19 June 2006

Pools of ideas.

I am truly a fan (perhaps to the point of being obnoxious) of the Teaching Company philosophy courses. Instead of working with the time-tired pools of ideas floating around in my head, I have all this new input to work with. Heavens, one person living one life can only come up with so many thoughts, why not listen to what tons of philosophers over the ages have come up with?

Another benefit is that after listening to a course, I get more out of articles in magazines. For instance, in this morning's Science News*, I read the following:

"...activities aim to develop students' capacity to perceive and reflect on their emotional reactions and those of others. This skill makes it possible for them to negotiate solutions rather than to fall back on violent rituals. The objective is to imbue kids with enough emotional literacy to foster resilience..." This is just what Prof. Solomon talks about in the Passions course: How to step back and think about the emotion you are feeling, and choose a level of emotional response that is appropriate for who you are and the society that you live in. And this: "In the end, the goal is finding out the truth about yourself so that you can better control yourself."

What is the truth about yourself, and who am I? Back to the old phrase, "know thyself and happy be". It's a lifetime project just to know yourself.

*quoted from "Violent Developments: Disruptive kids grow into their behavior", by Bruce Bower. Science News, May 27, 2006, Vol. 169.


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