Book Club Archive

  • Chapter 5 In Chapter 5, Lanham attempts to highlight the two different ways of seeing once again, through an at or through form of attention. Focusing in one way tends to mean we don’t focus in the other way. For example, Lanham gives the research who specializes in a topic, and can even teach that topic well, but struggles to put it in context in a survey course of his or her field. Here he focuses on the joy available through play – of living life working at something rather than thinking about the success that comes through something. Interestingly, the example he gives of play is the geneticist Barbara […]

    Economics of Attention Ch 5-8

    Chapter 5 In Chapter 5, Lanham attempts to highlight the two different ways of seeing once again, through an at or through form of attention. Focusing in one way tends to mean we don’t focus in the other way. For example, Lanham gives the research who specializes in a topic, and can even teach that topic well, but struggles to put it in context in a survey course of his or her field. Here he focuses on the joy available through play – of living life working at something rather than thinking about the success that comes through something. Interestingly, the example he gives of play is the geneticist Barbara […]

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  • Back to Chapter 1. This chapter explores the art of Warhol and the Dada Movement as part of its argument that {fluff,style,rhetoric} has made a come back and is equally, if not more important than actual stuff: “The lesson was simple and, once learned, tedious. Art is not stuff made out of stuff taken from the earth’s crust. Art is the attention that makes that stuff meaningful,” (p. 43). This summary also applies well to the very chapter itself! The lesson begins with Andy Warhol, whose art and personality both emphasized a focus that did not delve below the surface level – […]

    Economics of Attention Chapter 2

    Back to Chapter 1. This chapter explores the art of Warhol and the Dada Movement as part of its argument that {fluff,style,rhetoric} has made a come back and is equally, if not more important than actual stuff: “The lesson was simple and, once learned, tedious. Art is not stuff made out of stuff taken from the earth’s crust. Art is the attention that makes that stuff meaningful,” (p. 43). This summary also applies well to the very chapter itself! The lesson begins with Andy Warhol, whose art and personality both emphasized a focus that did not delve below the surface level – […]

    Continue Reading...

  • As a follow-up to the reading of Dewey’s Democracy and Education, I recently read The Montessori Method. Written in 1914, it purports to be one of – if not the first – attempt at scientific pedagogy. The emphasis is on designing education around a method that actually works for the way children behave naturally, rather than the way we would like to make them behave. A quote from the opening chapter drew me in: The situation would be very much the same if we should place a teacher who, according to our conception of the term, is scientifically prepared, in one of the […]

    Philosophy Book Review: The Montessori Method

    As a follow-up to the reading of Dewey’s Democracy and Education, I recently read The Montessori Method. Written in 1914, it purports to be one of – if not the first – attempt at scientific pedagogy. The emphasis is on designing education around a method that actually works for the way children behave naturally, rather than the way we would like to make them behave. A quote from the opening chapter drew me in: The situation would be very much the same if we should place a teacher who, according to our conception of the term, is scientifically prepared, in one of the […]

    Continue Reading...

  • I recently read Peter Singer’s  while working on lesson plans for a Governor’s School course proposal. Although some of the information in here is a bit outdated, the overal premise is still relevant and extremely important to think about as the trend toward globalization continues to increase. The most basic way to state the problem of globalization is that humans have evolved and have lived with small groups of other humans for thousands of years. The problem solving skills, psychology, and ethics that we have developed revolve mostly around these small communities. Even within larger cities that have developed over […]

    Philosophy Book Club: One World

    I recently read Peter Singer’s  while working on lesson plans for a Governor’s School course proposal. Although some of the information in here is a bit outdated, the overal premise is still relevant and extremely important to think about as the trend toward globalization continues to increase. The most basic way to state the problem of globalization is that humans have evolved and have lived with small groups of other humans for thousands of years. The problem solving skills, psychology, and ethics that we have developed revolve mostly around these small communities. Even within larger cities that have developed over […]

    Continue Reading...

  • A new book explores the impact that a person’s media viewing habits can have on the quality of their life and ability to achieve happiness. WEBWIRE – Thursday, November 15, 2012 Meridian, Mississippi, USA – This November, author J.J. Sylvia IV has released the book “The Effects of TV: How To Be Happy and Live the Good Life,” available throughAmazon.com. This book focuses on the ways that viewing television can prevent one from living the good life. With degrees in both communication and philosophy, the author is able to bring these two fields together and make a convincing and thorough argument against […]

    The Effects of TV: How To Be Happy and Live the Good Life

    A new book explores the impact that a person’s media viewing habits can have on the quality of their life and ability to achieve happiness. WEBWIRE – Thursday, November 15, 2012 Meridian, Mississippi, USA – This November, author J.J. Sylvia IV has released the book “The Effects of TV: How To Be Happy and Live the Good Life,” available throughAmazon.com. This book focuses on the ways that viewing television can prevent one from living the good life. With degrees in both communication and philosophy, the author is able to bring these two fields together and make a convincing and thorough argument against […]

