Philosophy focus can come in handy

I would like to add to what Dr Patrick Liew Siow Gian suggested in his letter (Literature can prepare students to work better with technology; March 27), to include the teaching of philosophy in Singapore's education system.

A focus on philosophy can help the young develop the necessary skills to navigate the challenges in this increasingly volatile and complex world accelerated by digital technologies.

Philosophy teaches reasoning and the ability to make sense of the environment. This is also a key ability which co-exists with and encourages creativity.

Students have been found to be unable to tell "fake" news from real news, partly due to the volume and speed of information on social media, as well as a lack of inquisitiveness and healthy scepticism, and even lack of a good comprehension of the content presented to them.

The development of logical reasoning through a philosophy education can help enhance their comprehension.

The World Economic Forum has identified complex problem- solving, critical thinking and creativity as the top three skills required for the future.

Philosophy education can help to develop these skills. It can also help enhance intrapersonal, interpersonal and logical- mathematical intelligences.

Singapore is fortunate to have a multicultural population, which provides accessibility to Western and Asian philosophies, which can further enhance the grounding of ethics in society.

Teo Xiang Zheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 02, 2017, with the headline 'Philosophy focus can come in handy'. Print Edition | Subscribe