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College of the Mind - Philosophy

Adult Version

Lesson 1 - Introduction

by Duane Bristow

This is not philosophy as an academic study as it is taught in college courses. This is the practical application of philosophy to one's personal life.

It is based on the proposition that we exist (at least I do), that we will die (perhaps cease to exist), and that we may be able to develop a set of beliefs or of purpose which can give some kind of meaning to the period between birth and death.

To do this one must develop an overview of existence, a way of knowing, and a purpose.

We must try to answer the questions?
We must try to answer the questions?
We must try to answer the questions?


This is not a test. It is an exercise to help you learn by doing research and by thinking. Look up internet references and books on philosophy. Ask me questions by email.
  1. How does all the above relate to philosophy?
  2. Go to the library or somewhere and get a copy of the Dewey Decimal System or get a copy of a college's catalog of courses offered. Study it. How does it relate to this discussion?
  3. If you are a "Star Trek" fan or a "Twilight Zone" fan or a fan of "Amazing Stories" or a fan of "Law and Order" discuss the plots from at least one of these shows in relation to this. If not these shows then pick a classic novel such as "Lord Jim" or "Moby Dick" or "The Scarlet Letter" or choose a poem and discuss. Be sure to summarize the plot as a part of your discussion.
  4. After you have answered the above three questions pick a clear summer night when you have a couple of free hours. Read this page and your answers. Go to some peaceful spot where you can sit quietly and see the stars with as few distractions as possible and sit and think about what you have read for at least an hour. Take the papers with you so that you can review, if necessary. Also take a notepad and pencil.
Write an answer to the first three questions in as little or as much detail as you think is sufficient and send the answers to me by email. If you have been brain washed by the way things are done in standard high school and college classes you may think that this assignment is vague or difficult. I assume that you will not participate if you are not interested in learning about this subject and that you will realize that the more you study and think about this assignment the more you will learn. This does not imply, however, that there is any relationship between the length of your answers and how much you have learned. Note that there is no time limit on answering. However, it is a good idea to try to learn as much as possible before the end of your life.
College of the Mind


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Last revised May 8, 1996.

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Duane Bristow (72711.1414@compuserve.com)

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