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Re: [The Existential Society] College

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  • Monte Morris
    Will, take a look at this website. http://www.philosophicalgourmet.com/undergrad.htm This site surveys philosophers on the reputation of schools in the US, as
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 1, 2004
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      Will, take a look at this website.

      This site surveys philosophers on the reputation of
      schools in the US, as well as in other English
      speaking countries. The undergrad section gives advice
      to those looking for an undergrad education in
      philosophy, whereas the rankings pertain to masters
      and phd programs. However, since large schools will
      have classes taught by graduate students, knowing
      which school have the best programs will give you some
      advanced knowledge of the type of students attracted
      to the graduate programs.
      However, something that is often overlooked is that
      the most gifted intellectually does not necessarily
      mean that they are gifted teachers.

      Good luck looking at colleges!

      --- Will Quinn <kashmirlight@...> wrote:
      > Hello all,
      > I'm starting to look at colleges now, and I'm
      > wondering if you guys could give me any
      > reccomendations of colleges with good philosophy
      > departments. I would really appreciate any
      > assistence
      > you could render.
      > Thanks,
      > Will
      > __________________________________
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      --Monte Morris
      Philosopher wannabe
      "Needs to find a good quote"

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    • neurom9999
      Monte, Just got back from spending a week with my brother in New Port Richey, Florida. The days went by all too quickly, and now I m back on the nightshift
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 7, 2004
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        Just got back from spending a week with my brother in New Port
        Richey, Florida. The days went by all too quickly, and now I'm back
        on the nightshift grind at work, which immediately proceeded to suck
        the life right out of me.

        I much appreciate your thoughtful response to my post. I think
        there's a bit of synchronicity going on here. My Barbara had just
        begun to get into Thich Naht Hahn, and she had been very
        enthusiastic. And music was a major touchstone of affinity between
        Barbara and me. She had perfect pitch. The piano was her
        instrument, as well as all elements of percussion. She deepened my
        understanding and enjoyment of classical music.

        I'm going to order EITHER/OR and THE MIRACLE OF MINDFULNESS. Perhaps
        the Paley Library at Temple University in Philadelphia will grant an
        old alumnus access to their journal articles on Kierkegaard. Last
        fall I read three essays on THE MATRIX movie site: THE MATRIX AS
        PLATO'S CAVE AND THE MATRIX. As I said, seems like synchronicity at
        work here. I am so in tune with your suggestions, and I can't wait
        to start a new quest, using your roadmap. A twist: When the teacher
        is ready, the student appears.

        I, too, have had my problems with depression. Only reading,
        thinking, and acting seems to bring me around. Thanks again for
        occasioning a spark of enthusiasm to re-energize my lazy bones.


