Dmitry Melnikov (Kazakhstan)


Dmitry Melnikov (Kazakhstan) - Master of Philosophy, Master of Eurasian Studies, PhD Candidate, Free University of Amsterdam, Senior Lecturer, Kazakh State Law University (Nur-Sultan).

Discovering the Care of the Self: Students read Seneca and Kant (Presentation) 

Presentation Language: English

Self-knowledge or knowing oneself is inseparable form a highly important philosophical conceptual discovery that one can make while reading classic philosophical texts devoted to the issue of intellectual and moral maturity. This discovery is one's realization that one is entrusted to oneself, and crucially this is one who is responsible for oneself (not one's parents, the authority, the state, etc.). Here I am referring to my experience of discussing Seneca's "On the Shortness of Life" and Kant's "What is Enlightenment?" with my students. This discussion is a part of a Philosophy (Introduction to Philosophy) course for first-year students. The course includes two presentations/discussions of classic philosophical books. While reading Seneca, many students discover (sometimes very emotionally) that managing time is their fundamental responsibility towards themselves, because time is an essential building block of their existence. While reading Kant, the majority of students reveal the concept of intellectual and moral maturity and the idea that one should care about one's becoming mature. I will demonstrate that these two texts allow bringing philosophical practice into the course, and they give studying/teaching philosophy a real sense of discovery