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40796Re: [existlist] Re: Testing

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  • Exist List Moderator
    Mar 13, 2007
      On Mar 11, 2007, at 11:24, Aija Veldre Beldavs wrote:

      > so what's the point of scholarship other than a specialized sport?
      > why
      > not just go hiking, swimming, mountain climbing, handicap chair racing
      > or whatever one is capable of ?

      Last week Ed Schiappa (sp?) spoke to a seminar I'm attending. Ed is a
      "pragmatist" and colleague of Cornell West and Richard Rorty. To be
      honest, reading Ed's book on Defining Reality was a challenge, but
      worth the effort -- he critiques how laws are written and interpreted
      and why we even have laws.

      My theory is we have laws because we assume other people are stupid
      and/or selfish and need to be restrained from harming the "rest of
      us" who must be smarter. You would think some laws cover things
      amazingly obvious to people, but apparently not. After all, if people
      thought Kant or the Golden Rule was right, we wouldn't need laws
      against theft or murder.

      Anyway, one of the things Ed said, much to the chagrin of the
      professor leading the seminar:

      "Academics in the humanities make a career of splitting hairs and
      arguing about definitions. Entire careers are built on debating
      meanings, not doing anything serious. I mean, come on, if I had to
      live on a farm and work, I wouldn't be arguing that the definition of
      'rape' is cultural and 'truth' is relative."

      Ed said you become an academic because you can. It's a choice to sit
      around thinking, while other people grow the food, cure disease,
      fight crime, and protect the ivory towers from invaders. Then, we
      spend our time critiquing how these workers do their jobs.

      At least he's honest. He's also a liberal activist, very active in

      Why am I in academics? Because I enjoy it. If I didn't enjoy it, I'd
      have to get a "real job" and create something, other than strings of
      words and "deep thoughts" on nothing at all.

      - C. S. Wyatt
      I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
      that I shall be.
      http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
      http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
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