this makes you wonder…

If Descartes may have been onto something.  Can our minds be connected?

Make sure you’ve included a careful, critical reading of Descartes in your journal.  In the near future, we will be comparing Descartes to Plato and evaluating whether or not our own view agrees with these philosophers.


What does Roger Hodgson think?

Can you put your hands in your head?  Tonight might be a great time for some unassigned outside research into the idea of dreams?  Perhaps you’d like to look into Lucid Dreaming? Or consider the ideas of Carl Jung or Sigmund Freud?  It’s up to you.  Whatever you do, just stick some evidence into your journal.

Tonight, review Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

by linking to this translation at MIT.  Read only the first section, down to the part where they consider whether or not forcing the liberated prisoner to return is unjust.   

AVOID doing the ‘efficient-student’ behaviors of looking up what the text means.  I want you to practice what it means to learn from the text – not what it takes to have someone tell you what the text says.  Thanks for just reading, reflecting, and writing down any questions that you still have.  We will begin class on Tuesday with your questions.

An exploration of sensory perception…

begins with questions.  Are the senses trustworthy?   Today’s exploration in class will, hopefully, leave you with wonderings.  From there, where will you go?

Maybe, you want to find examples of you your mind makes sense of what you see.  Or not.  Maybe you’re up for a TED Talk about Optical illusions and how your mind makes meaning from sensory information.  Maybe you want to take a brief quiz to see how you perceive color.  Or, perhaps you want to explore synaesthesia. Or build your own thomotrope.

Perhaps you will explore something outside what is normal for you. Will it be wandering through an accessible translation of the Tao Te Ching?  Translator and thinker Red Pine has written a translation that I find complelling.  If you’d like to know more about him, try out this interview.  As you read the entries, consider which ones resonate with you.  What do they mean?  What do they imply about the way things are?  The validity of sensation? Of reason? Of contemplation?    What do they suggest all learners should do?  What is the path to knowing?