Monday, August 09, 2010

Episode 686: Is Philosophy For Me?

Ever start out really liking a book, but growing more uncomfortable with it as you go along? That's what's happening to me with this Mark Rowlands book of pop philosophy. (I've subsequently discovered it's not the only one he's authored. There's another one drawing lessons from television.) Oh, all the things I praised it for still stand. It's breezily readable and lucidly constructed. That's the problem though. It seems intended to advance Rowlands's own philosophical beliefs (biases?), and I would prefer this agenda to be less transparent, especially since Rowlands's essays seem more interested in systematically demolishing strands of thought he doesn't personally agree with so as to force the reader into agreeing with his cleverness, rather than encouraging the reader to think for himself. It's probably unfair of me to take issue with the anti-Christian slant of his philosophical positions, but as a Christian, I'm not convinced that my beliefs and philosophy are irreconcilable. This is an area I'd be interested in exploring further, if I have the time. On a related note, the new Open Studies Certificates have been announced, and there's a new one on Writing Features and Articles for Publication. It's an online course, which appeals to me because I can zip through it at my own pace. (A big reason for choosing the one in Archaelogy this year was that it had so few sessions. I hate adding unnecessarily to my schedule.) There's one on Philosophical Studies again, of course, but looking at the topics covered, we wouldn't get to anything I'm honestly interested in until summer term, and by then, my mind'll definitely be on my final examinations, followed by partying and graduation, so I really don't want to still be tied down, attending a weekly lesson. I will likely do more reading on philosophy in future though, especially since I've learnt that the university has a copy of Alvin Plantinga's The Nature Of Necessity, in which he sets out a free will defence to the problem of evil from a Christian perspective.

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