As Wittgenstein put it in the “The Blue Book”:
Our craving for generality has [as one] source … our preoccupation with the method of science. I mean the method of reducing the explanation of natural phenomena to the smallest possible number of primitive natural laws; and, in mathematics, of unifying the treatment of different topics by using a generalization. Philosophers constantly see the method of science before their eyes, and are irresistibly tempted to ask and answer in the way science does. This tendency is the real source of metaphysics, and leads the philosopher into complete darkness. I want to say here that it can never be our job to reduce anything to anything, or to explain anything. Philosophy really is “purely descriptive.
Part one of the debate here.
Part two is here.
Some three years ago Dr. Justin Kalef wrote a beautiful piece about his time at VIU and about me. You can read it here.
One of the people who responded was Laura. She is a valued contributor to the Blog, a good friend, a brilliant student, and an all round cool person!You can read her “Letters from South America” here.
She has been ill for some time now which explains her recent absence from the Blog.
Her words are important:
Justin, to say these are nice words doesn’t do justice to this well deserved accolade. Bob is soooo cool; and you too. And I love when you say I was one of your greatest students. How can someone not be great having a maestro like you, and an inspiration like Bob? But one thing stands out for me within your piece. When you turn tough and talk about mediocrity, complacency, and low standards, even if one doesn’t feel mediocre, it certainly leaves a strong resonance: Am I doing something really innovative in my class? Am I doing something for my institution? Am I doing enough for my students? Can I change things? How can I change things? Am I complaining too much and not acting? Am I being excellent; the best I can be? Am I afraid of performance evaluation? Ay! I feel shaken up.