Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Summer course at MTSU: "A Stroll Through Western Civilization"

My Master of Liberal Arts course, scheduled to begin soon after the Spring semester ends in May:
MALA 6030 - Topics in Culture and Ideas: A Stroll Through Western Civilization Focused on interpreting the western philosophical tradition as an ongoing response to Plato (to whom British philosopher A.N. Whitehead famously said all of western philosophy is a series of footnotes) and Aristotle (whose students were known as Peripatetics, from the Greek word meaning "to walk up and down" while learning.

  • Arthur Herman, The Cave and the Light: Plato versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization
  • Frederic Gros,  A Philosophy of Walking
Inline image 2“...Socrates describes the world around us as a darkened cavern, across the back of which a puppet show is flashed with the figures of men, animals, and objects cast as shadows. For a modern audience, the description has an eerily familiar ring. It’s the world of television and the media at its most flimsy and superficial."
Image result for television as cave
Inline image 3"Walking is a matter not just of truth, but of reality. To walk is to experience the real. Not reality as pure physical exteriority... but reality as what holds good: the principle of solidity, of resistance. When you walk you prove it with every step: the earth holds good."
"To stimulate thinking, to move reflection forward, to deepen inventiveness, the mind needs the help of an active body. 'My thoughts sleep if I sit still," wrote Montaigne. "My fancy does not go so well by itself as when my legs move it.'"

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