Thursday, December 16, 2010

Students Should be Free to Choose: The Case Against Required Foreign Language in College

"According to a recent article in the New York Times, liberal arts colleges are dropping their foreign language requirement because of budget cuts. Recession or not, that's good news.

All that French, Spanish and German makes it harder for liberal arts students to study science, business and economics. All of which would be a lot more useful than learning to parse verbs in a language they have no intention of speaking once they leave college. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for the study of foreign languages. Students should be able to choose from a variety of languages at every university. The key word being choose."

~ Jim Sollisch, creative director at Marcus Thomas LLC, writing in today's WSJ

33 Comments:

At 12/16/2010 11:45 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Better choose Chinese.

 
At 12/16/2010 11:56 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

this seems to be a question of what you value and an argument that should not be confined just to foreign languages.

either a school ought to be trying to create a "well rounded" student in whatever manner they see as fitting by having a core curriculum and distribution requirements or it should abandon them entirely.

to go about it piecemeal seems arbitrary. why force calculus and linear algebra on someone who will never need them? (and let's face it, 90% of people don't)

i did my undergrad at brown, which has no core curriculum at all. this allows for much more specialization if that is what you want, but also means that it produced engineers who never took an English class.

there are argument to me made for both sides (allowing people to follow their interests vs pushing people to work on weaker spots and become more rounded), but it seems to me that this may be more of a choice for schools rather than a student choice issues.

like any provider of a good or service, the schools will decide what to offer (hopefully with input from the customers) and then we will decide where to attend.

 
At 12/16/2010 12:33 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

I have to agree with Hydra that the language to "choose" is Chinese (#1 is Mandarin).

The best source for free on-line Chinese language learning and translation is Professsor Jim Becker's site. This is a very comprehensive site but easy to navigate.

 
At 12/16/2010 12:38 PM, Blogger NormanB said...

Forget about a college requirement for a foreign language, stop this nonsense in high school and lower grades. First, kids hardly ever get proficient enough to use a FL. Secondly, it takes up at least 20% of their academic days which needs to be spent on more reading/writing/math. Thirdly, the world is speaking English.

But we'll keep doing it because school hierarcies think that its worldly where once again they don't use facts.

 
At 12/16/2010 12:42 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

buddy-

everyone said that about japansese in the 80's too. we were even (generally with disastrous results) copying their management ideas.

look how that worked out.

china is not taking over the world. in 10 years, we'll all look back and wonder what we were so worried about.

 
At 12/16/2010 12:46 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I believe (without any foundation) learning a foreign language (especially young) helps create more pathways in the brain.

I also beleive that learning a foreign language leads to more nuanced understanding because of words and concepts that have no exact translation in English.

 
At 12/16/2010 1:07 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

morganovich, China will soon be the biggest economy in the world. The form of the Chinese economy will have a capitalist flavor with probably about half the economy being private. There could be huge stumbles, such as a collapse in real estate, but I don't think this country will atrophy. If you want to form long term relationships with Chinese firms and its government, then some attempts at the language and cultural understanding is important.

Your commnet of Japanese management brings to mind the irony of Toyota. Al Mullaly, CEO of Ford, is devotee of the Toyota management style. Al incorporated Toyota quality ideas at Boeing and now with remarkable success at Ford. Toyota may well study Ford now to try and regain previous success.

 
At 12/16/2010 1:29 PM, Blogger Jon said...

I believe economics, math, and some statistics are important to any degree. I also see a value in foreign language. Can we just eliminate some of the humanities and wastes of time in the pursuit of political correctness such as "Chicano Studies" which was a waste of my time as an undergrad at Arizona State?

 
At 12/16/2010 1:59 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Buddy R. Pacifico,

Don't forget it was American Doctors Deming and Shewhart who taught the Japanese what they know about manufacturing processes :)

 
At 12/16/2010 2:13 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Walt, Deming and Shewhart were the teachers and Japanese manufacturers were the prodigal students. Made in Japan went from a derogatory comment to a positive one. It would be very interesting to sit in on Toyota management meetings at this time in history.

BTW, I would also expect visits to GM from Toyota employees to see excellent qualtiy manufacturing being done. Keep getting better; always. :)

 
At 12/16/2010 2:38 PM, Blogger juandos said...

