Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I’m sorry, but I can’t wait. Trust that I’ll keep sending updates along the way.
Remember that email I sent with the subject line "I went crazy..." that you trashed unread? It wasn’t about you. The subject line’s sentence was completed about a book I felt desperate to find among all the boxes of my stored books. It was about an obsession with literary calling I can’t satisfy.
-- gary e. davis --- 12:51 PM
Friday, August 28, 2009
And a fair market of ideas is integral to democratic life.
I’m very engaged with current events on the formation of health care legislation. It seems I can’t stay away from wanting to address Habermasians (though I try to stay away these days).
-- gary e. davis --- 4:05 PM
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I’m deeply affected by the Event of Ted Kennedy’s death—as a very public death, as a Kennedy death, and as American Event.
As American Event: Not merely an American event rightly spread all over the news cycle, it’s a story of the dependence of democracy on leadership that can be irreplaceable.
As a Kennedy death: I was merely 11 years old when John F. Kennedy was elected, but I was childishly inspired to become interested in civic life, such as an 11-year-old can understand anything, and I was devastated at 14 by his assassination. I was devastated at 18 by Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination, and I was persistantly angry through the Vietnam years by the stupidity of “silent majority” conservatism (then evangelical conservatism). I held for good an idealistic liberalism that was supposed to be intrinsic to our American character, but I was living an America that was failing its children, failing, failing!
After doctoral work, I wanted to devote my life to K-12 educational reform, as a grand matter of political philosophy. I would not let my idealism be undone. But the politics of the '80s wore me down; so I “retired” to academic life.
For all the wisdom of prudence I’ve tried to gain, I’ve not let my idealism be undone. Nor have I forgotten how easy it is to take a tragic view of life and to be undone by that.
It’s a long and painful road to the playfulness you’ve seen here. Now’s not the time to recall the bridge. But know this: I do not play naïvely. I play for all that matters in lives that make themselves matter.
As a very public death: Kennedy’s passage is a reminder to us all of the importance of who is in our lives—“what” is, O, be everlasting!—and a reminder of inevitable ending.
Yea!, I’m still alive to do something worthwhile and well.
-- gary e. davis --- 12:46 PM
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
That header’s a mouthful. But it fits.... In anthropology, there’s commonly a sense of the “human career” as belonging to our species, as legacy of lineage, as well as belonging to the span of a life. It’s not about a job, it’s the whole adventure of a life’s bearing.
-- gary e. davis --- 5:17 PM
Monday, August 10, 2009
Believe it or not, this is a transition to dwelling in ethical theory. But I need the transition.
Way down the road, I’ll get into details of a view of excellent child development which backgrounds my view on ethical life in terms of several leading philosophers. For the near term, I want to focus on some ethical notions that take for granted that a sense of growing up as developmental excellence is easy to detail, which the next posting renders; so, I’ll detail that later.
-- gary e. davis --- 8:55 PM
Saturday, August 08, 2009
In Natural Goodness, Philippa Foot is haunted by Wittgenstein. “For one recalls [which she does several times in her short book] Wittgenstein's famous death-bed insistence that he had had a wonderful life....Interpreted in terms of happy states of mind it would, however, have been very puzzling indeed if a life as troubled as his had been described as a good life. What Wittgenstein said rang true because of the things he had done, with rare passion and genius, and especially on account of his philosophy. Did he not say elsewhere ‘The joy of my thoughts is the joy of my own strange life’?” (p. 85, quoting Norman Malcolm quoting LW).
-- gary e. davis --- 6:50 PM