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Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:17 am
by pilgrim-seeker_tom
Are they American? If so, this is normal.


One could accurately stretch the geography referenced in the above statement to include (insert here)

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 2:52 am
by gib
pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
Are they American? If so, this is normal.


One could accurately stretch the geography referenced in the above statement to include (insert here)


I guess that settles it. My children are Scandinavian. :lol:

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:01 pm
by gib
I successfully taught my daughter the synthetic/analytic distinction. I said to her:

"You know, Cassidy, there are some thing that people will tell you that you have to go out and check to see if it's true, then there are things people will tell you that you can figure out if it's true or not in your head. So for example, if I told you that I had eggs for breakfast this morning, can you figure out if that's true in your head or do you have to go out and check?"

"Go out and check."

"And if I told you that 6 times 4 is 24, could you figure out if that's true in your head or do you have to go out and check?"

"In my head."

"That's right!"

The girl's got it!

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:22 pm
by Arcturus Descending
gib wrote:
Arcturus Descending wrote:Don't forget to tell them how important it is to hug a tree.


:lol: I'll tell them Arc said so.


Have you ever hugged a tree, gib?
Teach by example.

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:26 pm
by Arcturus Descending
gib wrote:I successfully taught my daughter the synthetic/analytic distinction. I said to her:

"You know, Cassidy, there are some thing that people will tell you that you have to go out and check to see if it's true, then there are things people will tell you that you can figure out if it's true or not in your head. So for example, if I told you that I had eggs for breakfast this morning, can you figure out if that's true in your head or do you have to go out and check?"

"Go out and check."

"And if I told you that 6 times 4 is 24, could you figure out if that's true in your head or do you have to go out and check?"

"In my head."

"That's right!"


The girl's got it!


Yes, but you could have also told her that it's okay to *go out and check* thereby teaching her the scientific method. Some things which we think are true in our heads are not necessarily so.

Sometimes we are right and sometimes we are wrong. :auto-swerve:

Now that's teaching her philosophy. :mrgreen:

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:26 pm
by gib
Arcturus Descending wrote:
Have you ever hugged a tree, gib? no.
Teach by example.


Ah, only you can teach the wisdom of hugging trees, Arc.

Why don't you film yourself hugging a tree and post it. I'll show my kids. :D

Arcturus Descending wrote:Yes, but you could have also told her that it's okay to *go out and check* thereby teaching her the scientific method. Some things which we think are true in our heads are not necessarily so.


I'm pretty sure 6 x 4 is 24. And besides, the point was to teach her the synthetic/analytic distinction. I think I did quite well. ;)

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:25 pm
by Arcturus Descending
gib,

Ah, only you can teach the wisdom of hugging trees, Arc.


I certainly hope that this would not be true. What a pity that would be.


Why don't you film yourself hugging a tree and post it. I'll show my kids. :D


Okay. Can I recite Joyce Kilmer's Trees...


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


Beautiful, isn't it and profound in its simplicity :sad-teareye:


I'm pretty sure 6 x 4 is 24. And besides, the point was to teach her the synthetic/analytic distinction. I think I did quite well. ;


Do you home school her? :-"
:evilfun:

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:07 am
by Gloominary
Philosophy can be childlike, in that it asks a lot of inane, nonsensical questions that can't be answered: why, why, why...?

As much fun as it is to abstract and speculate, perhaps philosophy needs to grow up a little.

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:04 am
by gib
Arcturus Descending wrote:Okay. Can I recite Joyce Kilmer's Trees...


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


Beautiful, isn't it and profound in its simplicity :sad-teareye:


It's brilliant. I certainly couldn't write like that.

Arcturus Descending wrote:
I'm pretty sure 6 x 4 is 24. And besides, the point was to teach her the synthetic/analytic distinction. I think I did quite well. ;


Do you home school her? :-"
:evilfun:


I think every parent ought to home school their children a little bit, don't you?

