[CPE] Cosmos, Paradigm, Education

11 06 2013

I haven’t stopped chewing over the topic of my last post; it opens onto quite a few topics that I would like to write about here. Rather than try to cram all of those topics into a single post, though, I have decided to break them out into a loose series of posts that will all be identified with the [CPE] tag you see above. As you might guess, all of these posts will be united around issues of cosmos, paradigm, and education. Education may seem like the odd-man-out in this equation, but it occupies an essential place in the discussion. This series began in what I thought would be a single post on the failures of contemporary education, but in proceeding to trace that I found myself involved in a much larger series of topics.

The failures of contemporary education have deep roots that extend back into the roots of European modernity itself. It is surely easy to be cynical about the state of contemporary education (and I am sometimes), but I don’t want to get stuck in cynicism. Rather, I want to examine the failures of education by vieiwing them as a sort of higher order ‘interesting errors.’ Like interesting errors, they are worthy of study so that we can see more clearly the way in which those failures reveal useful truths as an ill-fitting pair of clothes reveals something of how we move. One of the more important failures is the failure to integrate cosmos and paradigm.

By cosmos I mean a totality organized according to unified principles and the sense of enclosure it gives to human society. The sense of a cosmos gives members of society a set of ideals through which they are able to regulate themselves and their society. A paradigm, by contrast, is partial. It refers to a specific set of phenomena and proceeds to provide an explanation of the phenomena’s behavior. On a purely conceptual level, these two patterns do not appear to be in conflict. In fact, there seems to be a complementarity to the way in which the phenomena described by a paradigm can be integrated into a bigger picture, cosmological model. However, in historical terms, these two modes of approaching the world are deeply at odds with each other and efforts to resolve those tensions are part of what structures the failure of education.

The subsequent [CPE] posts will all be centered at getting at this historical conundrum and thinking (i.e., speculating) about how we might get beyond it.


Things to Come

9 12 2010

I have been thinking carefully about what I want to do next with this little corner of the internet and have a working plan.  It looks like this:

(1) Roll out two new blogs, one devoted to history of religion type work and the other devoted to thinking through the rudiments of a world historical theology. (Update: Pantheologia is up and running now; so too is Spirited Culture.)

(2) Retain this blog site for sort of ‘letters to the editor’ sorts of posts.

While divided into three blogs, my aim is fundamentally the same with each of them, to follow the traces of spirit in the world in such a way that both are illuminated.

I don’t foresee a dramatic upswing in my internet presence.  My goals are quite demanding enough without setting sweeping time constraints on them.  If I post twice a year, so be it, as long as I am happy with whatever two things I’m posting.  I’ll interlink all blogs once the other two are ready to go.

Easing Back In

2 08 2010

I have decided to return to blogging.  I don’t have the same goals or desires that I had when I started this blog, though, so I’m doing this slowly.

I have taken down everything that I posted.  Piece by piece, I’m going to review old entries and decide if they have a place on the blog now.  Those that do have a place, will be returned to public view.  Where I feel so moved, I will edit those pieces before returning them to public view.

Going forward, this blog will probably grow even more slowly than previously.  I am not committed to a strong online presence, so please don’t be surprised when I don’t take an active role in discussions that might crop up in connection to material I post.  I have no desire to adjust my way of thinking to the rapid cycle of consumption and response that characterizes the internet.