Martin Young, B.A., Ph.D.
About Professor Young
I have a B.A. from California State University, Fullerton, and a Ph. D. from the University of California, Irvine. I have over a decade of experience teaching philosophy in community colleges in Southern California.
For me, it’s all about critical thinking, which I take to be an honest effort to apply logic to the available evidence. My classes are designed to allow and challenge students to think for themselves, which is both easier and more difficult than it sounds. It’s easier because, in a sense, you just do it. Independent thought is just what you happen to think. Not what anyone else wants you to think. you don’t have to worry about thinking what your friends think, or what your parents think or even what your instructor thinks. You just think what you think. It can be harder, though, because you have to think logically rather than emotionally. Looking around for a way to justify your beliefs might feel good, but it isn’t independent thinking. Independent thinking is where you look at the available evidence and try to work out just what conclusions are most supported by that evidence.
PHIL 172: Critical Thinking and Writing
Combines logic with advanced academic writing. If you want to think clearly and write effectively, and thereby do better in all your classes, this is the class for you. Seriously, this class will allow you to do much better in every other class you take.
PHIL 120: Religions of the West
Descriptive survey of a variety of religions rooted in West Asia, Europe and the Western Hemisphere. Starts with the oldest known western religion, and works up to the present, covering as many western religions as our time allows.
PHIL 100: Honors Intro To Philosophy
Explores the development and fundamental bases of all logic and knowledge. Traces rational thought from its beginnings in Asia to its full flowering and beyond. Discusses and critiques theories of knowledge and being and ideas both profound and ridiculous.
This class is designed to make logic easy to learn, and to make critical thinking your natural response to all attempts to persuade you of anything.
I don’t start with fundamental principles, because fundamental principles are boring and hard to learn. Instead, I start with material that is both easy to learn and which kind of sneaks some fundamental stuff in under your radar. After a while, you find you’re easily handling abstract concepts that would have seemed impossible before you sat down in my classroom. Thus, over time, you build up an intuitive understanding of fundamental principles simply by working again-and-again with comparatively simple, concrete examples.
At the end of it, you just might find out that you’re a lot smarter than you thought you were.
PHIL 100 C
The history of philosophy contains with it the roots of all reasonable pursuits, and indeed of rationality itself, at least in the West. In this class we will study how western philosophy started in Ancient Greek society, how it asserted itself after the renaissance, how it flowed in the early “Modern” period and how it sometimes gets a bit silly as it struggles with some contemporary issues. Along the way we will study the nature of knowledge, of existence, of humanity, and of reason itself. There will also be jokes.