I wished that college would've had that mindset with regards to a real waste of life and classroom time, philosophy...

What a ridiculous course that was, two semesters (3 semester hours each) of life wasted on absolute nonsense...

 
At 12/16/2010 2:43 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Buddy R. Pacifico,

There are structural differences that preclude GM from operating like a Toyota or Ford business model. Toyota has a long-term corportate culture framework and Ford has Class B stock minority voting rights that allow the Ford family dynasty to overrule the majority stockholders. Even though it is an interesting thought, mortgaging everything at GM before the financial crisis like Ford did could have never happened.

It will be interesting to see how GM operates with the U.S. Treasury pulling the strings instead of bankers. It will be even more interesting to see how well they will operate when and if they control their destiny once again.

 
At 12/16/2010 2:46 PM, Blogger QT said...

Was not able to read the full article without a subscription, however it does raise an interesting question.

The concept of studying a foreign language seems to be a remnant from the classical education" movement". While it can be argued that studying languages develops different pathways in the brain, making a second language mandatory fails to take into account differing aptitudes.

The very reason for choice is to allow students to develop areas of high aptitude. Just as some students have a high math aptitude or high structural visualization aptitude, there are students who score high on language aptitude...and of course, those who do not and never will possess this ability.

Is it really productive to slow an entire class down to the comprehension level of the worst performing student in the class? Some of you no doubt can recall classes where this happens while everyone else was bored out of their mind.

One wonders when universities will stop trying to make us all into little boxes on a hillside.

Re: Mandarin
Ironically, the Chinese have a major push on learning English.

 
At 12/16/2010 2:56 PM, Blogger QT said...

Juandos,

Could not agree more. The value of philosophy seems to be in its snob appeal.

...no doubt there will be someone who will come to the defense of this pasttime and regail us with tales of everyday situations where they use this branch of esoteric knowledge...looking forward to reading that argument. ROFLMAO

 
At 12/16/2010 3:12 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

buddy-

china is not going to be the biggest economy in the world soon, or quite possibly ever.

they are still not even 1/3 of our size, and are building up massive internal imbalances.

they are nearly out of water.

they are running out of the cheap workers that drive huge manufacturing growth (lewis point).

their system is still very command and control oriented and cannot easily shift to an information economy.

taking their (overstated) growth rate and extrapolating forward several decades is not a valid practice.

their growth is going to slow a great deal as they complete their transition to a manufacturing economy.

 
At 12/16/2010 3:17 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

ok qt and juandos, i'll step up to defend philosophy. it's both fascinating and demands a kind rigorous logical thinking that is a useful skill in any discipline. if more people understood logic and fallacy and had the ability to think in abstract terms about concrete things, we'd have a much better level of debate in this country.

i did 3 degrees in economics, political science, and philosophy because i think and understanding of any one of those things requires the other two. (one of the advantages of having no core curriculum is that you can do three degrees in 4 years if you try).

based on my life experience and conversations, a great many people would benefit from having been trained to think more rigorously.

 
At 12/16/2010 4:41 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Philosophy and writing undergraduate and liberal studies (English and history) and public administration graduate degrees (political science concentration). I think the best thing about varied interests is the people you meet.

My former philosophy classmates are the only ones I keep in touch with on a daily basis. A lot of them do not seem to have jobs.

 
At 12/17/2010 8:04 AM, Blogger juandos said...

" it's both fascinating and demands a kind rigorous logical thinking that is a useful skill in any discipline"...

ROFLMAO!

You know morganovich you're smarter than the average bear and that's no lie but even you can't believe that nonsense...

Rigorous thinking and skeptical thought comes in many 'useful disciplines and there's absolutely nothing even remotely useful about philosophy unless supporting some loser with a philosopy degree is considered useful...

 
At 12/17/2010 9:41 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

juandos-

you could not be more wrong. there is no law without philosophy. upon what would you base it?

absent philosophy, how could you even understand your rights or the manner in which they were derived?

pure logic has enormous application in virtually anything. the rigor developed by working through abstract ideas and taking their implications into concrete examples is a vital part of learning how to think. philosophy provides an intense crucible for the development of such skills.

more so that any other discipline, it demands such things.

it is not a coincidence that philosophy majors score highest on the LSAT, have the highest acceptance rate to med schools, do better on the GRE than any other major, and beat out econ and business majors on the GMAT.

