philosophy or ethics and critical thinking first?

Hi everybody, I have to take two humanity courses at school and I choose philosophy and ethics and critical thinking since they appeal the most interesting to me among all other courses offered. The problem is I am not sure if it better to take them in sequence of philosophy and then ethics or the order does not matter and I can take ethics first and them philosophy. From my understanding ethics and critical thinking is a subset of philosophy and should be take first but the teachers I like offer classes in the opposite order (ethics first and then philosophy). Which course is better to be taken first since I actually want to learn something and not just get a grade. Please advise
Thanks a lot in advance

Take critical thinking first. Otherwise you’ll just end up seeking philosophy that confirms your ethics as that which is best and you may never understand the necessity of content neutrality in true philosophical endeavors.

Thank you for your quick reply. would it be easy to understand ethics and critical thinking without knowing philosophy?

Can you clarify the classes? Is the class “Ethics and Critical Thinking”, or are you picking two classes of three, and the classes are “Philosophy”, “Ethics”, and “Critical Thinking”?

Actually, from my own frame of mind, what comes first is the extent to which whatever you conclude is reasonable regarding philosophy, ethics and critical thinking, is able to be made applicable to human interactions that come into conflict regarding the question, “how ought one to live?”

It is here in my view that you discover the more or less profound limitations of whatever it is that your instructors are able to convey to you in whatever particular “world of words” that they are partial to.

On the other hand, if they don’t agree, introduce them to me. :wink:

OP, iambiguous is our resident nut job who’s sole intention is to obfuscate simple matters by talking in circles about how everything is a matter of opinion and there’s no such thing as truth. His position is self defeating and best ignored. He argues in bad faith out of some need for attention.

Critical thinking is important to understand before reading philosophy. Philosophers can be very persuasive when they write, but not all of them are always correct. So you need to understand how to spot the holes in the things that people say. Ethics is sort of a footnote to philosophy. It kind of makes some aspects of philosophy more practical for less advanced readers who want to participate, but who don’t have the critical thinking skills to do metaphysics. Good stuff to be able to argue, but its not the meat of the discipline so to speak.

On the contrary, there are within the fields of philosophy, ethics and critical thinking, things that we come to believe are true “in our head” that we are then either able or not able to demonstrate that all rational men and women are obligated to believe are true in turn.

Thus to the extent that a discussion revolves around particular elements of philosophy, ethics and critical thinking, we are able to establish that which is true for all of us or we are not.

And, it would seem, that which is true for all of us includes mathematics, the laws of nature, the logical rules of language, empirical facts and the extent to which we might ever be able to determine – ontologically, teleologically – the objective nature of Reality and Existence itself.

Indeed, the example I like to use with Mr Reasonable revolves around his occupation in the stock market.

We either are or are not able to establish that in fact he earns an income buying and selling stocks. And this fact [if in fact it is one] would be true for any and all philosopher, ethicist and critical thinker.

But: what he then tries to make “simple” in turn are the arguments that revolve around whether stock trading constitutes a behavior that can be established as either moral or immoral. Ethical or unethical.

Here I challenge any philosopher, ethicist or critical thinker to concoct an argument that establishes this in the same manner in which it can be established that Mr. Reasonable has chosen to employ this behavior in order to earn a living.

Indeed, over and again I have requested such an argument from Mr Reasonable himself.

Perhaps he will provide one here. And now.

Or maybe he will just argue that, in fact, serious philosophers, ethicists and critical thinkers are not really concerned with this “existential” stuff. They go “deeper” into reality.

Notice how entirely abstract this is.

Correct with respect to what?

In other words, notice how he does not provide us with a particular context involving particular behaviors in which particular philosophers, ethicists and critical thinkers might employ their own particular definitions and meanings [in particular arguments and analyses] in order to establish what “for all practical purposes” is useful to actual flesh and blood human beings who find out that, in the course of asking and then answering the question “how ought one to live?”, different folks come up with entirely different moral and political narratives/agendas.

Rooted in, among other things, historical and cultural contexts that evolve and change over time given the manner in which I construe the meaning of identity, value judgments and political/economic power: out in any particular world at any particular time seen from any particular subjective/subjunctive point of view.

Yes, that is rather abstract in turn. But that is why I challenge the philosophers, ethicists and critical thinkers here to bring their at times didactic and scholastic pedantry “down to earth”.

Ethics as just a footnote to philosophy? Well, that might depend on the extent to which one views philosophy itself as just a footnote to human interactions.

Watch the news from day to day to day. To what extent does it revolve around the question “how ought one to live”? Around that “existential” stuff? And to what extent does it revolve instead around those who have the thinking skills to do metaphysics?

