Academia

How to Think About Politics

“How to Think About Politics,” my most recent essay, is being featured in the August issue of Fogged Clarity. I’ve also pasted it below. If you enjoy it, please consider linking to it, sharing it, or passing it along to others who might be interested. Thanks, as always, for reading. — How to Think About Politics Ryan McCarl First, question everything, beginning with the political ideas you inherited from your parents, family, community, church, and school.

Mark C. Taylor on 'reforming higher education'

Mark C. Taylor, contrarian philosopher and chair of Columbia University’s Department of Religion, caused a firestorm in the academic community with his op-ed, “End the University as We Know It,” in yesterday’s New York Times. The op-ed remains at the top of the NYT’s most-emailed list. There are few better places to have a debate about the philosophy of education than the University of Chicago, where the Core Curriculum and the school’s historical emphasis on liberal education and distaste for vocational education permeates everything.

Great lines from recent reading

It is impossible to think - seriously - with words like Classicism, Romanticism, Humanism, Realism. …One does not get drunk nor does one quench one’s thirst with bottle labels. -Paul Valery, quoted in C. Milosz, The History of Polish Poetry Beauty is momentary in the mind - The fitful tracing of a portal; But in the flesh it is immortal. Wallace Stevens –“Peter Quince at the Clavier” At no moment during my work did I feel boredom; indeed, I was playing more than toiling, and several passages preserve, I hope, a trace of my smile.