Kendra, In Her Own Words
As part of our Philosophy In Real Life (PHIL IRL) series, Kendra generously took time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions on why she chose SFU Philosophy and where she thinks the subject fits in with future career plans.
What brought you to philosophy as subject and SFU Philosophy as a department?
I was part of the Mini program at Eric Hamber Secondary, and as an opportunity for enrichment, my Socials Studies teacher invited a retired UBC law professor, Steve Wexler, to come in and work with us. He had a background in Philosophy and law and specialized specifically in Aristotle and Plato. Every other week we worked our way through Plato's Apology together, with him explaining the context behind the text, and sharing his own thoughts. Even at this high school level, Steve made Philosophy—a topic I previously thought I wouldn't enjoy—interesting and amusing. My appreciation for Philosophy was fostered through his enthusiasm.
When I first joined SFU I tried courses from a number of different departments while searching for my subject major. Out of all of them, I found PHIL121 and PHIL150 incredibly engaging. As I took more Philosophy classes, and learned more about the different branches, I realized that I highly enjoy Philosophy, and that there’s more to explore.
Is philosophy useful in real life beyond the university?
I think philosophy is extremely useful. In all of my classes, I have been asked to analyze and deconstruct texts, as well as communicate my own thoughts, through class discussions and assignments. Not only am I a better reader and writer, as a result of my Philosophy classes, but also more articulate when I speak.
Philosophy also forces you to ask questions--which I've always been big on (yes, I'm that person). It provides a methodical way of approaching questions and forming answers. And answers tend to lead to more questions. Asking questions, and acknowledging the unsureness of our reality, forces you to think in a different way, one that is more critical and yet still open. I love the discussion aspect of philosophy.