A Philosophy Curriculum for Universalized University Education: A Cuban Model

Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 37:293-307 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Focusing on philosophy’s roles in problem solving, this essay proposes a philosophy curriculum for a university “universalized” according to a Cuban model. This model arises from Fidel Castro Ruz’s “dream” that the Cuban nation itself should become a university for its people. The paper’s immediate stimulus was aVenezuelan paper on rural universalized universities at the Havana conference on university education, Universidad 2008. What should be the place of philosophy in a university curriculum for rural students? In the idiom of Richard Rorty, philosophy is the collection of stories we tell ourselves for guidance through life. Philosophy’s critical function is to generate new stories when old ones fail to solve the problems that gave birth to them. The essay’s three parts address three levels of generality in philosophical reflection. The most general philosophical theories, such as Marxism or pragmatism, offer wholesale guidelines for life. More specific theories direct the practices of narrow subjects, such as physics, psychology, or economics. The most specific theories focus on the nexus of theoryand practice in solving life’s most concrete problems. The essay advocates a philosophy curriculum that contrasts students’ current philosophies with alternatives from the history of thought. Students absorb philosophies from the cultures in which they are raised. When students understand the accidental nature of their guiding thoughts, they are motivated to reflect critically on historical alternatives. When students study how to solve their problems using more specific disciplines like the arts and sciences, the history of the philosophies of those subjects will help them understand their freedom to choose among alternative solutions. When students reflect on the daily problems they must solve, attention to the connections of theory and practice can amplify their range of choices



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 77,916

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Curriculum in a New Key: The Collected Works of Ted T. Aoki.Ted T. Aoki - 2005 - Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
A Systematic Approach to Engineering Ethics Education.Jessica Li & Shengli Fu - 2012 - Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (2):339-349.
The Secret Curriculum.Michael Preston-Shoot - 2012 - Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (1):18-36.
New Trends in University Education and Philosophy Education in Korea.Son Dong-Huyn - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 37:267-282.


Added to PP

39 (#306,437)

6 months
1 (#485,121)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Charles Verharen
Howard University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references