Posts Tagged ‘pop culture’

here it comes

February 24, 2011

We have an exam today in Intro to Philosophy, and the first midterm report presentations. Two* will be on the Fab Four. In their honor:

*From Brad (#10) and Andrew (#15).

You never know what you’re gonna get, in these pop culture & philosophy reports, but some possibilities revealed by a peek at the table of contents include the lads’ critique of consumer culture and quest for authenticity, Paul on love, the ethics of chemically-induced altered states (but aren’t all states of consciousness chemically-induced?), Eastern metaphysics (“life goes on within you and without you”), skepticism…

Other reports today: The Atkins Diet and Philosophy, co-edited by last year’s MTSU Lyceum speaker Lisa Heldke (“What does the low-carb revolution mean for our lives, our most fundamental values, and our place in the cosmos?… new insights into major philosophers such as Dewey, Nietzsche, and Marx by means of Atkins” – Jasmine); the NFL-Patrick, #14– (I may have to recycle an old post on the subject, or at least recommend this piece by Malcolm Gladwell, or “This is your brain on football“)– and Justin on Pink Floyd (#15):

What does the power of great art have to do with madness? Should psychedelic drugs make us doubt the evidence of our senses? How did power, sadism, and conformity turn education into mind control (not that we need either)? Can a rock band keep its identity as its members change? What can we learn from the synchronicities between The Dark Side of the Moon andThe Wizard of Oz? Did Friedrich Nietzsche foreshadow Syd Barrett? When did you realize that you are the hole in reality? How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?

Today, STUDENTS, we’ll sign up for Daily Questions to carry us through the rest of the semester. If you’ve not done one yet, be sure to sign the dotted line today. Coming next week, in addition to our regular READING ASSIGNMENTS (O 40-57 on Tuesday, PW 51-69 on Thursday):

House (Brandon, #10); Taylor on Harry Potter (Why isn’t the Mirror of Erised adequate for real life? Does prophecy rule out free choice? What can dementors and boggarts teach us about joy, fear, and the soul?); Nhu on Groundhog Day; Nick on Star Wars; Tabethia and Dalorian on Hip Hop (#10); Pete on Lord of the Rings; Warren on being neither her nor there (??); Lanna on Dexter (and not Facebook); Spurgeon on Calvinism (#14); Lindsay on Radiohead (#15); and more. Can’t wait!

If anyone does Jimmy Buffett I hope they’ll not repeat the faux pas of the student who last semester announced that he really didn’t like Buffett’s music at all but just couldn’t find any of the other books. He didn’t know that I’m one of the contributors to that particular volume.

Someone asked what I would advise anyone who found themselves in that situation. Well, I advise not waiting ’til the last minute to find that out. That’s not what I call the “porpoise-driven life.”

graphic philosophy

August 31, 2010

Another Opening Day for Intro to Philosophy, another journey of enlightenment before what we hope will be a soft and not-yet-terminal landing. (That was the whale’s wish, too.)

Today is mainly for introducing all the ladies and Bruces [orig.], and clarifying what is and isn’t within the bounds of acceptable philosophical argument. Welcome to philosophy.

I like to try new things in Intro. In addition to the usual textual guides- Passion for Wisdom, Consolations of Philosophy (reviews)we’ll add Doubt: A History as a recommended supplement. Philosophy may begin in wonder but it sustains itself on intelligent skepticism.

And, this time we’re going visual with some high-toned graphic novels. OK, comic books. Logicomix: an Epic Search for Truth, and Philosophy for Beginners.

I attended a symposium in August where someone presented a (fun) paper on “Putting the Fun Back in Philosophy.” It’s almost always fun for me, but this should be fun for the class of ’14 too.

And just wait ’til midterm, when we’ll have some fun with pop culture [& more]. In sum, We’ll tolerate no stuck-up sticky-beaks here.

To those of my colleagues who may be scandalized by this approach: you’re no fun at all! .