Existential Comics: Advice On How to Study Philosophy as an Amateur

Existential Comics does some fantastic comics displaying philosophical views through comics.  In a recent blog post, the author gave some advice of how to study philosophy.  What I found intriguing is that he never took any philosophy classes while he was in college.  What I really like is this advice:

I hate the Principle of Charity. It is the worst. Not because it is bad, but because it seems to fail miserably as a rhetoric. Everyone thinks the principle is great in general. However, no one thinks that they themselves need to follow it more, no matter how much they turn everything they don’t agree with into a straw man. If you showed Glenn Beck the Wikipedia page for the Principle of Charity, he would probably say: “That’s great, I couldn’t agree more! Liberals need to be more charitable with conservative arguments. I, however, am perfectly charitable with their arguments – their arguments are just bad”. In that way it’s very similar to the Dunning-Krugar effect; in a rather self-fulfilling way, no one seems to think it applies to themselves.

So I am proposing a new principle: The Principle of Science. When first reading a philosophical text, you should read it not as the most compelling argument, but rather as though you were reading a scientific text.

He offers where to start and some websites to check out as well.  I was amazed by this site that he recommended to learn Hegel.

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About shaunmiller

I am a Ph. D student at Marquette University. The primary purpose of this blog is to get my ideas out there, and then have other people scrutinize, critique, build upon, and systematize beliefs. This blog will sometimes pertain to what I'm learning in my classes, but it will occasionally deal with non-classroom issues that I'm thinking about as well.
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