So, I challenge Mr. Reasonable to note the extent to which his own metaphysical skills here have relevance regarding the stuff that the overwhelming vast majority of folks around the globe are concerned with from day to day in the course of, among other things, actually living their lives.

In other words, not just in philosophy forums.

[just out of curiosity, any possibility of taking this thread to the philosophy forum? it seems to be all about that]

Sorry for misunderstanding, it is two classes. One is “philosophy” and a second one is “ethics and critical thinking”

Critical thinking first.

Forgive iambiguous, he has a tendency to derail threads with his repetitive, redundant rants, and he won’t accept any answers to his questions. He’s stuck in a loop of misunderstanding. But he’s harmless.

Sure, that’s one way to look at it. A “simple” way, for example. And if you manage to achieve some level of success as a critical thinker it is no doubt how you are obligated to think about it too.

As for derailing the thread, my post was directly in response to the OP. It was Mr Reasonable who shifted the thread into a discussion of me.

Shut up. The guy is asking about a sequence of classes, and you’re going on your dasein rant.

See OP, imabiguous is proving me right. He went and read some philosophy without developing critical thinking skills. Talk to him if you like. You’ll see what I’m saying.

They are both likely level 100 or 200. They wouldn’t let you take them out of order if order mattered.

I agree with captaincrunk. Philosophy is probably a survey class, and will cover ethics and critical thinking a little, but that could cut either way: on the one hand, you’ll be bored; on the other, you’ll have a good grasp of the material and may have some overlap in reading.

So, it probably depends more on you than on any objective factors. I’d say go with the profs you like, that seems like the most important factor.

Also, a philosophy 100 course will likely be boring if you have ever looked into philosophy before. It just touches on a few subjects and dances away. Some schools do a rotating set of concepts for their low level courses and that could be more interesting. I think a more focused low level philosophy course could be better. Like if you could find a course in ethics (which you have), mind or consciousness, epistemology, or metaphysics (might be boring) or otherwise. Take anything that sounds cool that doesn’t have prerequisites.

Point taken. On the other hand I can only react to any particular OP as I do: subjectively and “in the moment”. Basically what you seem to be arguing [and it doesn’t surprise me] is that there are “correct” or “incorrect” reactions. Simple or [overly] complex reactions. Whether it relates to playing the stock market or to exchanging points of view here.

So, sure, if my own reaction is deemed to be incorrect then that settles it.

All I am trying to convey re the OP is that with regard to ethics, there may well be limitations beyond which philosophers and critical thinkers cannot go.

That, in other words, there may well be a difference between a world of words and a world in which words are then understood out in particular worlds in very, very different [often conflicting] ways.

There are no pre requisites to any of them and I can take either one first. The reason I am asking this question is because I actually want to learn something from these 2 course and was thinking maybe it is beneficiary to take some of them first. One of the guys in this thread made a good point about taking critical thinking first because then when I study philosophy second, I can filter out philosopher’s ideas instead of just take them as all true. I will go with critical thinking first. And thank you for your response anyways.

A lot of people have trouble preventing themselves from being persuaded by, well, highly persuasive arguments…like the kind that you’ll get from philosophers. But since for every philosophical position, there’s an equally articulated one that concludes the opposite, then you know they can’t both be right. Critical thinking is quite possibly the most important thing that you can train yourself to do. I mean, look at half these guys on here. They’re not thinking critically, or even doing philosophy for real. Just preaching what they believe, high 5ing those who agree with them, and bitching at those who don’t. It’s normal, it’s what most people do in the real world. But it’s not philosophy and it’s incorrect.

Like try and tell James that he doesn’t have a theory of everything with his affectance bit, or iambiguous that some moral decisions are superior to others, or any of the little racist dudes that they haven’t escaped the problem of the one over many by making minor stipulations about the broad generalizations that they make to demonize and scapegoat outgroups, or the anti government conspiracy types that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. You’ll fry thier brains.

Or tell one of those chicken little types, who thinks thst civilization is coming to an end that the stock market is growing and that they should invest in oil and bombs for thier retirement. They’ll go nuts, but those are in fact great long term investments.

Like remember in middle school when everyone had to read some book, and at that point it may have been the only book that half or more of the kids had ever read? Then they all just agreed with it because it seemed deep to them. Then half of them lived the rest of thier lives without questioning it or reading anything else, and half the ones who read more just sought out more books with the same conclusions, and rejected books that disagreed with those?

This stuff happens in real life. Read 100s of books man. And don’t take any of them to be the truth. Don’t try and memorize everything some guy said so you can win arguments against laypeople. Read it all, and be able to argue either side. Like we got guys here who spent thier whole lives memorzinf Nietzsche the way a priest menorizes the bible, and that makes up 90 percent of what they know. Can’t even have a conversation with them without it turning into a Nietzsche jargon contest. Again…this is not philosophy.