        --- In theexistentialsociety@yahoogroups.com, Monte Morris
        <monteamorris@y...> wrote:
        > Neurom,
        > sorry to take so long in getting back--life has been quite busy
        lately, and the sad thing is, is that this is the down time for my
        > I work in Japan, and we had graduation about 10 days ago. So,
        following that, there are tons of parties and other social
        obligations. After every school year, some teachers are swapped
        about, much like off season of professional sports. So, we have to
        have parties for staff and faculty who are retiring, as well as
        parties to send off those who are moving to different positions. To
        add to this, I am officially a government employee who moves about
        various schools, and personel in the town hall also retire and move
        about at this time of the year as well. Thus, there are more parties
        for me to go to. Ugh..
        > all this and i still have a girl friend to see.
        > Well, on to your message... comments interlaced throughout..
        > neurom9999 <neurom9999@y...> wrote:
        > When I was a young child, and first visited the public library, I
        remember the day that I was curious, and definitely intimidated and
        awed, by two sections in that library. One wall of books was devoted
        to "Mariology," commentaries, analyses, and essays devoted to the
        > mother of Jesus. And another--larger--wall of books was devoted to
        the works of Kierkegaard, and writings about Kierkegaard. At some
        point, I took home FEAR AND TREMBLING, but I think I was too young to
        > have any possibility of grasping its import.
        > (When I was younger, I lived in a small town and despite my natural
        curiousity, took the same mindset as most students--don`t want to try
        very hard and education is just a prerequisite to good employment.
        That attitude began to suffer terrible blows when I was in high
        school, and was destroyed in college. Perplexed by the attitude of
        college students, who complained about how difficult everything was,
        i was looking for a challenge. Hearing that a certain philosophy
        professor was so difficult, I took his class. It was everything I was
        looking for. After that semester, I declared a double major to
        English/philosophy and transferred out of the chemistry department,
        despite the protests of the faculty who were looking for someone with
        a theoretical approach to science. They tried to tell me that the
        courses would become more rigorous as I moved on. I told them if they
        want to retain students who are interested in the science, that they
        would have to find a way to make it more theoretical
        > from the beginning, so that they could weed out the job seekers---
        send them off to the business department, I cried!)
        > In adulthood, I actually came to existentialism through the back
        door. One of the textbooks for a college religion class I took was
        GNOSTICISM by Hans Jonas. There was an afterword in the book
        relating various parallels between the reality tunnel of the Gnostics
        > and that of the existentialists. All kinds of shared metaphors.
        The Gnostic conception of being "thrown into this world." The
        Gnostic cry, "Who has cast me into this body-stump?" And Jonas wrote
        his book before the Nag Hammadi discovery. The now-revealed world-
        view rapport between gnosticism and existentialism is startling.
        > (I came across the gnostics in a couple of classes. One was a
        philosophy of religion course I took, another was a history of
        Christianity course. However, in both classes, they were given token
        attention so I don`t know much about them. However, there are also
        some real parallels between Existentialism and some Buddhist thought,
        which I find quite interesting. Perhaps you could expound a bit more
        on the parallels of Gnostic and existentialist thought?)
        > Now, I've joined this group, as a discussion of THE SICKNESS UNTO
        DEATH has gotten underway. I'm knee-deep in Heidegger's BEING AND
        TIME, but it's been a slow read. I've done some web surfing to get a
        handle on Kierkegaard's context. Give me something easy--like
        > Finnegans Wake!
        > (I read parts of Being and Time in college as a sophomore. I think
        that I certainly didn`t have enough background to attempt that sort
        of book at the time. Indeed, looking at graduate schools, I saw that
        most Universities offer a year-long course on just that book! It is
        indeed a slow read, and not a book that I would recommend to people
        just starting out on existentialism.)
        > I'm going to pursue Kierkegaard, but, I haven't yet decided whether
        to begin with EITHER/OR, or to take Kierkegaard at his word that all
        his pseudonymous/polyonymous works were a subtrefuge to "deceive men
        into the religious," and cut to the chase.
        > (With Kierkegaard, I recommend starting with Either/Or, and going
        to a public library and becoming familiar with the scholarly journals
        database. In fact, with any philosophical undertaking, I recommend
        taking advantage of journal articles. I believe that all public
        university libraries are open to the public, and they will have a
        database to search for journal articles. I`m not so certain about
        city and town libraries. I believe that all Universities participate
        in the pracitice of sharing their resources, so if a journal is not
        in the library, they can request it from another.)
        > I'm grieving the loss of my beloved Barbara, who died suddenly last
        November. I want some grounding in philosophy, in order to create
        meaning in what has felt like a posthumous existence, and to make
        decisions in my life that reflect the best within me. The vocabulary
        > of existentialism seems to speak my language. I'm very much
        concerned with authenticity. I have so many choices to make.
        > (About a year before i came to Japan, I had a tough break up in a
        rather serious relationship, although it is nothing compared to what
        you are going through. HOwever, true to my self, I of course delved
        into books. I have a natural disposition to depression that seems to
        engulf everyone in my family, but have fought it off on my own. I
        think philosophy and great amounts of self-reflection have helped me
        to achieve this, as well as music. Music is a necessary part of life,
        and Kurt Vonnegut agrees with me! Although it took years to achieve,
        I am very much aware of what is going on in my mind and am now able
        to stop certain patterns of thinking before they took hold. No need
        for medications here!
        > Although I didn`t come across these books in this particular order,
        I would recommend doing something like this. First of all, read Thich
        Naht Hahn`s `The Miracle of Mindfullness.` An excellent book about
        living in the world and becoming aware of the miracle of existence. A
        friend of mine introduced me to this book immediately after he read
        it. It can be read in one sitting, though I recommend reading a
        chapter a day and taking time to reflect on what it said. There is a
        wealth of practical advice about taking control of your mind and your
        thoughts and it really does work.
        > Secondly, Kierkegaard`s `Works of Love` is an incredibly powerful
        book that can reshape your entire outlook on life. I`ve recommended
        this book to friends, and they all agree that it is great. One friend
        said `This is the only acceptable interpretation of Christianity that
        I`ve ever seen. Oddly enough, it`s also the most eloquant.`
        > Martin Buber`s `I and Thou,` though not nearly as influential as
        the other two, is also a great book, and comes from an entirely
        different approach. Most existentialists focus on the self and self-
        improvement. Buber focuses on relationships between human beings,
        nature and God. He was Jewish, though his ideas aren`t entirely
        traditional, particularly his conception of God.
        > Another book you might want to check out, but that I haven`t read
        is Derrida`s `The Gift of Death.` I came across book reveiws of this
        while researching Kierkegaard for my senior research and it has
        generated an incredible debate within philosophy that is still
        current. It is supposed to be the most personal and religious of
        Derrida`s writings.
        > Also, for anyone wanting a grounding in philosophy, Plato`s major
        works are required reading. Many scholars have remarked that the
        history of philosophy is simply a footnote to Plato. Any amount of
        knowledge of the history of philosophy goes a long way in
        understanding what you are reading. That`s why journal articles are
        so important. Many philosophers will already have made lots of
        connections and many things will have already been debated that are
        pertinent to what you are studying. It increases one`s appreciation
        and understanding of the matter incredibly.)
        > I will be following the discussion of Kierkegaard, and I will
        certainly jump in, if I have any questions or comments. I can see
        that you are very knowledgeable about Kierkegaard and other subjects,
        and I hope to gain a better understanding of existential issues in
        the ongoing discussion, and to contribute what I can.
        > (I`m certainly looking forward to future discussions on this board.
        Take care and happy reading!)
        > Monte
        > ----neurom9999
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        > --Monte Morris
        > Philosopher wannabe
        > Japan
        > "Needs to find a good quote"
        > ---------------------------------
        > Do you Yahoo!?
        > Yahoo! Finance Tax Center - File online. File on time.
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • jennyx3
        I went to F.I.U and its philosophy department was not so good. I suggest you look for a school with small classes. Small classes are the best for philosophy.
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 14, 2004
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          I went to F.I.U and its philosophy department was not so good. I
          suggest you look for a school with small classes. Small classes are
          the best for philosophy. All my large classes were nightmares. They
          were inpersonal, regimented, relied heavily on books instead of
          discussions, etc. Also, go to the school's website and check out the
          course offerings for philosophy.
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