According to the Wall Street Journal, reporting on a year long study of people with only Bachelor's degrees by PayScale, Inc, Philosophy majors tied for first place with Math majors for those degrees that increased in salary the most from starting pay to mid-career pay, at a 103.5% increase. The median starting salary for Philosophy majors was approximately $40,000 and had increased to a median mid-career salary of $81,200. And remember, these numbers are for people who had only a BA level degree.

the evidence seems pretty overwhelming that the study of philosophy provides a great deal of benefit in terms of learning how to reason and further other goals in your life.

 
At 12/17/2010 10:03 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"there is no law without philosophy. upon what would you base it?"...

Hardly applicable today sir, just ask Eric Holder...

"it is not a coincidence that philosophy majors score highest on the LSAT, have the highest acceptance rate to med schools, do better on the GRE than any other major, and beat out econ and business majors on the GMAT"...

This was NOT the case when I was in college back in the late sixties and early seventies...

Students that had math and science skills (something notably lacking is what is passing for education today) scored highest on tests, then again tests weren't skewed for those oh so important 'cultural differences' as they are today...

" Philosophy majors tied for first place with Math majors for those degrees that increased in salary the most from starting pay to mid-career pay, at a 103.5% increase"...

Well even more interesting is the fact that people who have welding skills will make considerably more money in the area of starting pay than those working Wall Street...

Underwater welders start at $80+k per year and those with several years experience draw down well over a $100K per year... Mind you these aren't the typical 2040 hours of work per year either...

Mind you, not one hour wasted on philosopy either...:-)

 
At 12/17/2010 10:19 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

j-

"Hardly applicable today sir, just ask Eric Holder..."

if that is your answer, then you dear juandos, needed more philosophy and logic courses.

"This was NOT the case when I was in college back in the late sixties and early seventies..."

but it is now and has been for decades, so what's your point?

and people on wall st routinely pull down 4-500k after 5 years and the good ones wind up making 7 to 10 figures.

show me a welder that does that.

lots of "vocations" start at higher pay than many professions, but it does not stay that way.

your welder example is also pretty much a total non sequitor as well as a straw man fallacy. no one said you had to study philosophy to make a living, i just said that on average, it helps. you cannot take one example and claim it represents a whole class of them.

perhaps if you had studied logic, you would not commit such gaffes... :-)

 
At 12/17/2010 10:22 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

also:

very few investment bankers die in spreadsheet accidents. undersea welders run far more risks doing their job and get paid for that.

i'd rather be compensated for what i know that for being willing do die under an oil platform.

 
At 12/17/2010 2:48 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"if that is your answer, then you dear juandos, needed more philosophy and logic courses"...

Well morganovich I live in the world that's at hand, not what could be...

"but it is now and has been for decades, so what's your point?"...

Well the point is that philosophy is still useless unless one has free time to play with it...

"show me a welder that does that"...

Actually I could show you several both in Texas and Louisiana that actually knock down $500K per year but I take your point that a lot more Wall Street commandos have the potential to knock that amount down and more...

"your welder example is also pretty much a total non sequitor as well as a straw man fallacy"...

Hardly sir! Hardly!

There are many fields of work that aren't nearly as physical as say welding for instance but do pay what I think are enormous sums of money for their work...

You'll see these people among the merchant marine, moving commodities on and off ships, people in the piping business, iron workers, and so forth...

There's lots and lots of non white collar jobs that pay huge amounts of money...

First people I ever met that bought their own island in the French Grenadines were brothers who were ironworkers and retired in their early fifties...

"perhaps if you had studied logic, you would not commit such gaffes... :-)"...

Maybe if you get out a bit more you could see that there are more opportunities out there for real wealth than what the white collar world offers...

Still I grant you that the potential for white collar earned wealth exceeds that of blue collar earned wealth but quite a bit...

"very few investment bankers die in spreadsheet accidents. undersea welders run far more risks doing their job and get paid for that"...

morgaovich! morgaovich! Where is your sense of adventure lad?...:-)

 
At 12/17/2010 3:41 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

jaundos-

"Well morganovich I live in the world that's at hand, not what could be..."

but without philosophy, how could you compare future ideas and understand your rights?

