Can a teenager like myself learn philosophy?


#1

This is a random thought that has been grasping me for a while. I am just wondering can I as a teenager learn at least some philosophy in my daily life? I am now going to be a Junior at my public High school. and to my knowledge there is no such classes that teach such things. I probably come up with some philosophical quotes myself I just don't remember.


#2

you can certainly begin the preparation for study of philosophy now. Focus on the elements of your world history and literature courses that focus on the thought of previous ages, on which our culture is built. Also take as many math and logic courses as our offered since they hone the mind for analytical and critical thinking and the paths of logic, upon which philosophical arguments are based.


#3

Start with anything written by Plato. Once you get through one Dialog, you’ll thirst for more.


#4

Sure you can! I’m 18 and took 4 years of literature/ philosophy in a great books program. It’ll be a little harder on your own, but I highly recommend Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero. Work up to Aquinas. Lots of people find him difficult, but the trick is to go slowly and not expect that you can read it like a graphic novel.

Montaigne’s and René Descartes’s philosophies are useful although sometimes problematic and should be read carefully. Dualism is a heavy theme.

You could try the moderns, although I think they are little more than professional sophists. Read them last ideal after having read the others for a long time. Reading in a general chronological order helps you understand the way though has progress (or regressed)

PS I’m a Philosophy major in college! I say go for it!


#5

AS soon as you reach the age of reason at around seven you can learn philosophy, middle school age and onwards though is the preferred time so around the age you are at :wink:


#6

Sure! I'm a teenager and I like philosophy. Does your school have any courses? You could get into those. Consider "Catholic" philosphy as well.
Good luck and God Bless.:)


#7

I started wondering the meaning of life before 7. In fact this question bothered me for as long as I can remember (when I was a small child) until I found out at about 8 it was to love God. That gave me some relief b/c it was frustrating not to know, LOL:D


#8

[quote="Catholicdude92, post:4, topic:205702"]
Sure you can! I'm 18 and took 4 years of literature/ philosophy in a great books program. It'll be a little harder on your own, but I highly recommend Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero. Work up to Aquinas. Lots of people find him difficult, but the trick is to go slowly and not expect that you can read it like a graphic novel.

Montaigne's and René Descartes's philosophies are useful although sometimes problematic and should be read carefully. Dualism is a heavy theme.

You could try the moderns, although I think they are little more than professional sophists. Read them last ideal after having read the others for a long time. Reading in a general chronological order helps you understand the way though has progress (or regressed)

PS I'm a Philosophy major in college! I say go for it!

[/quote]

St. Thomas Aquinas is my patron saint! I love him. I read some of his works. very difficult. I better take an aspirin or two:rolleyes:


#9

Sure you teach yourself philosophy as a teenager. I had a real thirst for it in high school, and learned a lot from reading articles in the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which at the time was a 10 volume set. Starting out, it is real easy to get drawn into one philosopher’s thinking, because, obviously that person has gone to great lengths to be thorough and consistent.

What I found invaluable were the comments which noted where other philosophers disagreed with the arguments of the philosopher I was reading about. If I found a philosopher I liked, once I thought I had a good grasp of his thinking, I would then read articles about the philosophers who disagreed and tried to grapple with their ideas. It was excellent for developing critical thinking, and was very useful practice for college.

Your school library or public library will likely have print editions of the Encyclopedia of Philosophy or the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. There are also a couple free online sites which have been well received:

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Happy reading! :slight_smile:


#10

There is a simple way, pick up a book. Thats how I started. Find a branch of philosophy you like and start reading different theories. I started with Nietzsche (wouldnt recommend it to a catholic or christian unless your willing to read 'hostile' views).


#11

an excellent introduction to philosophy are the books of Peter Kreeft, who teaches philosophy at Boston College, particularly those where he has imaginary dialogues with Socrates and other philosophers. Search at Ignatius press, ignatius.com


#12

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