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Prof. Guy: Teens Do Well in Philosophy Camp - So How About Adults?

August 31, 2017
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In an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun, Fred Guy, director of the University of Baltimore's Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics and an associate professor in the University's Division of Legal, Ethical and Historical Studies, considers the breakthroughs in communication and civility that occurred at this summer's Philosophy Camp for high school students. He wonders whether a camp setting, where respect is expected and the work is taken seriously, could be good for adults who just can't seem to agree on anything.

"In the past month, we've had every reason in the world to shut down and stop believing—in our country, in our ideals, in our ability to solve difficult problems. Hatred tends to do that, drive us apart and stun us into silence," Prof. Guy writes. "With that in mind, I want to share a better way of settling our differences. It sounds like a vision, but it actually happened, this summer, right here in our city.

"Just a few weeks ago, a diverse group of 22 city teens participated in the University of Baltimore’s first Philosophy Camp. Over five days, these high school students set a standard for how kids—and adults— ought to work out their differences: with respect, rationality and empathy."

Guy says that the students had real work to do in their week-long experience: Explore the major components of philosophy, and learn how to apply rational thinking to their own lives. The task seemed to inspire the students to truly listen to each other, to work through their differences and discover the things they have in common.

"What these teens demonstrated—clearly, and with intent—is that in one short week we can learn how to treat each other in our divided nation. No longer can we be assured that the phrase 'let's all act like adults' will work."

Read the op-ed.

Learn more about Prof. Guy and the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics.       


Last Published 6/9/16