"Hardly sir! Hardly!"

you respond by using the exact same fallacy. there are lots of examples of people who succeed without philosophy just as many succeed without knowing english when they start or being mathematical idiots.

such outliers prove nothing about incremental benefit.

your argument is equivalent to saying that it isn't necessary to train first to run a marathon because you know a guy who did it without training. that says nothing about a typical experience, nor the benefit of training.

that makes it a fallacy. you really should have taken those philosophy and logic classes. you are illustrating my point for me perfectly.

your argument about "sense of adventure" is flawed in precisely the same way. not wanting to risk my life and health underwater for low pay (and even our junior guys make a couple hundred grand) says nothing about my sense of adventure. i just prefer to get more enjoyment from my risk. i'd much rather heli-ski in the himalayas that spend time in dark, cold water performing repetitive activities and trying not to kill myself.

i'd be willing to bet you that there are more people on "wall st" making 7 figures than there are underwater welders in the world.

you also make yet another unsupported logical jump by assuming that philosophy does not improve the lives and livelihoods of blue collar workers. being able to think well and clearly is useful for anyone in all manner of their life decisions.

your whole argument seems predicated on orthogonal examples, unsupported assumptions, and logical fallacy.

i fear friend juandos, that you may well be the poster child for requiring philosophy in a curriculum...

 
At 12/17/2010 4:10 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"but without philosophy, how could you compare future ideas and understand your rights?"...

Oh my! One's rights are what one makes them...

If one doesn't like the present situation and can't change it to his or her liking one moves on...

Philosophy need not apply...

"are lots of examples of people who succeed without philosophy just as many succeed without knowing english..."...

Not in this country sir...

Inability to communicate properly is an epic fail...

This has nothing whatsoever to do with philosophy unless one has far to much time to stand around and gab at the water cooler...

"such outliers prove nothing about incremental benefit"...

Said 'outliers' prove that the alledged benefits of philosophy are just that, 'alledged'...

"your argument is equivalent to saying that it isn't necessary to train first to run a marathon because you know a guy who did it without training"...

Again your lack of world ranging experience is showing...

Ask yourself, "who are the Tarahumara?"...

"that makes it a fallacy. you really should have taken those philosophy and logic classes. you are illustrating my point for me perfectly"...

Again your lack of wider experiences is showing up and illustrating my point perfectly...

"i'd much rather heli-ski in the himalayas that spend time in dark, cold water performing repetitive activities and trying not to kill myself"...

Again showing me what you don't know about the real world...

One doesn't ski in the Himalayas (can you say crevasse?) and one doesn't do repetitive work weld diving...

One can heliski onto Mt. Baker in Washington state for instance and one can do repetitive welding on an assembly line...

"being able to think well and clearly is useful for anyone in all manner of their life decisions"...

Which can easily be done without wasting an hour's worth of life in a philosopy class, something you've yet to come close to supporting with your utterly failed logic...

I'm suprised at this from you moganovich...

 
At 12/17/2010 4:10 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"but without philosophy, how could you compare future ideas and understand your rights?"...

Oh my! One's rights are what one makes them...

If one doesn't like the present situation and can't change it to his or her liking one moves on...

Philosophy need not apply...

"are lots of examples of people who succeed without philosophy just as many succeed without knowing english..."...

Not in this country sir...

Inability to communicate properly is an epic fail...

This has nothing whatsoever to do with philosophy unless one has far to much time to stand around and gab at the water cooler...

"such outliers prove nothing about incremental benefit"...

Said 'outliers' prove that the alledged benefits of philosophy are just that, 'alledged'...

"your argument is equivalent to saying that it isn't necessary to train first to run a marathon because you know a guy who did it without training"...

Again your lack of world ranging experience is showing...

Ask yourself, "who are the Tarahumara?"...

"that makes it a fallacy. you really should have taken those philosophy and logic classes. you are illustrating my point for me perfectly"...

Again your lack of wider experiences is showing up and illustrating my point perfectly...

"i'd much rather heli-ski in the himalayas that spend time in dark, cold water performing repetitive activities and trying not to kill myself"...

Again showing me what you don't know about the real world...

