academia – Fragments Against Ruin http://tonywoodlief.com Wed, 11 Oct 2017 02:11:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Since it’s commencement season, I’ve put together a draft address in case I get a last-minute call http://tonywoodlief.com/2017/05/16/since-commencement-season-ive-put-together-draft-address-case-get-last-minute-call/ Tue, 16 May 2017 23:27:24 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=5487 I’d like to thank Debtwell University for this opportunity to address your student body. Furthermore, I want to express my deepest hope that your original speaker overcomes [FOOD POISONING/ IRS DIFFICULTIES/ SUBPOENA/ ETC] without undue complications. [PAUSE. MAKE EYE CONTACT. SQUINT AS IF DRAWING ON A WELL OF DEEP WISDOM, BUT NOT SO HARD THAT YOU …

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On scientism http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/11/20/3727/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/11/20/3727/#comments Wed, 20 Nov 2013 21:41:49 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3727 Those of you who read what I scribble here and elsewhere know I nurse a few curious theories about science, like that it ought to remain distinct from scientism, and that the scientific process taught in schools is hokum, and that reductionism is just as nonsensical when it comes to dominate the physical sciences as …

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The scandal of the evangelical intellectual’s mind http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/02/21/the-scandal-of-the-evangelical-intellectuals-mind/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/02/21/the-scandal-of-the-evangelical-intellectuals-mind/#comments Thu, 21 Feb 2013 19:11:15 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3633 A reasonable response to the accusation that the evangelical mind is insufficiently expansive is to ask to what dimensions its critics would like to see it expanded. That question springs to the lips when considering Biblical scholar Peter Enns’s contention that evangelical minds are not only confined, but are required to remain in confinement. “The …

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Stream of conscience http://tonywoodlief.com/2012/07/06/stream-of-conscience/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2012/07/06/stream-of-conscience/#comments Fri, 06 Jul 2012 13:58:53 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3432 Whenever I have a lot to do, and I finally muster the resolve to do it, I’ll say “time to get down to it.” This always reminds me of that Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song, which makes me think of Kent State, which reminds me of the time I interviewed for a political science …

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Professorial logic http://tonywoodlief.com/2012/02/13/professorial-logic/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2012/02/13/professorial-logic/#comments Tue, 14 Feb 2012 05:42:19 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3366 There are many plausible explanations for why men commit nearly all murders and start most wars. It could be that we’re just hard-wired to smash skulls. Or perhaps it’s that we’ve learned how much chicks dig a man in uniform. Or maybe, according to Jesse Prinz, philosophy professor at the CUNY Graduate Center, it’s because …

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On the Virtue of Hemlock http://tonywoodlief.com/2012/02/05/on-the-virtue-of-hemlock/ Sun, 05 Feb 2012 18:20:49 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3358 In his recent Boston Review essay, philosophy professor Carlos Fraenkel manages the neat trick of advocating a sensible position — that high-school students should be taught philosophy — so ineptly that he ends up proving the opposite, namely, that while it may be the case that students should learn philosophy, this is quite independent from …

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On the conservative as warmonger http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/10/27/on-the-conservative-as-warmonger/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/10/27/on-the-conservative-as-warmonger/#comments Thu, 28 Oct 2010 03:50:45 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=2917 The problem with political science professor Corey Robin’s claim that warmongering is woven into the DNA of conservatives is that he can’t seem to define his subject. One minute a conservative is a Burkean, the next he’s a tea-partier, then a neocon, then a Republican politico. Richer still, Robin represents these British-American country-clubbing anti-marxist quasi-literate …

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Suffer in silence, please http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/09/03/suffer-in-silence-please/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/09/03/suffer-in-silence-please/#comments Fri, 03 Sep 2010 12:58:57 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=2606 It just never gets old, the article by an academic detailing all the work that academics have to do. Rob Faunce offers the latest installment: We have to plan for our courses weeks in advance. We have papers to grade. Students to counsel. Department meetings to attend. One thing I’ve learned, in my stints across …

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Breathe easier? http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/08/04/breathe-easier/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/08/04/breathe-easier/#comments Wed, 04 Aug 2010 13:29:59 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=2544 I’m always leery of research by people who desperately, desperately want a certain answer. So when I hear shouts of joy over a new study running counter to previous studies in its conclusion that putting small children in daycare has no adverse effects, I develop a more skeptical eye than usual. Which I know is …

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Smart is knowing what you don’t know http://tonywoodlief.com/2010/02/18/smart-is-knowing-what-you-dont-know/ Thu, 18 Feb 2010 15:00:04 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=2155 Call me crazy, but maybe it’s a good thing that the University of Iowa — and by extension, a great many schools in financially troubled times — has to decide not to have an Asian studies program, among other marginal offerings. Universities — their administrations, boards, faculties, and sometimes students — are almost uniformly gripped …

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