Wednesday, November 11, 2009

baseball versus football

My colleague and I had a good time yesterday taping "In the Middle," a public access television interview show produced on our campus and scheduled for broadcast on Dec. 26.

Responding to a question about how we go about introducing students to philosophy, we hit upon an interesting cleavage in our respective approaches. "I ask them what they're worried about," said my colleague. Philosophy on her view is the systematic, critical interrogation of the worrisome dimension of life.

I took a different tack. "I tell my students what William James told his: philosophy is just an unusually obstinate attempt to think clearly." And, I added, it's also an attempt to think clearly about our hopes and dreams and delights, not just our worries.

"Well," said my colleague, "that's because you're a happy pragmatist."

"And you're a Peircean," I retorted.

It was all in good fun, and in fact it's got us talking about a collaborative project in which we will explore our different wings of the pragmatic corridor in a very applied way: we'll consider the respective merits and liabilities of baseball and football. (She's the football fan.) Stay tuned...

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