Thursday, December 30, 2004

Pashak and Brunner on Education

Dear Dr. Vallicella:

I liked that article about philosophers vs academics. I taught public school for a few years and realized that I had come out of university completely unprepared to deal either practically or theoretically with my profession. So when I went back and did a master's in librarianship I basically ignored my professors and pursued my own lines of thought. Consequently, I have enjoyed a fine career experience in librarian-related activity. I have also had the opportunity to pursue my interest in philosophy to my heart's content. Here is a quote from Constantin Brunner on philosophy and formal education:

No one can think unless he has revolted against the contemporary state of mind; for as a child of his times, to which he had to pay expensive tuition fees, he must first break with what he learned in public school, must finish with its whole way of thinking, before he can begin with any real thinking of his own.... Whoever wishes to be more than modern, more than just another bleater in educated modern society; whoever wants to put himself on the right ground and be on his guard lest the general imitation of the surrounding multitude force his consciousness in the least; cannot immerse himself often enough in the great images and reflections in which the Spiritual √Člite and the multitude and examples of the eternal course of events between the two are brought most clearly before his eyes. In the sharpest tension of contrasts the highest and purest spiritual power and the love in the most perfect activity imaginable, are answered with an enmity extending to murder. (Our Christ, 190-1)

By the way, I have also had a chance to fully think out my attitude toward education. I have put up on the web here what I conceive as an embryonic version of the kind of schooling I would like to provide.

Barrett Pashak