One doesn't ski in the Himalayas (can you say crevasse?) and one doesn't do repetitive work weld diving...

One can heliski onto Mt. Baker in Washington state for instance and one can do repetitive welding on an assembly line...

"being able to think well and clearly is useful for anyone in all manner of their life decisions"...

Which can easily be done without wasting an hour's worth of life in a philosopy class, something you've yet to come close to supporting with your utterly failed logic...

I'm suprised at this from you moganovich...

 
At 12/17/2010 4:10 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"but without philosophy, how could you compare future ideas and understand your rights?"...

Oh my! One's rights are what one makes them...

If one doesn't like the present situation and can't change it to his or her liking one moves on...

Philosophy need not apply...

"are lots of examples of people who succeed without philosophy just as many succeed without knowing english..."...

Not in this country sir...

Inability to communicate properly is an epic fail...

This has nothing whatsoever to do with philosophy unless one has far to much time to stand around and gab at the water cooler...

"such outliers prove nothing about incremental benefit"...

Said 'outliers' prove that the alledged benefits of philosophy are just that, 'alledged'...

"your argument is equivalent to saying that it isn't necessary to train first to run a marathon because you know a guy who did it without training"...

Again your lack of world ranging experience is showing...

Ask yourself, "who are the Tarahumara?"...

"that makes it a fallacy. you really should have taken those philosophy and logic classes. you are illustrating my point for me perfectly"...

Again your lack of wider experiences is showing up and illustrating my point perfectly...

"i'd much rather heli-ski in the himalayas that spend time in dark, cold water performing repetitive activities and trying not to kill myself"...

Again showing me what you don't know about the real world...

One doesn't ski in the Himalayas (can you say crevasse?) and one doesn't do repetitive work weld diving...

One can heliski onto Mt. Baker in Washington state for instance and one can do repetitive welding on an assembly line...

"being able to think well and clearly is useful for anyone in all manner of their life decisions"...

Which can easily be done without wasting an hour's worth of life in a philosopy class, something you've yet to come close to supporting with your utterly failed logic...

I'm suprised at this from you moganovich...

 
At 12/17/2010 4:35 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"Oh my! One's rights are what one makes them"

good lord, you need remedial philosophy class, STAT. try telling that to a judge. try using it to decide whether or not a new law is constitutional. you really are just digging yourself deeper into this hole.

"Not in this country sir...

Inability to communicate properly is an epic fail..."

one of the richest guys i know came to the US from india speaking about 20 words. he's now worth hundreds of millions. clearly, this example is not typical, but that is my whole point. would he have been better off speaking english? almost certainly, but his example is every bit as relevant as you undersea welder non sequitor. being able to do a thing without certain advantages does not mean that having them would not have been better.

"Again your lack of world ranging experience is showing..."

that doesn't even make sense. what on earth does that have to do with by demonstrating your repeated logical fallacies?

see if you can stay with me here:

you see a black swan. this clearly demonstrates that not all swans are white. however, i think you must agree that it tells you nothing about what color most swans are.

in your welder example, you are pointing to a black swan and claiming that swans are not white, because he didn't benefit from philosophy when in fact, most are, as most people do.

not only have you committed the fallacy of assuming the one can stand for all, but you have compounded it by making the unsupported assumption that a welder would not be better off having learned rigorous philosophical thought. perhaps it would help him raise his kids, or reason with a landlord, or a car salesman, or an employer, or just understand political news better.

philosophy is the purest disciple in terms of teaching rigorous thought. such an ability is useful in a great many dimensions, not simply income.

i have heliskiied in the himalayas.
a quick google search will show you dozens of tour outfits. perhaps it is you who needs to get out more and get some "real world" experience? you seem to have a strong opinion about my worldliness, which cannot be grounded in fact, because you have no idea what i have done in my life. it's just a cheap rhetorical attack to try to get you out of the corner into which you have painted yourself.

and if you don't thing that welding pipes under dark water is repetitive and boring, well perhaps an exciting new career awaits you, but it would bore me witless.


your tarahumara example is just the same fallacy again compunded by your ignorance of the fact that they train all the time, making them an exemplar of the benefits of training, not it's lack of necessity.

can you seriously be trying to argue that training does not make you more likely to be able to run a marathon? stop and look at what you are saying. it makes ZERO sense.

can you not see the severe illogic of your position?

then you spout this nonsense:

"Which can easily be done without wasting an hour's worth of life in a philosopy class"

this is just the marathon argument all over again. sure, you can run without training, but you will run better if you have trained. you are making the same error over and over again.

just because you can do something without training it does not mean that you cannot do it BETTER with training.

