Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Opposite of Diabolical

Diabolical (on the one hand):  "to throw across." 
Symbolical (on the other hand): "to throw together"
The sound of 2 hands.

Liberal Art (as opposed to the liberal arts)

A  former Dean (Virginia McKinley) gave me an
article claiming that we don't teach our students
how to argue. I've been trying for  years,  and
have made no progress.

Dissenters are of great value even when
they are largely or even totally mistaken
                     in their beliefs

We all agree on this, I assume. No question.
Like the journey, it's the arguing  that counts,
not the solutions or destination. Need we argue?

    Argument is essential for 
     its own sake.” (Karl Popper) 

Whatever practical application it might also have
not with standing makes no never mind..

     “In life we make progress by
     conflict and in mental life 
     by argument and disputation.... 
     There must be confrontation 
     and opposition, in order that 
     sparks must be kindled. 

Assuming my Comfort Zone can include
this academic practice. Otherwise  forget
about it. 
     Only an open conflict of ideas 
     and principles can produce 
     any clarity.... 

But I think it's going to take a  long long time
and there's no clarity- guarantee--which is why
the process has to be valued for its own sake, or
as the coaches say: it's not whether I  win or
lose that counts but how I play the game..  

     Even if all were agreed on 
     an essential proposition, it 
     would be essential to give 
     an ear to the one person who 
     does not.   J.S.Mill  ]]

In my dreams, maybe.  Highly impractical, J.S.--
especially with  so much to get done, ground
to cover.  So little time.

"It is the dissenters who force us to think, who 
challenge received opinion, who nudge us 
away from dead dogma to beliefs that have
survived critical challenge, the best that we 
can hope for.  Dissenters are of great value 
even when  they are largely or even totally
mistaken  in their beliefs. As Mill put it: ‘Both
teachers  and learners go to sleep at their post,
as  soon as there is no enemy in the field." ’
             (Nigel Warburton: "Talk With Me."

(A satan was a prosecutor &  functionary  in the
Hebrew Court and, like the jester:  accused and
taunted, teased and twisted, tested and tempted
the defendant or petitioner to see how they
stood up  to the adversity.  ) 

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