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  • Harvard course on moral philosophy available to all

    NYT story

    video

    Just FYI. Sounds fascinating to me.
    Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
    Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

  • #2
    I don't need no stinking moral class...

    Signed: Professor. Henry Gates...
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Originally posted by rubyrose View Post
      NYT story

      video

      Just FYI. Sounds fascinating to me.
      Interestingly enough, much of what Dr. Sandel preaches is in direct opposition to the majority of the viewpoints you put forward on these boards, Rubyrose.
      \

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SRT936 View Post
        Interestingly enough, much of what Dr. Sandel preaches is in direct opposition to the majority of the viewpoints you put forward on these boards, Rubyrose.
        Dr. Sandel doesn't preach. He teaches. There's a huge difference.

        No GOOD teacher preaches anything.

        Dr. Sandel doesn't put forward any specific moral framework as "the best" or "the only righteous" one.

        He asks questions. He pushes people to think past their own immediate assumptions. He encourages people to go beyond a knee-jerk response to any situation based on what they grew up with or what is popular among the people who surround you.

        And guess what? That is precisely what I did when I was teaching.

        I have news for you. Getting people to question their most cherished beliefs -- which is what Dr. Sandel's class offers -- is very much in line with my own philosophy -- or rather, pedagogy, which is a fancy word for the philosophy that undergirds one's practice as an educator.

        I don't tell people what to think here, though many if not most assume that I do. I simply present a point of view that is vastly different from what the majority here hold dear. I don't expect anyone to agree with me. I do point to fallacious reasoning -- another practice that fits very well within Dr. Sandel's approach to teaching. But when I do that, more often than not the participants whose reasoning process is being challenged end up engaging in personal attacks, rather than addressing the faulty logic.

        My own moral philosophy derives from the American Pragmatists, exemplified by John Dewey, C.S. Pierce, and Richard Rorty. I do not know enough about Dr. Sandel to know what his own leanings are in that regard. However, the class isn't about getting students to adapt his preferences, but rather getting them to think by discussing moral choices in the context of moral philosophy, applying, for example, the differences between an existentialist, a pragmatist, a utilitarian, and so forth, in the process of developing an answer.

        If my philosophical preferences are different from Dr. Sandel's, there is nothing to be troubled about. Reasonable people often disagree. It is often in the process of rationally discussing our differences that new ideas may emerge that neither side considered before.

        But when the discourse descends into expressions of hostility toward one or more participants in the discussion, there is nothing positive to be gained. I am sure Dr. Sandel will agree with me 100% on that!

        Now, perhaps you could explain to me why you believe that what I say here is opposite to what you understand Dr. Sandel to believe.

        Very often I find that in these forums, what people think I've said or believe comes out convoluted and nowhere near recognizable to me. Sometimes that is due to my not having made myself clear. But often it is due to people applying stereotypes and assumptions about me that have no basis in reality.

        Incidentally, you might want to edit your sig a bit. You mean "bear" not "bare." Normally I don't bother correcting people, but if it's in a signature the error gets repeated every time you post. No intent to embarrass you -- as I age I find myself making errors like that myself.
        Last edited by rubyrose; 09-28-2009, 05:26 PM.
        Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
        Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
        A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rubyrose View Post
          Now, perhaps you could explain to me why you believe that what I say here is opposite to what you understand Dr. Sandel to believe.
          More often than not, you espouse very liberal ideals. A key element of Dr. Sandel's philosophy, communitarianism, finds that the liberal ideals are, to quote the good doctor, "are ontologically and epistemologicaly incoherent."

          Originally posted by rubyrose View Post
          Incidentally, you might want to edit your sig a bit. You mean "bear" not "bare." Normally I don't bother correcting people, but if it's in a signature the error gets repeated every time you post. No intent to embarrass you -- as I age I find myself making errors like that myself.
          I hate to correct you, but you are wrong. The original Greek word used in the proverb directly translates to "bare" as in to expose meaning directly to expose your shield to the enemy. It does not mean to carry or lift your shield as we would think in modern English. Actually, a more correct translation of the Greek phrase would read, "I will always bare my shield toward the enemy." but the way it is in my signature is how it is most often quoted today, especially in law enforcement circles. I may edit it to a more correct translation, but the meaning will remain the same.
          \

          Comment


          • #6
            duplicate post
            Last edited by JPR; 09-29-2009, 02:18 AM.
            Jubilant Patriotic Republican

            America gave Obama the benefit of the doubt when they elected him. Obama is now giving America the doubt of the benefit of his governance......Change you can bereave in!..JPR

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by rubyrose View Post
              Dr. Sandel doesn't preach. He teaches. There's a huge difference............
              I listened to him and I don't find him any different than a radio talk show host. It is all personal opinion. His opinion, and the opinions of his participants.
              It's a lot like these forums.