Gloominary wrote:Philosophy can be childlike, in that it asks a lot of inane, nonsensical questions that can't be answered: why, why, why...?

As much fun as it is to abstract and speculate, perhaps philosophy needs to grow up a little


When philosophy grows up, it becomes a new discipline. Math began as philosophy, science began as philosophy, religion (AFAIC) began as philosophy. But the spout keeps dripping more.

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:11 pm
by Carleas
I'm really looking forward to annoying my kids with philosophy. My daughter is 11 months old, so synthetic/analytic is a little advanced yet, but I still think of a lot of our interactions as philosophical conversations. Many of the classic children's games are philosophical, e.g. peekaboo explores object permanence, which is an important foundation for ontology and epistemology.

One thing I do often is combine and take apart things she's familiar with: putting one toy inside another, taking a toy apart, letting her try foods individually and mixed together. Much of philosophy is exploring the edges of the familiar, and she's already got enough preconceived notions that they can be challenged.

But I also find that she provides me with more philosophical insights than I provider her. The most prominent and recurring is the number of things that I assumed were innate but are actually learned. She had to learn that she has feet, she didn't know that at birth and she was visibly excited when she discovered them. Even now it's apparent that she in a sense 'forgets' that her feet are hers and not someone else's or some inanimate object. It reminds me of Dan Dennett's ideas about consciousness, of there being multiple process competing for prominence, because her mind is seemingly so fragmented and slowly coming together to operate as a single consciousness.

She also doesn't understand liquids, when I sit her on the edge of the sink with the water running, she tries to grab the stream like it's something she could just pick up. And her perception of two-dimensional images is confused, so for a while she didn't find pictures that interesting, and now when she sees them she'll often try to pick up parts of them as though they were real objects. I have to keep reminding myself that her thoughts and even her perceptions are likely radically different from an adult's thoughts and perceptions.

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:38 pm
by gib
Carleas wrote:But I also find that she provides me with more philosophical insights than I provider her. The most prominent and recurring is the number of things that I assumed were innate but are actually learned.


I learned this lesson with both my kids with something that seems should be so innate if anything is: gravity. Infants are born with no fear of gravity, no concept that falling can be hazardous. Both my kids, when they wanted to be let down to play, would try to squirm out of my arms, as though they could just float down to the ground and be ok. They had no sense that what they were doing, if successful, could seriously injure them.

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:02 pm
by WendyDarling
But I also find that she provides me with more philosophical insights than I provider her.


Nice. :D

Gib, this thread is...inspiring...rather than depressing and ILP needs more threads like this one.

Arc can hug not only a tree, but us with her grasp of poetry. Thanks Arc. :D

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:44 am
by gib
WendyDarling wrote:Gib, this thread is...inspiring...rather than depressing and ILP needs more threads like this one.


You're more than welcome to add your two cents anytime. I'll bet you know a few kids. Ever try taxing their brains at philosophy? You should try and report the results.

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:54 am
by WendyDarling
Don't I already hang out with enough kids? :wink: Their brains are taxed to the max, can I get a witness?

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:24 pm
by Carleas
Another anecdote, not me and not my kids, but I thought it was a good intuition pump-type question: my brother and my niece and nephew were playing in the snow. The kids were probably like 7 and 9, maybe younger, and they lived in Florida so they weren't that familiar with snow. My brother asked them, "Do you think snow is more like sand or more like peanut butter?" Great question, and made even better because the kids disagreed and my brother helped them articulate their reasons.

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:38 am
by Gloominary
GiB

When philosophy grows up, it becomes a new discipline. Math began as philosophy, science began as philosophy, religion (AFAIC) began as philosophy. But the spout keeps dripping more.

Philosophy already has a grown up side to it, it's when philosophers focus on more practical subjects, like morals and values, society and politics.
I believe metaphysics and epistemology can have a practical side as well, when they don't stray too far from what can be verified, or multiply/consider entities beyond necessity.
Admittedly I don't always follow my own advice.