 
At 12/17/2010 4:44 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

so, here's the argument in its simplest form:

pneumonia was once a great killer of man.

some people got it then got batter, but many died.

penicillin has been a huge help in treating that disease.

a great many people who would have died didn't as a result of its use.

the fact that you CAN get better without it does not mean that you are not MORE LIKELY to get better with it.

your welder argument is essentially claiming that because you can get better without penicillin that it's not useful.

that is a complete fallacy.

just because you can make a living ignorant of philosophy or math or even english does not say anything about there general usefulness.

thus, your whole argument is non sequitor.

 
At 12/17/2010 5:34 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"try telling that to a judge. try using it to decide whether or not a new law is constitutional"...

You really do need to get out more morganovich...

Why would I tell it to a judge?

Whether a law is constitutional or not is one of the reasons an informed person makes a choice at the voting booth...

"almost certainly, but his example is every bit as relevant as you undersea welder non sequitor"...

So what is this? Your non-sequitor is supposedly better than my alleged non-sequitor?

""that makes it a fallacy. you really should have taken those philosophy and logic classes. you are illustrating my point for me perfectly""...

I think I'm beginning to understand your problem morganovich, your command of the English language seems a bit questionable...

Hence your attempt to mask your point with this nonsense about philosophy...

Here's a perfect example: "you seem to have a strong opinion about my worldliness, which cannot be grounded in fact, because you have no idea what i have done in my life"...

Yet your words continue to give one the very strong impression that your worldly experiences are rather limited...

Here's yet another example of your sheltered life: "your tarahumara example is just the same fallacy again compunded by your ignorance of the fact that they train all the time, making them an exemplar of the benefits of training, not it's lack of necessity"...

Train all the time, eh?

Unbelievable!

Good try though...

"can you not see the severe illogic of your position?"...

So far the only 'severe' I've seen here is your inability to come to grips with reality...

Your alledged logic has yet to make a showing...

Here's a fine example of that lack of your logic rearing its ugly head again: "your welder argument is essentially claiming that because you can get better without penicillin that it's not useful"...

This is tiring, you very slow today and I'm off to look for something quite a bit more entertaining than you and your lack of real world experiences that you mask with your attempts to rationalize wasting time with philosophy...

 
At 12/17/2010 5:34 PM, Blogger juandos said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12/18/2010 10:57 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

juandos-

you are just repeating the same baseless arguments over and over.

read my argument about penicillin again.

can you really not see that that fact that you can get better without penicillin says nothing about whether or not you are more likely to get better if you use it?

you can survive a car crash without your seat-belt on too, but you'll be more likely to do so if you wear it.

your logic is completely invalid. you just keep claiming that because someone can to X without Y, that Y does not help you do X, which is clearly untrue.

stephen hawking has been very successful without arms and legs, but that does not mean that having arms and legs that work are more likely to make you successful.

you seem to have no ability to separate the general from the particular.

it appears you have no ability to think logically at all. i suspect you hated philosophy because you can't think rigorously and do not appear able to comprehend formal logic in even a very rudimentary form.

your worldliness arguments don't even make sense and look ever more desperate as you repeatedly get your facts wrong. as you now likely know, there is lots of heli skiing in the himalayas. your claims about the tarahumara are equally groundless. they live in a high region and run all the time. it is part of their culture. they run from village to village, to hunt, and in numerous competitions over the course of the year. sure, they are genetically predisposed to be excellent runners, but this does not mean that they do not get faster still by doing it a lot. it's a whole culture that centers around running.

but again, their example is just the same logical fallacy that you make again and again. (you can do x without y, therefore y does not help you do x)

can you seriously be trying to argue that running frequently does not allow you to run faster? why do all the olympic runners train so much.

 
At 12/19/2010 2:07 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"read my argument about penicillin again"...

Which was as completely useless and fallacious as the rest of your attempt to defend the need of philosopy...

 

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