No recourse to the past any longer. There is no need to seek in tradition for what is natural inside every person.
The faculties are fundimental. Taking this as base, certain conclusions may be reached; even still there are other equally relevant foundations to start from.
A class taught with a sole lecture. Bring to me your philosophical problems and we will work through them. All spectra of philosophy will be fair game to consider, [fair game as in predator vs. prey, and two equally matched ethically bound teams].
It is the first day of classes, You are a freshman entering the first class of your college career. You are not unlike every other freshman entering college in many specific ways not worth elaborating upon. Suffice it to say you are 'seeking something you know not what'. The professor is in the classroom when you arrive. The first thing you notice is the open windows, the smell of the autumn leaves in the air, two birds arguing about something. You remove your shoes at the door, wash your feet and hands, and join the class converging on the circle. The furniture is all low to the ground, the wood floor highly polished, and the sofas are at shin level, with low backs for comfortably sitting with legs outstretch in front or crossed. The professor sits on what appears to be a wide ottoman, cross legged. Everyone seems to be clutching their coffee cups out of insecurity and nervous energy. The professor seems to be gathering his thoughts, reviewing his notes, and otherwise ignoring the goings on around him. But in a moment he calls the class together, and everyone sits in a semicircle in front of him. He stands, steps down onto the lecture floor, and writes his name on the board with a permanent marker.
He then has each of the students come down in turn and do the same. Everyone returns to their seat, and switching to dry erase, he writes the question, What does 'philosophy' mean to you? Pointing, to a name on the board, you see your name has been indicated. You look around and the teacher pantomimes that you should answer the question. You stammer out, as best you can, an answer you immediately know to be inadequate. Embarrased, you hide behind your coffee and incoherently conclude. Each student in turn answers in much the same fashion as you. The teacher is taking notes while each of you speak. He still has not said a word. The tension in the room has grown palpable; nervous smiles are exchanged, eyes are darting everywhere. Understandably only the professor seems to be calm right now. As the last student concludes, by riffing off another students koan-esque malapropism with one of his own, everyone laughs, and finally three or four of the students, sensing what comes next, ask at once what is the professor's answer to the question. The professor nods, looks each student in the eyes and says:
"Philosophy is a shit-stick." some giggle, some groan.
"Sorry to torture you all like this, but I want to try something different this semester. There are two attitudes toward introducing philosophy. The historical approach, and the conceptual approach. By that I mean we could either look at each philosopher in turn and in brief, their major ideas, historical setting, etc. or we can look at the concepts of philosophy independant of the circumstances of their birth.
"The proper scope of Philosophy, in my opinion, is not the historical unfolding of the thoughts of those now dead, each standing on another's shoulders, but rather, the singular effort every individual will to assimilate the aggregates of sensation. Some are more just more adamant about discussing it than others.
"Tonight I would like everyone to write ten pages in first draft format, of every question you would like answered, your thoughts on the matter, etc. Go back and forth on the pros and cons, just write exactly what you think without thinking about how it sounds. This assignment is simply pass-fail; over the remainder of the semester I will draw from these papers to present the course material in a fashion befitting the questions. Give this all of your attention; you are writing the ciriculum for this class. That's all for today."
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