Saturday, December 15, 2018

(CR) Epistemological Poetry

(In anticipation of our upcoming "Constructing Reality" seminar)

On Knowing

To know or not to know the world:
Are signs and words themselves impearled,
Cerebral grit, strung end-to-end;
My thoughts of things and things a blend
Of ideational and pretend?

Or might I sometimes speak the truth
(However bold, or worse -- uncouth)
If what I think or say reflects
The state of things my mind detects,
My words denote, the world projects?


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Semester's End

Thanks (to my many good students especially) for some very nice conversations.  Reminders: send me your best, short essays/poetry/fiction for possible inclusion in the next issue of Thesis XII (click to see past issues), slated for publication at the start of the spring semester.  All students who have completed and enjoyed my PHIL 120 (or any other PHIL course) are now eligible and invited to take further upper-division offerings from the Philosophy Program.  Happy holidays,


Friday, November 16, 2018

Turkeys of the World Unite

Image result for tofurky day

On "Turkey" Day

One bird we honor on this day of thanks;
Alongside our symbol of freedom she ranks.
Regard for her grows as we near “Turkey Day.”
(I’ll parse her death as “regard,” if I may.)

Are turkeys the victims of vile human power?
An enlightened few harbor thoughts fairly dour:
“These birds live their lives in a self-conscious way;
These birds aren't for stuffing, or eating,” they say.

Most will reply that tradition's a right;
One sufficiently strong to eclipse the bird’s plight:
"Perhaps you're just bored, confused, or hate cooking;
It’s only a bird (and rather ill-looking)."

"Those in the know limit thought to our brains:
Alone we can suffer, feel pleasures and pains.
Just meeting our needs – a formidable feat;
How dreary the world, each entrée sans meat!"

"Life’s like a raft, with but room for one kind;
(So barely embrained and too simple to mind.)"
The turkey we honor on this day of thanks;
Alongside our symbol of freedom she ranks.