A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, teaching, students, principles, and values

It is not the business of a teacher in philosophy to "confuse" students any more than it is to "resolve" their confusions.  It is his business to explain in broad metaphysical and moral terms the difference between the kinds of factors in our lives that serve as raw material and the kinds of factors that act as organizing forms.  A course in philosophy raises on this basis issues that students ought to trouble themselves to evaluate on their own:  is this something matter or form, does it tend toward chaos or toward cosmos?  If I try to deploy this as a principle or concept or value, what will the teleology of this attempt turn up--an organismic system, an accomplishment of harmonic order, or a self-conflicted and incoherent contrivance that defeats the criteria of the mind?

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave