Saturday, September 15, 2007


Do humans possess an immortal soul? The corporate board depicted in Monty Python's Meaning of Life discussed this: "...soul does not exist ab initio as orthodox Christianity teaches; it has to be brought into existence by a process of guided self-observation. However, this is rarely achieved owing to man's unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia."

I say: we should enjoy our distractions, should also attend to spiritual matters (which on my view may often coincide with those distractions), and -- as we learn from the pitiable Mr. Creosote -- should resist gluttony.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

"Yes, we're all individuals"

The Fall semester has about found its legs now, two weeks in. I'm doing something a little different in my Intro classes: on Fridays we're using Open Court's Monty Python and Philosophy, to supplement the week's more conventional approach. This week we read about "The Life of Brian" and took a look at a few clips, most pointedly the one in which Brian Cohen -- the mistaken Messiah -- insists to the multitude at his window that "you're all individuals" who don't need to follow anyone. I usually trot that clip out when explicating Emerson's Self-reliance, but it turns out to be a perfect comment on Plato's Euthyphro too.

The logic & critical thinking class has been fun, stocked as it is with lots of pre-law students who love to argue. And, as Monty Python reminds us, an argument isn't just saying "no it isn't!" (Yes it is!) (No, it ISN'T!!) Accelerating Intelligence News