“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ecology and Philosophy

Oh this is so good. I started to teach my graduate class with that title today.

We are going to be looking at a range of continental and analytic philosophy of the last two hundred years, and I'm so excited to be teaching this kind of thing again. I hadn't taught it at the graduate level since the Winter Quarter of 2006 at the University of California. I'd like to think (haha) that I've improved since then so we shall see.

One thing I've decided not to do is overload the reading. It seems to me that the packed graduate syllabus is trying to perform "I'm so clever and learned," which one really doesn't need to perform. And also "You better shape up! This is grad school!" which is also quite unnecessary. What is necessary, however, is to read excellent books excellently.


Anonymous said...

And tell them the had better use this time to read as there is no time to read after grad school.

Unrelated: The Washington Post has published a goat census story. Perhaps goats as citizens will follow otherwise why conduct such a census any more than, say, a tennis ball census? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/01/12/map-literally-every-goat-in-the-united-states/?wpisrc=nl_wnkpm&wpmm=1

Anonymous said...

I no longer pack my syllabus. We spend 3 to 4 weeks on Moby-Dick now.... We go slowly. The world is overwhelming enough. I want them focused and prepared.

Daniel Otto Jack Petersen said...

'What is necessary, however, is to read excellent books excellently.' Yes!

amanda vox said...

next week I defend my thesis (in philosophy) about ecology. the title is ´Ecology in the Anthopocene - an object-oriented perspective´. you are a major part of it. and I´m terrified.

that course sounds great.