Fruits of My Academic Labor

2011.12.11

This semester I took classes in: (1) the Philosophy of Science and Social Constructivism (super awesome!) (2) Metaphysical Issues in Composition and Personal Identity and (3) Philosophy of Free Will and (4) Philosophy of Moral Responsibility (Although, I took this last course under a non-standard designaton; so all I had to do for that class was read and learn, no paper-pumping involved.) It was a great semester. I learned a lot. And from every direction: the readings, fellow students, professors. Because it is very much the case that my neurons will race about in every which direction if I don’t quickly anticipate some overarching orientation to the subject material from the get-go- I always try and do just that. This semester, I became (through independent research) semi-obsessed with Radical Constructivism as a methodology worth promoting in the discursive circles of analytic philosophy. I believe all my term paper submissions this semester clearly have threads of that influence in common. I think I have a better grasp of what direction I tend to enjoy focusing my energy in improving my skills in; namely, social theory construction and social systems analysis. I really enjoy thinking with (and applying) the ‘radical’ constructivist lens and can anticipate that being a useful philosophical perspective to develop for the purpose of empowerment-based advocacy for non-privileged and minority subgroups of society (advancing identity politics in academic discourse AND the ‘real world’-it is, after all, everyone’s favorite world to play in, even philosophers’ ). There are a bunch of other interesting thoughts and ideas and arenas of research that have repeatedly percolated onto the old brain-dar; Here are a few listed simply in terms of dialectic distinctions: Subject/Object, Post Modern/ Modern, Ideal/Material, Determinism/Indeterminism (as it relates to Free Will and Evolutionary Theory; more specifically, as it relates to issues of causation, random chance, power dynamics, and intentional action in systems’ analysis). Finally, broad scope sweep: Social Construction Theory, Anarchism, Marxism, Phenomenology, Radical Constructivism, Nihilism, Feminist Philosophy (my  not-so-long distance love affair), and (ostensibly) pretty much every idea or school in philosophy that gets coded as  either Continental (which means its not analytic, so you know its juicy!), wishy-washy, relativistic, or fluffy-froo-froo-bullshit. That’s okay, sticks and stones, in my book! I dig it! Anyways, below are my three final term paper submissions. At some point, I should intend to add brief abstracts to each that are designed to spell out the context of debate , define technical vocabulary, and explain its contextual relevance to real world issues. (In really worthwhile philosophy papers, I think all that should clearly shine through on its own.) Alas, patience (mummsies, especially), its only my first semester. I have a LOT of improving to go, not the least of which is learning to develop imaginative and ‘compelling illustrations’ of more challenging or abstract points I am wanting to try and make AND learning how to gauge a ‘sensible scope’ for a thesis given page lengths and word count requirements. (For example, you don’t try and do an overhaul makeover to our modern understanding of the evolution of human theories of knowledge in 6,000 words or less. So, maybe my entire Science & Constructivism paper can serve as a ‘compelling illustration’ to motivate my last point). Anyways, here are the fruits of my first 5-months of graduate academic labor. (Its incomprehensible fun for my whole family!) ((You’re welcome, family!)). I like the first one the most (which should tell you what kind of grade I’m probably going to get on it)- largely, for political reasons (plus it’s the only with potty-mouth words).

P.S.  Disclaimer: Everything I write (and think or say, for that matter) is always a work in progress. As a general rule, no one should ever take anything I write (or say or think OR DO-especially ‘do’) seriously or literally (God knows, I don’t.)

P.S.S. This might turn your children into gays. No, I’m kidding.  Come on, people, I’m not that good of a writer. (yet.)

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