Philosophy in the World – Change my Mind
The activity that I have found that is philosophical is a segment called “Change my Mind” on a conservative podcaster’s show called “Louder with Crowder”, where the conservative host (Steven Crowder) goes onto college campuses across the U.S. and invites anybody who is willing to sit down and have a discussion over some hot button topic, ranging from the second amendment to the idea that male privilege is a myth. Crowder sits at a table somewhere outside in the middle of a busy walkway at a college with a huge sign on the front of his table that reads, for example, “I’m pro-life, change my mind”, or “There are only two genders, change my mind”, and he waits for someone with an opposing viewpoint to sit down with him and have a discussion in the effort to defend their viewpoints and to basically have a discourse about their presuppositions and beliefs. Steven Crowder is a conservative that is pro-life, pro-second amendment, thinks that male privilege is a myth, and believes that hate speech is not real, which are all fairly unpopular opinions to hold currently in North America, especially on college and university campuses. Most media, professors and peers for people on campus will be pro-choice, believe that without a doubt male privilege exists, believe that hate speech is a problem and no doubt believe that something should be done about the second amendment, especially in the wake of all of the mass shootings that have been occurring recently.
Philosophy to me is exploring presuppositions and the things that we feel we know by asking questions, defining where we stand on certain issues and supporting our ideas logically. Socrates, a famous philosopher, used his “Socratic method”, which involves conversations (rather than arguments) that are based off the asking and answering of questions to invoke critical thinking, and questioning ideas that are very well ingrained in a person’s thought process, so much so that they believe it to be truth without stopping to think and dig deeper to make sure there are no flaws in their presumptions. This conversational approach that Socrates took to invoke deeper critical thought in his fellow Athenians is very similar to what Crowder does in a variety of ways. Crowder and Socrates are not in any way shape or form bent having an argument; instead, they are looking to have a civil discourse and to properly define and evaluate the positions that both parties hold on the topic so that they are able to meticulously and systematically examine every assertion presented. Crowder and Socrates do not present themselves as being emotionally invested in their discourse as well: they like to step back and objectively parse through all of the claims that are made without being combative or judging the person with whom they are conversing. They both question the validity of certain “common sense” ideas that are taught at school and through the media that are rarely picked apart (an example of this for Socrates would be when he asked Euthyphro what it was to be pious, and for Crowder an example would be that male privilege is a myth). Crowder asks people to clarify their position on things that they believe to be true by asking questions, defining where they stand and tries to pick apart their assertions where there are inconsistencies. This, by my definition, falls under the category of a philosophical activity.
Personally, I try to engage in philosophy through conversation with my close friends. When we find something we disagree on, I try to delve deeper into the logic behind our presuppositions, and attempt to find the better answer to our situation in the interest of truth and not in the interest of winning an argument.
LINK TO STEVEN CROWDER’S “There Are Only 2 Genders | Change My Mind”
LINK TO STEVEN CROWDER’S “I’m Pro-Life | Change My Mind”