Opening Day

Another one again, already. Meeting the first of three Honors Intro sections today. Hooray.

We’ll introduce ourselves in the usual way: Who are you? Why are you here?

I’ll explain why I call the Intro to Philosophy course CoPhilosophy: because we’re all in it together, and because I agree with William James’s collaborative approach: “The pluralistic form takes for me a stronger hold on reality than any other philosophy I know of, being essentially a social philosophy, a philosophy of co…”

And, we’ll remind ourselves that there should be far more to a university education than just a quick crash-course in vocational credentialing. Higher education is supposed to equip us to become good people leading good lives, not just good consumers earning good salaries. It’s supposed to make us successful in the fullest sense, not in the constricted way James ridiculed in a wonderfully acidic epistle to H.G. Wells: “The moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess SUCCESS. That – with the squalid cash interpretation put on the word ‘success’ – is our national disease.”

Our goal, simply put, is success at school as the first step on the road to non-squalid success in life. That’s what college is for.

One clear mark of our success in CoPhilosophy will be the enhanced ability to perceive and consider alternative points of view, to sustain amicably constructive conversation in the face of dissent. To that end, and now that “an Authorized Employee may carry a concealed handgun on MTSU property,” I’m in the market for one of these:

Image result for hhgtg pov gun

POV gun

It’s Annie Proulx’s birthday. She “dropped out of a Ph.D. program after realizing she wasn’t fit for the academic life. She said: ‘I’m not a person who works well with others. Having to get along with people you don’t respect very much, having to deal with a bureaucracy, just the whole weight of idiots turned me off.’”

She’d probably not be a very good CoPhilosopher, with that attitude, but I have to admit – even on Opening Day – that sometimes I know just what she means. Don’t point that thing at me.

6:00/6:13, 62/83, 7:27

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