Math, science and religion began as philosophy?
How so?
Did Homer and Hesiod not write their works before Pythagoras was born?
Did cults to Athena, Artemis and Aphrodite not already exist?
Did we not have arithmetic, and medicine?
Perhaps you could say math, science and religion became more self-conscious and sophisticated due in part to philosophy, but all these disciplines or ways of thinking have existed since time immemorial, in some form or another, however primitive.

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:27 am
by gib
Gloominary wrote:Philosophy already has a grown up side to it, it's when philosophers focus on more practical subjects, like morals and values, society and politics. Now you're revealing your bias. :D
I believe metaphysics and epistemology can have a practical side as well, when they don't stray too far from what can be verified, or multiply/consider entities beyond necessity.
Admittedly I don't always follow my own advice.

Metaphysics is useful in a whole other way than the more practical philosophies, such as morals, society, law, etc. Whereas the latter philosophies are useful insofar as their truth can be verified, metaphysics can be useful for its mind-conditioning effects--or attitude-forming effects. It's the old question of whether the glass is half full or half empty. There is no fact of the matter--not in an either/or sense--and so the question is a purely metaphysical one. There is no way of deciding the truth--is the glass half full or is it half empty?--through practical or empirical means, but there is a way of deciding the truth through another means, namely the health of one's own state of mind. This is what metaphysics is good for: framing a healthy mindset for one's self, a mindset which is best conditioned to take on life's challenges. That the glass is half full or half empty has no clear answer in facts, but one option definitely stands out as the more healthy one.

Math, science and religion began as philosophy?
How so?
Did Homer and Hesiod not write their works before Pythagoras was born?
Did cults to Athena, Artemis and Aphrodite not already exist?
Did we not have arithmetic, and medicine?
Perhaps you could say math, science and religion became more self-conscious and sophisticated due in part to philosophy, but all these disciplines or ways of thinking have existed since time immemorial, in some form or another, however primitive.


On second thought, Gloominary, I think you're right. Math, science, and religion don't have to start with philosophy--in fact, I'm reminded of how the basic (though complex for the time) arithmetic system in ancient Mesopotamia came about: they needed a way to do their accounting, to balance their books. <-- That's not philosophy by a long shot. But I believe my sentiment still works the other way around: when philosophy matures, it tends to branch off and become a whole new discipline. This is philosophy finally finding an application for itself. <-- It has grown to fruition.

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:03 pm
by Gloominary
I agree with your thoughts on metaphysics Gib, when two explanations for reality or some aspect of it are about equally probable, and we feel compelled to select one, in order to make sense of and process reality, we may select the one that brings us more happiness, or comes more naturally to us, or is more hopeful, has the most probability of maximizing the good were we to adopt and act on it.
Different personalities and cognitive styles may also adopt a metaphysics suitable to them, or even come equipped with a basic metaphysics hardwired into their brains, different cultures and races too.


So for you, philosophy is sort of like, how shall I say...a meta-intellectual discipline?
A tool for building ways of assessing/evaluating the world, ethically and epistemologically, and a stage on which they can compete on their own and each others terms?
For example, utilitarianism and duty ethics are two different meta-ethical/normative systems that can be used for evaluating the goodness and badness of consequences and actions, just as empiricism and rationalism are two different epistemological systems that can be used for assessing the truthiness of things.

So philosophy then is about creating the underlying language, the words, thought and terms for describing the world, a metaphysics, as well as the methodology for distinguishing good from bad/evil and fact from fiction/lies.
Taking for granted a metaphysics and methodology is correct, and applying it, would be when philosophy ceases being theoretical, when it becomes practical, and so not really philosophy.
So discussing the merits of utilitarianism or empiricism would be philosophy, where as applying them would be something else...I suppose science in the case of the latter, where as the former doesn't have a name, or isn't regarded as a separate discipline from philosophy, it would just be called applied ethics, which is normally regarded as a branch of philosophy.

