but the skills acquired through this process alone are minimal. Through mathematics and sciences students are taught to think critically and solve complex problems, but they are not shown ways to neutralize and detach themselves from their own opinion to further educate themselves on topics. This leaves students only able to see things from their own perspective, leaving themselves ignorant to the views of others. This technique of detachment and neutrality is specific to philosophy and is necessary to a functioning member of society to be successful in their life exploits.
It is vital throughout a person’s professional and personal life, that the individual can convey his/her...