              I wonder if that Hawvud professor that teed off on that cop took his course?
              If he did, I wonder what his grade was.

              I have to admit though. He makes me jealous. I wish I could get paid a handsome salary with benefits conducting BS sessions.
              Last edited by JPR; 09-29-2009, 02:22 AM.
              Jubilant Patriotic Republican

              America gave Obama the benefit of the doubt when they elected him. Obama is now giving America the doubt of the benefit of his governance......Change you can bereave in!..JPR

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rubyrose View Post
                I have news for you. Getting people to question their most cherished beliefs -- which is what Dr. Sandel's class offers -- is very much in line with my own philosophy -- or rather, pedagogy, which is a fancy word for the philosophy that undergirds one's practice as an educator.
                The irony here is that you're one of the most stubborn narrow minded people I've seen on the internet. You try to cloak it in intellectualism and lofty jargon and think you'll get away with it because people are too dumb to know better.

                The original is a shining example. You assume that people differ from your uber-liberal ideology because they haven't taken the time to rationalize what they believe. Let's be clear, babies are liberal. It takes no thought whatsoever to be a liberal. Liberalism is the natural state before man experiences life and consequences, rationalizes his thoughts and developes his personal character to be a better person. Liberalism makes demands from others while you wallow around in your selfish flesh.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SRT936 View Post
                  More often than not, you espouse very liberal ideals. A key element of Dr. Sandel's philosophy, communitarianism, finds that the liberal ideals are, to quote the good doctor, "are ontologically and epistemologicaly incoherent."
                  Ahh, just as I thought. You assume because some of the things I say fall under liberalism that therefore I am a liberal. The problem here is that on this discussion board, for all intents and purposes there are only two points of view: liberal and conservative. Few have even heard of communitarianism. Or they conflate it with socialism, which they take as an outgrowth of liberalism when in fact the philosophical foundations of liberalism are in conflict with socialism.

                  You have taken a stereotypical label and applied it to me.

                  Communitarianism still maintains many aspects of liberalism. But it is nonetheless a very different perspective on politics and moral philosophy from both liberalism and socialism; and it is particularly antithetical to Marxism. I discuss the differences in a chapter of my dissertation. If you care to read that, I can give you (privately) a link to its location on the internet.

                  The philosophers I named above are founders of communitarianism. They stand in direct contrast to neo-liberalism, which is the philosophical ground of libertarianism.


                  I hate to correct you, but you are wrong. The original Greek word used in the proverb directly translates to "bare" as in to expose meaning directly to expose your shield to the enemy. It does not mean to carry or lift your shield as we would think in modern English. Actually, a more correct translation of the Greek phrase would read, "I will always bare my shield toward the enemy." but the way it is in my signature is how it is most often quoted today, especially in law enforcement circles. I may edit it to a more correct translation, but the meaning will remain the same.
                  I stand corrected, and I appreciate the clarification.

                  ****
                  Addendum:

                  Even within Pragmatism (which has, for the most part, peculiarly American origins), there are many differences. I don't adhere to any single perspective within that arena, and I have many questions about all of them.

                  My political philosophy is constantly evolving. For instance, there WAS a time when I was anti-authority (and by extension anti-cop). That has changed dramatically in recent years and I frequently spar with some of my liberal friends over that.

                  I also reject the individualism within certain orientations to feminism, though I do proudly take the title of feminist. There are at least 4-6 philosophical orientations within feminism, one of which is liberal feminism, which emphasizes individual freedom over responsibility to others.

                  If you care to explore it, one easy-to-read book is Carol Gilligan's "In a Different Voice," which discusses the differences between the ethic of justice and the ethic of care. She ascribes gender differences to those orientations. I do not.

                  Communitarianism has more in common with the ethic of care as opposed to the ethic of justice.
                  Last edited by rubyrose; 09-29-2009, 11:00 AM.
                  Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
                  Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
                  A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JasperST View Post
                    The irony here is that you're one of the most stubborn narrow minded people I've seen on the internet. You try to cloak it in intellectualism and lofty jargon and think you'll get away with it because people are too dumb to know better.

