Tuesday, March 08, 2011

WHO KILLED PHILOSOPHY?


Can you imagine a world where reason no longer existed? Or more precisely… a society where reason -that curious ability that makes us human, were no longer cultivated, studied or simply vindicated?

What kind of society would that be? What kind of citizens would live there? Or, what kind of future would hold for such a society? Would it be even possible to talk about a “human society” as such?

Not long ago, this type of questions belonged exclusively to the fiction literary sphere. Today, these questions unify the diverse philosophical community in Mexico where Philosophy and, in fact, the entire field of humanities, have both been eliminated from the Core Curriculum in the public and private education systems.

Who did this? On what grounds? Is this a joke?, a bad one!?...

Who would dare to do such a thing to the most ancient academic discipline? A tradition of thought whose western lineage stretches from Socrates and Aristotle to Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas to Kant and Hegel, and on throughout modernity to the present, and whose eastern traditions embrace Persia, India, China, Korea, Japan and the Middle East, let alone the Mesoamerican indigenous peoples?

Who in his right mind would eradicate the professional study of fundamental problems connected with life itself, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language?

Who would keep the new generations of young people from developing the most powerful instrument they have (namely, their own mind... their own reason) to think and to meet the extraordinary challenges of today´s world?

Five years ago, I wrote a post about the curricular review undertaken at Harvard where Philosophy was vindicated as one of the cornerstones of the student´s academic formation. Today, UNESCO recognizes the importance of teaching Philosophy even at pre-school and primary levels whereas in Mexico, it is eliminated?

Do the authors of this nonsense really expect that we will stand on the sidelines, mute, as mere spectators?


Note: Ironically, the brain behind this mess will be the 2011 Commencement speaker at Stanford next June.


Friday, June 06, 2008

HEY, GUESS WHO´S BACK YO!!


Hey my friends! I´ll catch up with everyone of you asap!!!
It feels so good to be back!

Friday, March 14, 2008

WHERE THE HELL IS PAUL VAN DYK?


YEAH! I´LL COME BACK SOON MY FRIENDS!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

CEFILIBE GOES ONLINE!


I have just learned that my buddy Cefilibe has finally decided to launch his personal weblog. That´s great news! This guy is really, really good. I wish him the best on this new project.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

NADER, A LOST READER?

As everybody knows, Ralph Nader, 4-time presidential contender, announced a new bid for the White House as an independent candidate today. I regard Mr. Nader as among the most distinguish progressive political activists in the United States nowadays but, this time, I have to say I believe his decision is a mistake, basically for himself.

Mr. Nader does not seem to be reading the same book (or at least the same page) the majority of the people of the U. S. is reading aloud: that which narrates the end of the Bush Regime and his wacky policies. It is idle to say that for that end, it is necessary to add up forces (not to subtract them in any way) there where there´s better chances to succeed. Obviuosly, it does not imply to give a blank check of support, it implies to understand history.

Ralph Nader is a great guy, no doubt about it, his intentions are the best (to represent those who have no voice, to have a much broader debate, to push the Democratic candidates to take a more progressive stance) but his moment could not be worse, basically because having no chances to have a real impact on the race this time, he will only end up diminishing his own voice. I hope I am wrong.

Friday, February 22, 2008

OBAMA VA!

After Wisconsin´s Democratic primary and the Democrats Abroad results, things seem to have come down to a point where the question is not whether Barack Obama will get the Democratic nomination for president in 2008 or not, but rather if Hillary would be a good VP running mate (hehehe… just kidding!) What I really want to say is that I share the enthusiasm of those who think that even when large states are still at stake (Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania) Obama really seems to be now virtually unstoppable.

I say enthusiasm because that is clearly what this unique character has brought about to people: great excitement, motivation and hope. I myself experienced that sensation too the first time that I saw him talk on a video I stumbled across while writing my very first post for this blog (I even wrote about it here). What I wonder now is whether this excitement is all justified beyond the consideration of his personal traits and manifested intentions. I have to say that I am not sure about it.

I am not going to deny I think Obama represents now the most consistent prospect of change of the way politics have been conducted under the Bush administration (and that I don´t consider this to be a little thing). However, it is not just a change of direction (difficult in itself) what is required to fix the mess but a complete change of the common American political mindset. That would make politicians authentically fight corporate interests, bring to light the so called “non-topics” (those essential topics which are absent from public debate or even public consciousness) or simply change that American Notion -held by some- of believing, like temper tantrum kids, they own the world.

Be Obama the fist step towards that change!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

THE LITTLE PICASSO

When I was in 4th grade, I met this guy who was really cool. He was very popular in the school among the students and teachers, for he had a very especial drawing skill and also for he held the Guinness record for school detentions, basically because he used to spend most of his time exercising his skill, even in class… in fact, especially during the classes time.

It was not that the teachers did not recognize his talent. On the contrary, he was used to being praised for his deeds by them all of the time. It was rather the school system that did not how to handle with this potential maestro because it didn´t consider him as such in the first place.

That was the early 80´s, though I don´t think the situation would be any different if this young Picasso attended 4th grade today. Basically because despite the major paradigm shift in our understanding of intelligence, owed in part to Harvard professor Howard Gardner´s work and others, the traditional notion of intelligence (understood merely in terms of Logical-Mathematical, Verbal-linguistic or even Spatial reasoning) is still widely upheld.

Some days ago, I happened to meet my school friend again. After greeting him, I asked him what he was doing for a living and he told me he was working as a bartender. I asked him about his interests as a kid (meaning his extraordinary gift) and he said something like: “Arrrgh! Childish stuff!”. In that moment I realized that the problem did not have to do much with the means (this or that concept of intelligence) but rather with the ends: the lack of an appropriate answer to the fundamental question of “what we educate for?" That question where the less fortunate answer is “to teach people how to survive…” because that would be very sad.

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