Tickled me that this “Wisdom Research Network” initiative, associated with the Wisdom Research programme at Chicago University, is now in 2008 called the “Arete Initiative”.
Chicago >> Arete
>> Pirsig >> Quality
>> Values >> Maxwell >> Wisdom
>> Rayner >> Inclusionality >> Fluid >> Dynamic Quality …
… is it just my mind that works this way ?
[Post note. Apparently not …
I see Pirsig picked-up on the Chicago education thread (see comment referring to a Robert Birnbaum interview with story writer Joseph Epstein, Jew to Jew as it were.)
Bob refers to this quote :
… like a lot of serious booksellers, he was a failed Ph.D. He was a failed Ph.D. in philosophy from Chicago. A student of guy named Richard McKeon who left corpses all over the city. Pascal would not have gotten his Ph.D. from McKeon. Aristotle wouldn’t have. Nobody. He was a miserable character and he made it so hard for everybody. It’s like you and I trying to get a Ph.D. from Martin Bormann.
Understandable given Bob’s legendary relationship with McKeon (see ’60 to ’63 in the Timeline). My favourite is in the next paragraph :
… I have come to think that a good student is not that impressive a thing to be. A good student can tell you seven reasons for the Renaissance. Big fucking deal. [laughs] He can tell you that materialism is naturalism. Because in order to have naturalism you have to have three things that satisfy materialism and so on. I sensed, in my crude kid way, this really wasn’t where the action is.
How true. Actually the interview is a good read … much on the “church of reason” in education and on “education in culture”. Can see why Bob liked it. Wise words.
PS .. and Arete ? Bob uses this Greek term for “excellence” in his thought processes of arriving at his Metaphysics of Quality, and his boat in the book Lila, he named “Arete”.]