While there is some truth to what you're saying, and I myself have had very similar thoughts, I don't think philosophy can be confined to any single simple definition.

Re: philosophy with children

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:17 am
by gib
Gloominary wrote:I agree with your thoughts on metaphysics Gib, when two explanations for reality or some aspect of it are about equally probable, and we feel compelled to select one, in order to make sense of and process reality, we may select the one that brings us more happiness, or comes more naturally to us, or is more hopeful, has the most probability of maximizing the good were we to adopt and act on it.
Different personalities and cognitive styles may also adopt a metaphysics suitable to them, or even come equipped with a basic metaphysics hardwired into their brains, different cultures and races too.


I think of metaphysics as an exercise in programming the brain. I mean, any philosophy is an exercise in programming the brain, but metaphysics is an exercise in programming the brain for its own sake. We come to a deep understand of things, we feel satisfied. Whereas other philosophies reprogram the brain for the sake of connecting with something external to one's self, something out in the world. The goal in the latter case is to be able to predict and control that something. In the former case, the goal is to arrive at understanding. But that understanding still has effects on one's psychological health and behavior, both of which have practical effects in the world. That's why I say to keep an eye for how one's metaphysics will affect one's self mentally and behaviorally in addition to finding understanding.

Gloominary wrote:So for you, philosophy is sort of like, how shall I say...a meta-intellectual discipline?


Well, let me put it this way. I have a tendency to reflect on myself a lot. It sometimes feels like I become a second self observing my first self. In this state, I can examine my own thoughts and judge them more for the merit of their internal logic. It's not unlike watching someone else, or listening to their thoughts, and not being committed to believing them yourself, you can still judge them based on their inherent logical integrity. So in one moment, I can want to believe something, and look for all the reasons to support it, and in the next moment, I can step outside those thoughts and desires and ask myself: is this something I should believe?

Gloominary wrote:A tool for building ways of assessing/evaluating the world, ethically and epistemologically, and a stage on which they can compete on their own and each others terms? Yes... I think 8-[
For example, utilitarianism and duty ethics are two different meta-ethical/normative systems that can be used for evaluating the goodness and badness of consequences and actions, just as empiricism and rationalism are two different epistemological systems that can be used for assessing the truthiness of things.

So philosophy then is about creating the underlying language, the words, thought and terms for describing the world, a metaphysics, as well as the methodology for distinguishing good from bad/evil and fact from fiction/lies.

Yes, constructing a program for the brain, a way of processing incoming information and determining how to act in response to it.

Taking for granted a metaphysics and methodology is correct, and applying it, would be when philosophy ceases being theoretical, when it becomes practical, and so not really philosophy.
So discussing the merits of utilitarianism or empiricism would be philosophy, where as applying them would be something else...I agree. I suppose science in the case of the latter, where as the former doesn't have a name, or isn't regarded as a separate discipline from philosophy, humanitarianism? Politics? Religion? it would just be called applied ethics, which is normally regarded as a branch of philosophy.

The practice of doing the right thing... yeah, we don't have a word in our culture for that. Maybe because it tends to be an individual thing--each individual coming to different conclusions about what's the right thing to do and what's the wrong thing to do. Whereas science is designed for arriving at consensus, so an entire community, the whole world even, can participate in it together. We can say: "They over there in that country are doing the same thing we are."

While there is some truth to what you're saying, and I myself have had very similar thoughts, I don't think philosophy can be confined to any single simple definition.


That's true, but I think we can say this: there are patterns of thought which can be corrected or affected by external experiences, and then there are patterns of thought which cannot. <-- The latter are more easily guided by emotion, desire to influence people, reasoning skills, and so on. Metaphysics, and a lot of philosophy (though not all) fall within the latter camp. What we call science (or scientific thinking) tends to fall in the former camp.