Saturday, October 06, 2007

Eavesdrop on My Reading

I am trying to catch up on reading. As one friend says, I look like I've done more reading than I really have (something about the dark circles around the eyes and the pasty complexion, maybe).

So I finally read two famous articles.

Luce Irigaray was (is?) a key French feminist postmodernist thinker. Her article "The Sex That Is Not One" takes Freud much more seriously than I think he deserves, but is very blunt in trying to talk about women's sex lives in a philosophical way.

Max Weber was a major German sociologist. His article "Science as a Vocation" sets him alongside Bertrand Russell as a post-Christian thinker who does not pretend that the functionally atheist, functionally functional, secular-modern view of life is anything other than emotionally, spiritually, and communally bleak.

I've also been reading sizable chunks of "God and Nature," "Science and Religion: A History," "Science and Theology: An Introduction," and a few feminist philosophers of science, on my way to taking questions in the biology department at El Centro this week on evolution. It is interesting to see the American feminists finding worthwhile things in Marx, and being very suspicious of Darwin.

In "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" I'm in the chapter called "Dumbledore's Army."

El Centro is starting a Last Lecture Series (if you had one last chance to give a talk to students in your life, what would you say?). I will speak in the next few weeks. I got going on a draft last night, and was up till 2am.

Dawn is having a pretty good time in San Francisco, I think. Beth is retaking the SAT this morning.

Daniel Schorr, may his tribe increase, who is on NPR every morning at like 7am, should be required listening for every adult of sound mind in the country. Does it take having an old guy around for people in a society not to leap enthusiastically into collective amnesia? Schorr reminds us every day of the continuity of what has been happening these past seven years with personnel and issues dating from Nixon's reign, and tendencies dating to Goldwater in the 1960s. There was George I Washington, and George II Bush; should we be surprised at the ongoing assault on our constitution if the current officeholder is George III? That was the guy we revolted against in the first place, right? Boston Tea Party, no taxation without representation, the legislature to hobble the executive's ability to engage in discretionary foreign wars by cutting off funds to the military, the bill of rights--wasn't all that stuff what we realized we needed then, and always need? Schorr is our Yoda, and should be declared a national treasure.

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