Monthly Archives: February 2014

A Cup of Tea

Many years ago, a professor from one of the western world’s great universities went to visit the Japanese master Nan-in to learn about Zen. Nan-in invited the professor to sit and offered him tea. As Nan-in prepared the tea, the … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemology, Philosophy, Teaching Literature and Writing | 6 Comments

The Limits of Learning

OK, I admit it. I haven’t read The Vicar of Wakefield. I’m always suspicious of people who have that air about them of having read everything.  I’m onto them. Here’s why: Years ago, when I was an undergraduate at Indiana, … Continue reading

Posted in Epistemology, Teaching Literature and Writing | 4 Comments

Aiden Reading on the Way to Preschool

So, Aiden was asking whether the being of self-consciousness is such that in its being its being is in question, and I said, “Come on, Aiden, you’re old enough to look that up yourself,” which he did, but not before … Continue reading

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Prototypes versus Aristotelian Categories in the Teaching of Writing

During the last few decades of the twentieth century, rhetorical ideas dominated academic discourse in the humanities. It is difficult to overstate, for example, the influence during that time of such ideas as “All speech is political” or “Readers construct … Continue reading

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The Tractatus Comico-Philosophicus: Martin Heidegger

Martin Heidegger Cares (Except When He Doesn’t) We didn’t ask for this crap. We fell into it, like some amnesiac thrown onto a stage, without a script, in the middle of a play already underway. (So, your first reaction is, … Continue reading

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The Tractatus Comico-Philosophicus: Rene Descartes

Rene Descartes Explains It All to You Here’s my method: I start by trying to doubt everything. I realize, however, that I cannot doubt that I am doubting, that I am thinking. Therefore, I exist. (I think, therefore, I am.) … Continue reading

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The Tractatus Comico-Philosophicus: Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

Søren Kierkegaard Takes a Leap of Faith Being a human being is weird. We’re not predetermined. Because we are free, nothing is required of us. All that we have, then, are our absurd commitments. Real commitment is shown when we … Continue reading

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