[Editor's Note: Hillary S. has been good enough to lead the Not School "Introductory Readings in Philosophy Group" earlier this year and then again this month, and will be doing so again for June, so we asked her to write a little something about it. Maybe you might want to join up?]
Introduction classes, done university style, tend to be selling plugs for the subject as a whole. In true Not School style, our Intros are a bit different. I was very excited by the response to my first class featuring Common Sense (Thomas Paine). It worked as a wonderful platform to dig in to political theory, exploring philosophy from the inside out.
Trashing Celebrating the theory, function and design of that piece led to an exploration of common philosophical categories and terms, and a discussion of the key elements in developing our own personal philosophies.
The Not School format is a completely open one. This can seem intimidating, but it leaves an endless potential for learning. To quote Isaac Asimov, “Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” The Intro groups are a bit more guided than the other study groups, so they are an excellent opportunity to get your feet wet if you're new, or to hash out personal philosophies and be vocal about your thoughts on the pieces if you're an old hand at PHI. Great thoughts are welcome, as are terrible senses of humor. (Care to explore this opportunity for tangential learning? Check here and here.)
Not Schools groups are an incredible chance to grow beyond the borders of traditional education. If you haven't already, head over and join in the Intro Readings group, and spark up a debate, or voice your thoughts. We're currently reading excerpts from http://18th.eserver.org/hume-enquiry.html" target="_blank">Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (focus on II and VII). Our first group meeting is this Saturday... you're not too late! I look forward to hearing from you.