Establishing the philosophy enrichment course for the G-level students is a fundamental breakthrough in promoting philosophical thinking skills at SCIE. After experiencing a two-month course with Mr. Marogi, I must acknowledge its effectiveness in arousing students’ curiosity for philosophy and equipping students with sufficient skills to conduct intensive exploration into intriguing philosophical topics. The course accomplishes its purpose of providing introductory information for students, mainly in two ways: its all-encompassing content encapsulating major philosophical topics and its well-designed form welcoming novices to engage actively and comfortably with the discussion.
The course comprises five separate philosophical topics to construct a big picture of the major queries within the subject of philosophy, including logic, anthropology (human nature), epistemology, ethics, philosophy of nature, and metaphysics. Before approaching the five topics directly, Mr. Marogi raised the question of “what is philosophy.” He invited students to share their understanding (or stereotypes) of philosophy at the beginning of the course. Some expressed that philosophy was questioning “foundational questions,” some asserted philosophy to be a rational subject founded on persuasive, logical arguments. Others defined it as “second-order inquiries” contrasted with physics’ “first-order inquiries.” Now, at the end of the course, it is evident that calling for attempts to define “philosophy” and the subject of study is a great strategy since, after a certain period of thorough pondering, the answer to the meaning of philosophy differs over time. The change in the definition of philosophy per se demonstrates how a student develops his/her critical thinking skills and grasping a deeper understanding of the discipline. At the end of the course, I genuinely admit that it is entirely unacceptable for me to define philosophy using a simple phrase because the discipline of philosophy is too broad and wondrous to be strictly defined using finite words. Therefore, the course of philosophy enrichment constitutes an efficient but accessible path for opening up that attractive realm for us, familiarizing us with the holistic structure of philosophy and the commonly used methods within the subject, thereby inspiring more investigations.
When introducing a topic, Mr. Marogi usually showed us how different philosophers, with distinct social backgrounds and philosophical schools, offered their answers utilizing original texts or secondary scholarship. For example, the topic of philosophical anthropology was conducted by a well-designed class, chronologically illustrating how philosophers from Ancient Greece, Middle Ages, the Enlightenment Era, and the Post-modernism Era elucidated their opinion, including Aristotle, Descartes, Sartre, and Foucault. Specifically, Mr. Marogi spotted out several features of these stances, including how the philosophers understood humans’ telo, the significance of human nature, etc. The division facilitated a comparison between theories, which also assisted in communicating to us an accurate interpretation of these philosophers.
Finally, the course involved everyone through its unique form, which rendered adequate space for us to exchange ideas freely on every subtle question we are interested in. Mr. Marogi embraced questions and confusions from us throughout his presentation. He would always be willing to explain in detail his thoughts while welcoming clashes of opinion in the class. The small class size, which consisted of 6-8 students, provides perfect conditions to convert the lecture-based course into a seminar. There would be 10-20 minutes reserved for discussing questions related to the topics or raising concerns during every lesson. I cherish this chance sincerely as actively seeking an answer to a question plays an essential role in developing critical thinking skills which would also assist us in other related fields of study.