Letters: Philosophy helps build better thinkers

Cutting programs like philosophy won't build a stronger economy, writers say.

On April 30, it was widely reported that the B.C. government has decided “some courses like philosophy will lose out to business, commerce and sciences” in B.C. post-secondary education.

Yes, philosophy has been around for a long time. One of the first Western philosophers, Plato, founded the first Western university almost 2,500 years ago in Athens.

But philosophy is also very contemporary. When Fraser Valley College began offering courses in 1974, philosophy was included, and a full-time faculty member was hired in 1975. For the 2013-14 school year, about 50 sections of philosophy were offered, almost all fully enrolled.

Philosophy is important for UFV students enrolled in a wide variety of programmes. The course PHIL 100: Reasoning has been required for most liberal arts students for several decades as an extremely practical course that enables students to reason effectively with others and to assess the quality of reasoning in all fields including science, social science, arts, business, ethics and politics.

More specialised philosophy courses examine and critique the history of our thinking so that we can avoid past mistakes in our practical endeavours, e.g., in law, education, religion, logic, decision-making and dispute resolution, public policy, counselling,  environmental ethics, sciences and social sciences.

And there are courses for those focusing on philosophy as part of their programmes, e.g., in political science and other social sciences, environmental studies, law, and philosophy itself.

For more information on employment, type “jobs for philosophy students” into your web browser.

In addition to its practical values for contemporary economic and political life, philosophy broadens the mind through engagement with ideas and questions originating in diverse times and places, encourages deep and clear thinking, and ultimately encourages students to think for themselves in order to cultivate lives that are truly their own.

These skills are essential to our roles as citizens, workers, managers, consumers, parents… Better thinking can help us live better lives.

UFV Philosophy Faculty: Anastasia Anderson, Glen Baier, Wayne Henry, Paul Herman, Moira Gutteridge-Kloster, Jeffrey Morgan, Peter Raabe

Just Posted

New ‘meowyoral’ race featuring felines announced by Chilliwack animal shelter

Organizers hope the cat election will generate attention for both the shelter and municipal election

VIDEO: Education Minister talks SOGI 123 and the Chilliwack school board election

He said people are making ‘noise about side issues but student safety is important’

Chilliwack athletes win provincial titles at Cultus Lake Triathlon

Close to 700 athletes competed in several distances, with action starting at Cultus Lake Park.

Chilliwack Chiefs add defenceman Alexander Marrocco

Marrocco is the younger brother of PJ Marrocco, a forward from last spring’s RBC Cup champions.

Rally in the Valley in Chilliwack to talk stewardship

It’s an event to connect interested locals with groups making a difference with species at risk

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Lower Mainland city calls for slower trains near popular beach

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said ‘it’s the least we can do’

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

Most Read