I am taking PHIL 120W this term. The letter W in the course number indicate this course satisfy the writing credit requirement. Over the years, employers complain university graduate cannot write. The mandatory writing credits requirement is the response from the university. The W courses is writing intensive. It suppose to help the students improve their writing abilities and overall communication skill. Writing intensive means the course has lots of writing assignment. We have to hand in 4 essays over a period of slightly longer than 2 months.
I am taking philosophy classes for fun and to learn some new ideas. I don’t need to satisfy any writing credit requirement. Sometimes I feel kinda silly taking a course with such a heavy work load. Complaining about the work load is one thing, I have to admit the writing assignment really helps me learn. To complete the assignment, first I have to examine the arguments in the textbook and carefully evaluate their validity. Then I have to come up with my own objections, expecting replies to my objections and defenses for my objections. I feel like I am thinking like a real philosopher.
Learning philosophy is like learning engineering. It is one thing to memorize all the equations, it is another thing to apply the equations to solve real world problems. It is one thing to recite the thoughts of all the great philosophers, it is another thing to apply those ideas to solve philosophical dilemmas.