                    The original is a shining example. You assume that people differ from your uber-liberal ideology because they haven't taken the time to rationalize what they believe. Let's be clear, babies are liberal. It takes no thought whatsoever to be a liberal. Liberalism is the natural state before man experiences life and consequences, rationalizes his thoughts and developes his personal character to be a better person. Liberalism makes demands from others while you wallow around in your selfish flesh.
                    Well well well.

                    Just as I predicted. A personal attack rather than engaging in thoughtful, intelligent discussion.

                    As for stubbornness and close-mindedness, please tell me which conservatives here have been open to differences of opinion on politics, other than very minor ones? The board here is about 95% conservative, and of those about 90% solid, unrelenting, close-minded -- like you.

                    As for selfishness, there is nothing more selfish than the radical individualism of conservatism. Which, btw, is philosophically grounded in Classical Liberalism.

                    And actually, I am not a liberal. But this board constructs a radically bifurcated world, dividing conservatism (good) vs. liberalism (evil -- not just bad, evil), as if those were the only ways of looking at the world.

                    There are more things in the world than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Jasper.
                    Last edited by rubyrose; 09-29-2009, 10:37 AM.
                    Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.
                    Happiness never decreases by being shared. -- Buddhist quotation
                    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. -- Proverbs 15:1

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rubyrose View Post
                      Well well well.

                      Just as I predicted. A personal attack rather than engaging in thoughtful, intelligent discussion.
                      You believe that you can insult people's intelligence with impunity and somehow you are above it all? LOL.
                      As for stubbornness and close-mindedness, please tell me which conservatives here have been open to differences of opinion on politics, other than very minor ones? The board here is about 95% conservative, and of those about 90% solid, unrelenting, close-minded -- like you.
                      No insult there! LOL. Add hypocrisy to my comments, I left that one out. I was once liberal, we all were before we came of age but some of us never grow out of their youthful fantasies about how the world should work. I haven't seen anything resembling open mindedness from you, just a persistent condescension to those you feel are below you, which is that 95%.
                      As for selfishness, there is nothing more selfish than the radical individualism of conservatism. Which, btw, is philosophically grounded in Classical Liberalism.
                      That makes no sense but I'm sure you think it does. Being individualistic does mean what you think it means though, you never grew that far.
                      And actually, I am not a liberal. But this board constructs a radically bifurcated world, dividing conservatism (good) vs. liberalism (evil -- not just bad, evil), as if those were the only ways of looking at the world.

                      There are more things in the world than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Jasper.
                      Yes, and I've rejected all of them. That's the definition of having a philosophy isn't it? You are indeed a liberal, why run from it? No, we don't all fit into a box but that does not mean that our basic world view can't be defined as right, left or somewhere in the middle.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rubyrose View Post
                        Ahh, just as I thought. You assume because some of the things I say fall under liberalism that therefore I am a liberal.
                        Just so we understand each other, I did not make a blanket statement that you are liberal. I said that you often espouse liberal ideals. That is a very different creature.
                        \

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Many of these issues were addressed in the first year of law school, for the purpose of forcing people to analyze problems that are fraught with emotion and to get them to understand why they have the reactions that they do.
                          Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                          Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JasperST View Post
                            Liberalism is the natural state before man experiences life and consequences, rationalizes his thoughts and developes his personal character to be a better person. Liberalism makes demands from others while you wallow around in your selfish flesh.
                            What

                            Do you have any sort of source on this definition of liberalism or is this a JasperSt original?
                            "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

                            — John Stuart Mill

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Citizen85 View Post
                              What

                              Do you have any sort of source on this definition of liberalism or is this a JasperSt original?
                              Do you have any original thoughts? I explained why I believe it's true. We are born dependent and needy. We grow up being, nurtured and cared for. We think only of ourselves and must be taught self reliance, work ethics, caring for others and personal responsibility. Liberalism is our default worldview.

                              That's why young adults are overwhelmingly liberal, they haven't been on their own for long and haven't formulated why they believe what they do. Some grow into adulthood dependent on others and see government as their surrogate parent and see it in terms of what they can get from it. The fact that the source of the funding comes from the life energy of others doesn't disturb them, they see it as a right as a citizen. That's why I say it's selfish.

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