Sunday, July 03, 2005

An Academic Meme

Miriam Burnstein sent this my way; it's interestingly different meme than the sorts that usually go around. Unfortunately, most of my answers are very dull; I really should get more.

(1) Imagine it’s 2015. You are visiting the library at a major research university. You go over to a computer terminal (or whatever it is they use in 2015) that gives you immediate access to any book or journal article on any topic you want. What do you look up? In other words, what do you hope somebody will have written in the meantime?

I have an affection for brilliant philosophical minds who have been (in my opinion) unfairly overlooked by academics, so this is fairly easy -- I can name three things off the top of my head:

(a) a thorough study of Lady Mary Shepherd's theory of causation;
(b) a thorough study of William Whewell's moral philosophy, with particular focus on his arguments against the utilitarians;
(c) a critical and annotated edition of the works of Mary Astell, or, at the very least, a well-edited edition of The Christian Religion As Profess'd by a Daughter of the Church of England, her major work.

(2) What is the strangest thing you’ve ever heard or seen at a conference? No names, please. Refer to “Professor X” or “Ms. Y” if you must. Double credit if you were directly affected. Triple if you then said or did something equally weird.

I really can't think of anything, unfortunately; but I tend to be so oblivious at conferences that I probably wouldn't notice anything strange if it happened right in front of me.

(3) Name a writer, scholar, or otherwise worthy person you admire so much that meeting him or her would probably reduce you to awestruck silence.

I'm not inclined to regard anyone who hasn't been dead for a hundred years with awe, and I can assure you that if I met someone who had been dead for a hundred years, my response would not be awestruck silence. But I suppose the closest case would be Gyula Klima. We'll have that tested in Fall term; he'll be at a medieval seminar here at UT.

(4) What are two or three blogs or other Web sites you often read that don’t seem to be on many people’s radar?

The Scholasticum, which is devoted to scholastic philosophy and theology, is the most obvious thing that comes to mind. There are also some good Biblioblogs, like Hypotyposeis and Ralph the Sacred River that tend to be overlooked by people who don't read much in that area.

I like receiving memes, but I don't generally pass them on much, any more. But anyone can carry on the torch, if they so wish.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.