Thursday, November 20, 2008

World Philosophy Day, or A Lack of Education

Yes, I am the backwater, poor white trash that created a Facebook event page for World Philosophy Day. UNESCO, the sponsor of the global event, did not create one. Neither Richard Rorty nor Judith Butler created one. Nor Slavoj Žižek. Only I, the barely literate, suburban graduate student at the non-flagship university. It currently has seven “guests.” This truly is a global celebration....

Even before getting out of bed this morning, I waxed philosophical. Malika was attempting to kiss my chin, which I kept resisting. So she turned to biting my hand. I reproved, “Biting doesn’t solve any problems … except the lack of biting.” Assuming, of course, that a lack of biting could indeed be some sort of problem. (You know who you are.)

Then I started thinking of all the other “problems” we attempt to solve through equally faulty thinking. Education is perhaps the most misapplied solution. It is supposed to cure everything from global war and famine to suburban ennui.

Education only solves the problem of a lack of education.

Food will “cure” hunger. (With the political infrastructure to ensure delivery and a stable economy.) And not starting wars will end wars before they begin. (No, I do not expect anyone to really listen to or understand that last statement, let alone prudently apply it.)

Regardless, I love teaching. And I love learning, but usually on my own initiative. I despise being the slave to another’s poorly planned pedagogy and mountainous reading load. And I loathe merely grading exams in a field I have no business grading exams in. How could anyone think world peace would result from something that does not even bring me inner peace but its opposite?

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