Oh, philosophy- that’s really all I can say. I have taken two philosophy courses throughout my college career so far, and had two very different experiences with the subject. There are so many different types of philosophy and different ways to study it, I’m not even sure I could tell you if I like it or not.
My first philosophy course was called “Symbolic Logic” and it satisfied my general education math requirement. That’s right- it was a math class. Surprisingly, this was the philosophy class I actually enjoyed. Personally, I am not a math person. I hated algebra, I hated calculus, and I just hated dealing with numbers in general. The special thing about this math class, though, was there were no numbers. The class was aptly named symbolic logic, as every equation only involved symbols. I’m not sure I could sit here and explain this class in its entirety to you, but it had to do with argument forms. Something along the lines of “IF I study THEN I will do well in the class” would be an example of the “If, then” argument form. Pretty simple, right? Right. It really doesn’t get much more difficult than that. All you really have to do is figure out which argument forms produced the sentence given to you. Solving them is almost reminiscent of a puzzle or mind game! It can be kind of fun and definitely stimulating. I actually got a one hundred on the final and would definitely recommend this class to anyone looking to be in an easy, interesting class.
My second (and probably last) philosophy class was the one I just took: Law and Justice. When I signed up for the class I thought it would be an interesting criminal justice class with cool criminal theories and things of that nature. It turns out that we were learning all about MORAL law, and it was the worst class I’ve ever had the displeasure of sitting through for one and half hours twice a week. Don’t get me wrong- the professor was awesome and the content was manageable, but there is no way I would take that class again if someone paid me. I don’t feel like I really learned anything new, only theories for things I already knew about. I remember learning about “Psychological Egoism” which basically means that people will always do what is in their best interest. Well, duh. This class just put a name to it. Let’s just say I did not enjoy trying to memorize a bunch of philosophers and their opinions about why people act the way that they do. Why should I care about these old guys opinions? Okay, that sounds harsh. But I think I’d rather try to memorize facts and history lessons rather than what Immanuel Kant thinks is right or wrong. The essays in this class were opinion based, which made them pretty easy to write, but they also ended up being repetitive. I wouldn’t recommend this class to any fellow psychology majors trying to fill a requirement, but apparently this class is good if you are on track for law school!
It’s strange that I can have such a love/hate relationship with philosophy. I truly did enjoy taking symbolic logic, but was it just because I knew that I was avoiding real math? I’m not too sure. What I am sure of is that Law and Justice was a huge let-down for me, and not as interesting as it may seem. But that’s just my opinion, and if philosophy has taught me anything, it’s that there are lots of different ways to see and interpret things.