The fear of making mistakes stifles many people's creativity and innovation. We are often so worried about what will happen if we make a mistake or if something goes wrong that we do nothing.
Richard Dawkins tells the story of a professor of his in school who researched and wrote for years on a particular biological phenomenon and one day a younger scientist lectured to the class and definitely proved the old man wrong. He shook his hand and thanked him. Dawkins correctly points out that this is the essence of a good scientist.
History seems to be one of those subjects that many students dread learning and have no interest in. It's a shame really since we live with pieces of history all around us and understanding this is an important part of understanding the world as it is today.
A large part of the problem is with how history is taught. Of course history seems boring the way the textbooks and many teachers present it. But, there are other ways to teach history to engage students' interests and there are other ways to learn history if you're an independent learner. Here are a few suggestions.
Discussing controversial ethical issues can be difficult for many precisely because they have a strong emotional content. While no one suggests completely ignoring one’s emotions when addressing these issues, it is beneficial and constructive to be able to distinguish reason from emotion and to allow reason to guide and inform our emotions. This may sound like an impossible task but it can be done. There are several useful philosophical insights that might make this task easier.
Aristotle writes extensively about happiness in his book the Nicomachean Ethics. In it he says "what is always chosen as an end in itself and never as a means to something else is called final in an unqualified sense. This description seems to apply to happiness above all else: for we always choose happiness as an end in itself and never for the sake of something else." The rest of the work considers the best means to achieve this ultimate end and Aristotle ultimately concludes that a life lived according to the virtues is the best means to this ultimate end. Given this analysis the question becomes how does joy differ from this?
I have been playing golf since college and while it has not always been easy to find my “A” game on the course it has always been a learning process. In this post I’d like to share seven lessons I've learned from the game of golf.
We’ve all heard the quote that a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step. The secret is to keep making steps consistently. Progress in life consists in continuing to make these small steps again and again and again. Those who have difficulty making progress often only see each small step by itself and fail to keep in mind the cumulative effect of all the small steps taken together.
KEVIN J. BROWNE
Philosopher / Educator