This has been by far my favorite class of the semester and has help to further cultivate my philosophical interests. I took a class abroad on the contemporary theories of justice, which skimmed the surface of many topics that we discussed. There was a significant difference between the classroom discussions I experienced in Belfast, Northern Ireland compared to our weekly class meetings. In Belfast, our conversation focused mainly on the issues brought about by philosophers and their theories. There was little room for discussion about our own perspectives, and I found that the students “voice” was not original, but rather based on what they had learned. What I really enjoyed about our class was the broad variance of opinions on many issues that are currently affecting our world today. I don’t think it is good for all upper level classes, but I particularly thought it was great how we had a wide range of majors to contribute their background and knowledge. It is through having this broad range of perspectives that we are able to recognize the many personalities, characteristics, and further see how we can communicate despite the differences.
Many interests were portrayed through the documentaries that were made for our final. I really enjoyed how we could view everyone’s work, rather than just turning in a paper or taking a final. I think that through having to research a topic that we are interested in our work was significantly stronger than if a topic had been assigned to us. Also, we were able to bring to light many issues that may not have been discussed in class.
Through our discussions and through our readings a lot of my perspective on many issues has been altered. There are very few classes that I can say this about or that have made an impact on my worldview, but I definitely think this class has made me more aware and concerned with the world around me. This can be attributed to the students who helped to create a classroom where their opinions will be respected, but also questioned, which forces us beyond our comfort zone. We have to search to find our voice when it is being questioned. This class has forced to me find a perspective and an opinion based on something more than just my thoughts about it. Thank you for a great semester!