How do you know anything? What is the role of society in that knowledge?
‘Men always love what is good or what they find good; it is in judging of the good that they go wrong.’ Rousseau.
‘If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.’ Henry Ford
‘Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.’ Mark Twain
‘Our separate fictions add up to joint reality.’ Stanislaw Lec
‘A person gets from a symbol the meaning he puts into it, and what is one man’s comfort and inspiration is another’s jest and scorn.’ Justice Jackson.
‘The education of moral sensibility with regard to the question of how we should treat others is only part of the story. The other part of the story is the quality of an individual’s own life as he experiences it. Here too the narrative arts have an enormous amount to offer. The idea of making one’s life worthwhile by choosing goals and striving towards them, sometimes deferring present satisfactions in the hope of greater rewards later, demands the imposition of a narrative structure upon it, as if one were the author of one’s own story.’ (Grayling 2003:14)
‘Only by being aware of a rich array of possible narratives and goals to choose from can one’s choices and actions be truly informed and maximally free… exposure to stories – which in part represent possible lives – is a vital ingredient in the ethical construction of an individual’s personal future history.’ (Grayling 2003:14)
‘Liberal education is disappearing in the English-speaking West, as expectations decline and schooling narrows into training focused mainly on participation in the life of the economy. It is worth iterating what a loss this is; for the aim of liberal education is to help people continue learning all their lives long, and to think, and to question. New and challenging moral dilemmas are always likely to arise, so we need to try to make ourselves the kind of people who can respond thoughtfully.’ (Grayling 2003:9-10)
Sir Ken Robinson on Changing Education Paradigms:
Some career advice from Alan Watts:
“What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?”
People answer poets, writers, ride horses … but you can’ t money that way…
Alan Watts advises to “forget the money”. “Because if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time: you will do things you don’t like in order to go on living that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing. Which is stupid!”
“Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life that spent in a miserable way. And after all, if you do really like doing what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what it is, you can eventually … become a master of it … and then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is … somebody is interested in everything. Anything can be interested you can find others who are… So it’s an important question: what do I desire?”
To finish, little quote from one of my favourites: ‘Philosophy begins in wonder. And, at the end, when philosophical thought has done its best, the wonder remains.’ Alfred North Whitehead