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 | 9 Comments

Theories of the Origins of Religion

 “Why are there ants on the sidewalk?” asked the author of a popular science book. Well, people drop onto sidewalks stuff that ants like to eat. Sidewalks provide an unbroken substrate for the chemical trails that ants follow. And, of … Continue reading

Posted in Metaphysics, Philosophy, Religion | 6 Comments

A Brief Analysis of Two Common [sic] Core [sic] State [sic] Standards [sic] in ELA

“And be these juggling fiends no more believed, / That palter with us in a double sense.” –William Shakespeare, Macbeth The defenders of the CC$$ often make the claim that “the standards do not tell you what to teach.” That’s … Continue reading

Posted in Ed Reform | 37 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

Posted in Teaching Literature and Writing | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Existentialism, Humor, Philosophy | Leave a comment