Title

How to Develop Ideas: The Contribution Philosophy Can Make to Improve Literacy

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-1983

Abstract

“‘Since our students are manifestly less able to read and write than they once were, how should philosophers reform their teaching?’ I don't want to question the claim that our students aren't as good as they used to be – everybody knows that, although the evidence for that is fragmentary and questionable, and I do think philosophers should be more hesitant at affirming claims that "everybody knows." But I do object to the assumption that declining literacy is a datum to which philosophy must respond by doing something about how philosophy is taught. I do object to the assumption that declining literacy is a pedagogical problem philosophers and others must face, rather than a philosophical problem. I suggest instead that philosophers may have something to say about how to improve literacy, that philosophy teachers have something to contribute, not only qua teachers, but qua philosophers.”