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  • Full Disclosure: John Tuepker was my high school history teacher and is also the uncle of Philosophy Matters contributor Fr. Jimmy Morrison. Wide Ranging Although I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book, what I found was a well-researched, thorough, and strong argument presented in a logical order, though the passion often overflows into exuberance on the pages. Often the text would grow larger, bolder, and more capitalized, clearly signaling the important messages, but verging on distracting at times. One of my favorite things about this book was the attention it gave to the history of politics in […]

    Philosophy Book Club: Going Down

    Full Disclosure: John Tuepker was my high school history teacher and is also the uncle of Philosophy Matters contributor Fr. Jimmy Morrison. Wide Ranging Although I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book, what I found was a well-researched, thorough, and strong argument presented in a logical order, though the passion often overflows into exuberance on the pages. Often the text would grow larger, bolder, and more capitalized, clearly signaling the important messages, but verging on distracting at times. One of my favorite things about this book was the attention it gave to the history of politics in […]

    Continue Reading...

  • “Teacher seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.” It is this ad near the beginning of Daniel Quinn’s  that kicks off the fast-paced story. The book was a quick afternoon read for me, as it was interesting enough to continuously compel me to keep turning the page. The main character responds to the ad and meets a gorilla, Ishmael, who communicates with him telepathically. Ishmael does most of the talking, and slowly prepares his student for his main point, often assigning him “thinking” homework. But the main point he eventually makes is that […]

    Philosophy Book Club: Ishmael

    “Teacher seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.” It is this ad near the beginning of Daniel Quinn’s  that kicks off the fast-paced story. The book was a quick afternoon read for me, as it was interesting enough to continuously compel me to keep turning the page. The main character responds to the ad and meets a gorilla, Ishmael, who communicates with him telepathically. Ishmael does most of the talking, and slowly prepares his student for his main point, often assigning him “thinking” homework. But the main point he eventually makes is that […]

    Continue Reading...

  • I had previously read  and enjoyed it a great deal, to this day recalling some of the passages that really stood out to me. However, I never looked bothered to check whether Bach had written more, so I was pleasantly surprised when one of my coauthors introduced me to a copy of  that they owned. JLS is a seagull who finds himself uninterested in the things most of the other birds are interested in. Instead, he becomes almost obsessed with pushing the boundaries of what he’s able to do, and he spends all of his time flying higher and higher […]

    Philosophy Book Club: Jonathan Livingston Seagull

    I had previously read  and enjoyed it a great deal, to this day recalling some of the passages that really stood out to me. However, I never looked bothered to check whether Bach had written more, so I was pleasantly surprised when one of my coauthors introduced me to a copy of  that they owned. JLS is a seagull who finds himself uninterested in the things most of the other birds are interested in. Instead, he becomes almost obsessed with pushing the boundaries of what he’s able to do, and he spends all of his time flying higher and higher […]

    Continue Reading...

  • The last section of Dewey’s discussed the importance of the scientific method to the way we now learn. He argued that this method broke down the opposition that had existed between rationalism and empiricism in philosophy. Now, empiricism was called to check on that which reason and theory suggested in a way that it never had been before, and he believes this is a vast improvement in the way we acquire knowledge.  The theory, in turn, gives context to our sense experience. The way to enable a student to apprehend the instrumental value of arithmetic is not to lecture him upon the benefit […]

    Democracy and Education part 4

    The last section of Dewey’s discussed the importance of the scientific method to the way we now learn. He argued that this method broke down the opposition that had existed between rationalism and empiricism in philosophy. Now, empiricism was called to check on that which reason and theory suggested in a way that it never had been before, and he believes this is a vast improvement in the way we acquire knowledge.  The theory, in turn, gives context to our sense experience. The way to enable a student to apprehend the instrumental value of arithmetic is not to lecture him upon the benefit […]

    Continue Reading...

  • This week, we are continuing our discussion of Dewey’s Democracy and Education. One of his themes that has been on my mind is that passing on communities through education is important, but the size of that community affects what gets passed on. I believe that this reflection is extremely important when considering the current educational system in the U.S. We are trying to set national standards for a huge geographical area with a wide, wide variation in beliefs. When considered from that perspective, it seems obvious how much trouble it might be trying to set one national curriculum. If this […]

    Book Club: Democracy and Education part 3

    This week, we are continuing our discussion of Dewey’s Democracy and Education. One of his themes that has been on my mind is that passing on communities through education is important, but the size of that community affects what gets passed on. I believe that this reflection is extremely important when considering the current educational system in the U.S. We are trying to set national standards for a huge geographical area with a wide, wide variation in beliefs. When considered from that perspective, it seems obvious how much trouble it might be trying to set one national curriculum. If this […]

    Continue Reading...