Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Teaching Philosophy

I posted this to Bradford (cc Koski) recently, on one of the listservs:
I'm teaching adult philosophy students mostly.  We study Hegel, Heidegger, Fuller and Wittgenstein with a little Kierkegaard and Kaufmann around the edges.  From these greats, one may branch to others.

My friend Applewhite (collaborator on Synergetics) liked the Fuller + Wittgenstein combo quite a bit.  That's something I've developed.  Quadrays are a "language game" we use to investigate the foundations of mathematics. 

Is Kantian space 3D or 4D?  Verdict:  it's cultural. 

We also do some mathematics of course (philosophers always have), writing in Python perhaps (very pithy).  We might watch some of your Youtubes and have some paper plate sculptures in the Gallery.
I should be clear that the verb "to teach" as in "I'm teaching..." has come to mean new things.

Like I've been teaching Python for years without walking into 1879 Hall at Princeton and actually lecturing students.  I even teach in real time, yet not in a classroom.  Continuing to quote the same post (one typo fixed):
But the goal is not to disabuse Earthlings of their Cube fixation by coercive means.

We'll infuse some Martian thinking, that's unavoidable, but there's no "takeover" planned.  Humans are known to be violent and paranoid.  Partly why the Martians left their kids home (see "ratings" discussion) and surrounded their apartment with a LuxBlox fence [tm] is they know humans dislike anyone defying their Orthodoxies.  "When in Rome..."
However, philosophers especially, given their reputation as once at the top of the academic pyramid, have a need to be deeply informed about matters literary as well as political, and it's come to the point where not understanding Synergetics at all is like having egg on your tie.  They might eventually laugh you out of the department. 
So we needed a quick intro that's over quick, and Martian Math is it.  Takes maybe 10-15 minutes to get it in brief, with more background optional, and you're good to go.  Next time someone says something knowing about Fuller's Synergetics, you'll know to nod knowingly as you'll be in on it too.  Did you know there's a Synergetics Dictionary in four volumes (Garland Press) now on-line?
Most of my in-classroom realtime stuff has been for Saturday Academy, off and on, like when I did Martian Math @ Reed College.