Thursday, December 22, 2005

not more knots!?!

With my Christmas knitting finally finished, I finally picked up my Eris again.

My friend Y stopped over yesterday afternoon for a craft day. She came over to finish up a tea cozy that she is making. It’s made in a loose st with fuzzy blue yarn knit together with a black yarn. She doesn’t have any of the supplies needed to do all that fancy stuff (like sewing up the sides and making pompoms), but I do. It was great fun. I always enjoy visiting with Y; she really is the pinnacle of a burst of sunshine.

School is out and Christmas is neigh. For the holidays I’ve returned to reading Daniel C. Dennett’s Freedom Evolves. It’s an amazing book that tackles ideas like free will and how they stand with philosophers in the present day. Much of what he says is fascinating, but there are a few points (well, chapters really) that I just cannot tolerate. For example, Chapter 7, The Evolution of Moral Agency, discusses this kind of social Darwinism along the lines of David Sloan Wilson (who if I don’t miss my guess wrote the book Darwin’s Cathedral, which I could not force myself to keep reading because it made me more annoyed than Descartes). Basically it uses Darwinistic theory to look at how group behaviour (like a flock of birds or human religious communities) could have developed where individuals sacrifice their own personal reproductive fitness in order to strengthen the fitness of the group. Eventually they all end up talking about asterism in individuals. I’m not giving it justice here, mostly because it annoys me. Dennett is great author, but even he makes the same leap from one to the other. There is perhaps a hidden assumption or premise here somewhere, but damned if I can see it. Perhaps there might be a proff in my university that is qualified to teach a directed studies class in Dennett, goodness knows there isn’t anyone qualified to teach the philosophy I want to learn about.

it seems odd to me that my professors are so eager to dismiss a collection of schools of though (what they call European or continental philosophy) out of hand and with such cruelty, yet they are unable or unwilling to explain what is wrong with it or even to describe what it is about beyond a few catch phrases. Maybe I should shit-can this whole education thing and go buy a farm somewhere. ‘but that’s not important, never mind.’

Merry Christmas and
Happy Holidays!

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