Why is philosophy not taught in high school? I have heard some arguments against it, but they all seem pretty poor such as: "parents would not like their children questioning their views". It seems like philosophy has a lot to give in a high school setting, at the very least classes like Critical Thinking would give students tools for assessing arguments. I could understand if most people went on to college, but many don't and it seems like some of the skills which philosophy bestows could greatly benefit our society. I really don't see why professional philosophy has not ventured down this route. I would be very thankful for any insight on this topic. Thanks, William P.

I'd like to add that there is a small but growing movement in support of secondary-level philosophical education in the U.S. I myself have started the High-Phi Project (www.high-phi.org) and we work in conjunction with such organizations as PLATO (http://plato-apa.org/), and the Squire Family Foundation (http://squirefoundation.org/). Many of us involved in these organizations share your view that secondary education in the U.S. would be enhanced with more philosophy. However, Professor Greenberg is right to point out that as of now, many schools lack an incentive to add this subject to their curricula because there is little incentive to do so. In addition, many teachers lack formal training in philosophy. We are also trying to rectify that with such things as an upcoming NEH-funded Summer Institute for high school teachers: http://high-phi.org/neh-seminar/. Mitch Green

Are there teaching techniques for 40-student classes in order to make them think philosophically?

Thank you for your question. I don't know that level this class is, nor even what the ostensible subject matter is. As a result I'm shooting in the dark a bit in trying to answer. However, aside from the obvious choice of asking students to engage directly with a philosophical work, such as a classic work or a contemporary text, you might consider philosophically provocative literature. For instance, Huxley's _Brave New World_ raises questions about what it is to have a just society, and what is the nature of happiness. For another example, it's not to hard to find in Mark Twain lots of material to get students to think about the relation between duty to the laws of one's country, racism, and duties of friendship. In fact, much great literature also raises philosophical questions, and often students "philosophize" better by responding to literature than by discussing philosophical theories directly. Some suggestions of technique might also be helpful. Rather than trying to teach...