Hello Benedict, you’re a writer and you offer classes in Philosophy, Latin, Greek and German on MyTutorSpeaksFrench. Could you talk about your background?
I have a PhD in Philosophy and Classics. I received my Ph.D degree in Germany from the University of Heidelberg, so that’s why I also give classes in German. Besides, I worked as Assistant Professor at the American University of Paris.
What is the profile of your students?
My classes are made for pretty much everyone, but it’s true that high schoolers are the ones having to learn Latin, Greek and Philosophy. Nonetheless, my classes are designed to all students whether they’re beginners or advanced. To all students willing to learn Latin and Greek, or to all students willing to learn how to build an argumentation which will convince. And finally, to all middle school students who need a little bit of help with classical languages. If they’re French speakers, they’ll be looking for a teacher who can explain the subject to them in French.
What is the content of your classes? Do we need a special kind of material?
It will depend on the subject and the specific theme. For beginners in Classic Literature, we don’t need any special material because we practice with conjugation and declension charts. In this case, we’ll mobilize our memory because we learn how to recite the structure, the morphology of classical languages.
For more advanced students, we will work with philosophical or classical literature texts, if the student already knows how to translate the text. There, we can buy texts or I can provide them. Then we study directly: analyzing and breaking down sentences, especially in classical literature. We’ll analyze all parts of a sentence, of an argumentation and it’s really the exegesis of the texts which is the most important.
Which advice would you give to a 12th grade student preparing the Philosophy baccalaureate?
I’ll say that one must read and read more than what the teacher expects. He or she must read the most important texts of Philosophy, even if they aren’t part of the teacher’s given list. It is crucial to study them because reading these texts will teach the argumentation and the entire thinking process. For example, one must read “The Critique of Pure Reason” by Kant. One must read “The Republic”, by Plato. One must read the “Nicomachean Ethics” by Aristotle. This work will enable the student to learn how to build an argumentation which will next be used to study other texts and questions.
I will also say that it’s a good idea to read the newspapers in order to relate the great philosophical questions with current events.
Thank you Benedict!