Saturday, October 13, 2007

for love of enhancing humanity

I posted a note on philosophy of higher education, as I'm quite committed to that context of practicality, as I begin a new era of conceptual adventuring that doesn't pretend to seem practical (but is so).

“How does a naturalist make sense of the meaning, magic, and mystery of life?,” asks Owen Flanagan (Professor of Philosophy, Duke U.), in preface to The Really Hard Problem: meaning in a material world, 2007. “How does one say truthful and enchanting things about being human? It is not clear. [In the following book,] I make an attempt to explain how we can make sense and meaning of our lives given that we are material beings living in a material world. The picture I propose is naturalistic and enchanting. Or so I hope....We can adopt different legitimate attitudes toward the truth about our nature and our predicament. I recommend optimistic realism. Joyful optimistic realism. Life can be precious and funny. And one doesn't need to embrace fantastical stories—unbecoming to historically mature beings—about our nature and prospects to make it so.” [pp. xii-xiii]

Friday, September 28, 2007

how many moments of silence we need

The Code.

Most directly, this pertains to engagement with humanizing medical practice. But the larger issue—my interest especially—is the example this provides for (1) the importance of issues of empathy in the conceptualization of care, (2) the boundaries of the medical model of care for health care generally, (3) the applicability of health care modeling for scaling care in public life, and (4) the importance of care for philosophical ethics.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

How is appreciation related to intrinsic value?

• What's appreciation as such? How does it relate to implied high perceptibility? What is high perceptibility?

• Is deservingness in valuation no more than what's addressed standardly through the issue of "desert"?

• Must the meaning of 'high valuation' derive from a sense of intrinsic value?

Much more is tacitly put to question in "your highness," e.g., "caring," "genuinely sophisticated culture," "healthy market".

Sunday, May 27, 2007

honoring The Flow of discerning lives

I have more in mind with the title above than is addressed by its occasion: my overreading of Habermas' article on journalism and the market, and what I did discuss involved claims that (to me) call for explication—which was tacitly a self-provocation for doing some follow-up, particularly relative to the importance of "flow" (link below)—which is no impulsive or vague notion!

Beyond that—I came to realize—I wanted to share some thoughts on (2) the ontogenic basis of genuine valuation, (3) the deliberative consumer, (4) institutional enabling of deliberative vitality, and (5) think some more about "discursive vitality."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Stanley Fish is confused about learning to reason

In "Advocacy and Teaching" (New York Times, March 24), Professor Fish misunderstands the importance of advocacy for intellectual growth. He's correct that "Emily Brooker’s professor was wrong to enlist her in a political campaign," but he confuses a political sense of "public advocacy" with the curricular importance of advocacy, by his apparent complaining about "advocacy" itself.

Indeed, as he says, "a student assigned to study an issue must be equipped with the appropriate analytical skills," but that's for use in good reasoning, which standardly is used to make cases that take stands, i.e., advocate something. Fish occludes this purpose for building analytical skills.

Though it's surely useful that an "assignment is to give an account of the dispute about gay adoption rather than to come down on one side or the other," understanding each side of an issue requires seeing the claim to validity that each has as advocable stance.

One can't genuinely understand another's perspective apart from its claim to be worthwhile for advocacy, which involves doing one's best to "see" the case, achieved by taking on that perspective as best one can.

Of course, "academic performance and individual beliefs are independent variables," but analytical skills are only as good as the case-making they enable, which is independent of whether or not one actually subscribes to the well-made case. You'll never be persuasive about what you do believe, if you can't see the presumably good case for the stance you wish to change.

That said, I strongly subscribe to Professor Fish's objections to "intellectual diversity" conservatism.

Gary E. Davis

Sunday, March 18, 2007

philosophical practice as discursive reading

I feel a sense of closure on my participation in the Yahoo! Habermas forum—participation which has been especially intense the past month, for my part in the site's posting span from #1719—#1787 (hence little posting here). It's been a remarkable month for me because I've shown now, to my satisfaction, an integrated sense of theory and practice through discursive readings and interactions that apply my sense of philosophy as integrative discursivity in terms of my sense of Habermas and development that may also exemplify how Critical Theory has normative investment in a telos that's essentially Open.