Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ask me anything

Why don't more people enjoy philosophy in an academic setting?

I wish I knew. I've found that when people who are out of school find out I'm a philosophy professor they are either really excited and tell me how much they love philosophy or else they tell me how boring it was and how much they hate it.

I had already read a lot of "philosophy" before I started studying philosophy in the classroom. I'm not sure what my sense of it would have been if I'd first encountered it in a required course.

Recently, I've been using the idea of hedonism as a "hook" into philosophy. Now, lest that sound too heterodox, I should note I stole the idea from Aristotle.

At the beginning of the Metaphysics, Aristotle says that everyone by nature desires to know and the proof is in the pleasure we take in what we see. I've started playing this idea with my students: let's say you just want to be happy. I'm not going to judge you or tell you that's stupid --- I agree --- what I'll do instead is help you see that we need to think about how best to be happy and to see that exploring our curiosity is an integral part of our happiness.

I remember asking my freshman "Why do you like going on the facebook." "To find out what my friends are doing." "Why do you want to know what your friends are doing?" "Because it's fun."

That's the point.

Ask me anything

Why are women so sloppy when it comes to their femininity and expect men to be hyper machos?

I know just what you mean. This is why I maintain such rigorous standards of masculinity for myself. Just don't tell the lady's I got snipped earlier this week.

This message has been brought to you by SNAG's for male contraception.

Ask me anything

Suppose you have a scholarship to BYU but cannot agree with mormon doctrine. Do you recommend keeping the scholarship and faking it until graduation or just cutting your losses and leaving?

A good question --- I as in a similar boat, and I ended up staying around to the end. Now, there are parts of my education I really loved --- BYU did, and I think still does, have a very good philosophy department, and I was quite happy with the narrow range of classes I took in depts. like philosophy and comp. lit. But I regret not being somewhere where I was more comfortable and fit in better...I had a great grad school experience, but realize that really missed the normal college experience.

Can you get the education you want there? Are you okay living the lifestyle? Or willing to take the risk of getting caught? Do you have options at schools of comporable academic quality that are financially viable?

The thing that I would emphasize, that I didn't come to realize until much later, is that whatever you decide, it is okay. If you decide that financially and academically, your best option is to go, you shouldn't feel like a phony for faking it --- they're the ones who are placing unreasonable demands on you. On the other hand, you are allowed to go somewhere else if you think it'll make you happier...

This has been Ideas Man's daily affirmation

Ask me anything

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Philosophy Skills

PlatoImage via Wikipedia
What skills, ideas, subjects, figures, problems should everyone who has majored in philosophy know?
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Stieg Larsson look out! Literary Agents --- Look Here!

I know that everyone is all into these Stieg Larsson novels, but Ideas Man happens to know (thanks to Wikipedia) that he is dead.

But the world is Jonesin' for more of his books.

Now, I'm not 100% sure what the books are about, but I think I have some idea insofar as I've read the titles of the books.

On the basis of which Ideas Man is willing to offer any interested literary agents/publishers that he'll write any of the following books on spec:

  • The Girl Who Opened A Can of Worms
  • The Girl With A Gimp Leg
  • The Girl With An Overactive Imagination
  • The Girl With a Heart-Shaped Tattoo
  • The Girl Who Speaks Fluent Ugaritic
  • The Girl Who Buys Lots of Flowers [This was Ideas Girl's suggestion]
  • The Girl Who Knew Just the Right Amount
  • The Girl With Two Eyes, Two Ears, A Nose and A Mouth
  • The Girl With A Fantastic Set of Knockers
  • The Girl With Prosaic Characteristics
  • The Girl Who Previously Was a Boy
  • The Girl Who Was a Logical Positivist
  • The Girl Ohne Eigenschaften
  • The Girl Who Had Sex With Tiger Woods and Was His Wife
  • The Girl Who Wrote Songs About Boys Who Sing Songs About Girls Who Are Boys Who Like Boys to be  Girls Who Do Boys Like They're Girls Who Do Girls Like They're Boys And Always Should Be Someone You Really Love
  • The Girl With the Pearl Earring and a Dragon Tattoo.  And also a Fantastic Set of Knockers.
  • The Girl Who Was Catherine Deneuve, Icon of French Cinema
  • The Girl Who Made Fallacious Appeals to Authority
  • The Girl Who Did Things and Also Had Stuff.
  • The Girl Who Was a Figment of the Author's Imagination
  • The Girl With Literary Pretensions of Her Own, Damnit!
  • The Girl Who Needs to SHUT THE HELL UP!
  • The Girl Who is Leaving Your Sorry Ass!

  • The Ideas Man, PhD. Who Was All Alone.
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Thursday, May 06, 2010

A Brief Introduction to Ideas Man

Lycian Apollo. Roman copy (Imperial era) of a ...Image via Wikipedia
So on Sunday, I'm going to participate in this thingy called Blog Jog Day, and I can only imagine the hordes of people who will therefore be reading these words.

Let me say: welcome.  Thank you for taking the time to meet Ideas Man.

Contained within these stylings are innumerable gems of wisdom, gateways to laughter and tears everything you could possibly hope to learn (provided you only want to learn what I've got to teach).

I invite readers overwhelmed by this vast array of wisdom to peruse the tags in hopes of inspiration, or to choose at random, as one might the I Ching.

Alternatively, the reader might consider the following brief guide to the Best of Ideas Man, as voted by our panel (which consists of Ideas Man and his cat).

For the record, the cat (Boo Radley) voted against including any of these --- thank goodness we made it clear I'd decide any ties myself.

Who is Ideas Man?
25 things you didn't know about Ideas Man
Can Ideas Man Sing?
No. But it's mildly amusing to watch him try.
Can Ideas Man Write?
Well, he thinks he can.  You be the judge:
A Short Short Story (Pentaccosted).
A Parable.
A Trip to Memphis.
A Doctor Seussian view of life in academia.
But is he funny?
Not really, but he is a bit of a jerk.
What's his deal with Greek Mythology?
Good question.  He seems to like it.  But look how it messed up his daughter.
If Ideas Man wrote pornography, what would it be like?
Not very good.
How does Ideas Man feel about all the attention he'll no doubt be getting?
He has mixed feelings about it.
What else should I read by Ideas Man?
Hate Glenn Beck?  Like Dungeons and Dragons? Like Glenn Beck? Hate Dungeons and Dragons?
Maybe you'd like his account of leaving the Mormon Church? (1,2,3)
Interested in politics: Ideas Man's reflections on Obama, Romney and others.
Take the most scientific personality quiz you ever will.
Like adorable stories about adorable kids?  Will you settle for mildly amusing stories about adorable kids?
   How to fail as a parent.
   How to try to succeed as a parent but still fail.
   Ideas Boy's Oedipal Complex.
   Curse words you can learning from Nick Jr.
I can't get enough of Ideas Man!  Where else can I find him?
You can read the first part of his novel, Behind Closed Doors: A Mormon Murder Mystery.
Buy part one of his memoir for your kindle (Bet you didn't know he knew about your kindle).
Hear him sing a song.
Listen to him recount the Da Vinci Code.
Read a chain novel he wrote with his sister.
Become his fan on "The Facebook."
Follow him on Twitter.

Love him, baby, love him.
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