On Teaching Philosophy

You asked me how should I best teach them. Should I teach them from the point of view of the history of science the applications? My theory is that the best way to teach is to have no philosophy. We must be chaotic and confuse them in the sense that you use every possible way of doing it.  That’s the only way I can see the answer.  So as to catch this guy or that guy on different hooks as you go along. And during the time when the fellow who was interested in history is being bored by the abstract mathematics. On the other hand the fellow who likes abstraction is being bored at another time by the histories. You can do it so you don’t bore them all, all the time. I really don’t know how to do it. I don’t know how to answer this question of different kinds of minds with different kinds of interests. What hooks them on, what makes them interested, how do you direct them to become interested? One way is by a kind of force, you have to pinch this course, you have to take that examination. It’s a very effective way many people go through schools that way this may be the more effective way. I’m sorry, after many many years of trying to teach and trying all different kinds of methods, I really don’t know how to do it.

Prof. Richard Feynman, Ph.D., Altadena, California, March, 1966.