Monday, November 19, 2007

Reisch, George, and Randall Auxier. "Pop Goes Philosophy: Don’t Keep Your Philosophy Under Your (Mr.) Hat." POP MATTERS November 14, 2007.

The point of philosophy going pop is not to exalt the ivory tower and herd people inside; it’s to give philosophers a chance to leave. . . . It was a tragic mistake, Dewey believed, to frame this debate so rigidly in terms of exclusive opposites. Plagued as it is “by opposition between the idea that education is development from within and that it is formation from without,” our ideas about how education actually works (almost certainly by some combination and interaction of both external influences and internal developments) remain vague. And that’s OK, as long as education theorists admit it and (as Auxier warns, below) refrain from peddling overly simple theories that pretend these matters are overly simple. Likewise, philosophers need to accept some vagueness about the surely complex relationship between the ivory tower and the larger world outside. However much time they spend self-reflexively focused in their professional world, that is, philosophers remain people who live and think within a much larger social and cultural world¬—complete with movies, TV shows, and rock bands—in which these “stresses and strains” move life along its intellectual and historical path. Even if they choose to ignore pop culture, or fail to see how mid-period Merleau-Ponty and post-Waters Pink Floyd are possibly connected, it does not follow that philosophy is necessarily insulated from pop culture. Think about someone or something that years ago helped make you who you are now. Did you understand clearly at the time how that influence was working and what it’s result would be? More here:

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