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Sunday, October 16, 2005 - 6:34amSanction this postReply
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This is excellent Ed, albeit, a bit long.



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Sunday, October 16, 2005 - 6:55amSanction this postReply
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Good article, Ed - is more or less how have structured my lifelong learning, being a polymath, yet with emphasis on aesthetics - that is, using aesthetics as how I view the world, yet integrating all the rest across many disciplines [ more an outgrowth of curiosity about almost anything and inability to focus on merely one, such as painting]...  indeed, can also see this as how am struggling to set up aesthetics as being 'spiritual visualizing', a means of integrating the many aspects of life around an aesthetic foundation, just as your programs do with politics and philosophy...

Rand always held that despite the immediacy and influence of politics, of the 'siblings'  under ethics, it was actually aesthetics - art - which was most important, as it is practicalizing ethics to the individual, which then is applied to aggregates of individuals... whereas politics always was considered as tribal in nature, and individuals subsumed under the group... and it was for that individual mindset that the development of aesthetics from a philosophical standpoint was underdeveloped over the many centuries, and only now starting to come into it proper position...

(Edited by robert malcom on 10/16, 7:02am)




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Sunday, October 16, 2005 - 11:30amSanction this postReply
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Couple of caveats. Reality is not an entity--entities are what make up reality, and so do their activities, relationships, etc. "Reality" is a term used to keep in mind the whole shebang, as it were. Furthermore, different ontological types could well require different modes of knowledge about them--mathematical versus musical versus biological and so forth. Most importantly, knowledge of the most fundamental, metaphysical facts, is different from knowledge of various discrete facts--in the former we are dealing with axioms that are necessarily and always true, past, present, future; in the latter we have contextual knowledge that can undergo updating, improvement, even reorganization. (You might check out my “Epistemology and Moral Knowledge,” Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 36 [1982], pp. 23-49.)



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Monday, October 17, 2005 - 5:58amSanction this postReply
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Thank you Robert and Robert! I am happy that you liked my essay. Sorry about the length.

Thanks for the insights with respect to aesthetics!

Tibor:

Thanks you for the caveats and for the article suggestion!

Perhaps the term entity was not the best to use in this context. What I meant was simply "everything that exists". Maybe saying it as, "the whole of reality (i.e., the totality of existence) already exists and is fundamental", rather than "the whole of reality (i.e., the totality of existence) already exists and is the fundamental entity" would have been better, clearer, and more precise. Thanks!!!

Thanks also for the discussion  of different ontological types and the need for corresponding different modes of knowledge.

Ed




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Monday, October 17, 2005 - 8:45amSanction this postReply
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Hey Ed, great article.

Although I wasn't a PEP major, I might as well have been.  A few more courses and I could probably get a PEP degree to go with my B.A. in Philosophy.  I was a student in the Conceptual Foundations of Business course that Ed mentioned, and found it to be brilliant.  I had feared, going in, a boring numbers class, but was pleasantly surprised when I found myself discussing morality and ethics, philosophy, politics, and a number of other topics.  I then enjoyed a few more of Ed's courses, including a couple in the MBA program (Ed's a swell guy and let a few non-MBA types take his classes), before I graduated.

In addition to Dr. Younkins, Wheeling Jesuit is blessed with the presence of Dr. Thomas Michaud, whose many courses in Philosophy (and a couple in Political Science) are geared toward this spirit of integrating knowledge.  Dr. Michaud is one of the chief proponents of the PEP major, and is very enthusiastic in his belief in the program as the way the future of learning (and teaching) should be.

I'm proud to say I was a student of both Younkins and Michaud, along with a great many other professors, and proud to say I studied at Wheeling Jesuit University.  Ed and his mindset represent everything right about education, and his spirit reflects everything right about WJU.

Ed, thanks for the article and for going against the grain.

Jake




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Monday, October 17, 2005 - 3:50pmSanction this postReply
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Hi Ed:

Great essay!

I agree that knowledge requires integration in addition to just differentiation.

Also,  I think it was clear that you meant "the whole of reality", "the totality of existence", or "reality as a whole" when you referred to reality as the fundamental entity that already exists and that does not have to be created by man. I believe that  it was apparent that you meant "the whole shebang"from the context of the rest of the essay.

Thanks!

Alysha




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Monday, October 17, 2005 - 4:04pmSanction this postReply
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Ed:

I really enjoyed your fine essay. I think you are correct in that we can integrate, but not reduce, knowledge from various disciplines.

You must be turning out a lot of potential Adam Smith's in your PEP major who are capable of being philosophers, economists, political scientists, historians, etc.

Karen




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Tuesday, October 18, 2005 - 6:30pmSanction this postReply
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Hi Ed:

I really liked your explanation of how advances build on progressive developments of knowledge in the past and how a particular bit of knowledge rests on all the knowledge that mankind had to attain in order to get to the new item of knowledge.

Also, I really appreciate your great arguments (1) against making distinctions into separations with respect to areas of study  and  (2) against reductionism in both its ontological and epistemological forms.

Thanks for your fine essay!

Shelly






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Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 8:03amSanction this postReply
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Hi Jake:

Thanks for all the nice things you had to say about the PEP major!!!

Say, I have not seen any essays posted by you in a long time nor any music cds.

I look forward to seeing an article from you soon or at least a controversial cd that will drive Linz mad.

:)

Thanks Alysha, Karen, and Shelly for your insights!!!

Ed




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Friday, October 21, 2005 - 5:18amSanction this postReply
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I am currently a Junior at Wheeling Jesuit University, and I am majoring in Political and Economic Philosophy.  As I plan to attend law school, I found upon arriving at WJU that PEP was the best major to prepare me for this next level of schooling.  What makes the program better than others is the way it incorpoates a more diverse amount of classes ranging from philosophy, to business, to poly sci, and even to wider areas such as history.  By getting an education that encompasses so many fields of inquiry, I feel better apt to understand how our government and society in general is able to function in the world.  In regards to preparing students for law school, the diverse class structure enables each student to better get an idea into which area of law to pursue.  If someone enjoys the economic or business side of the major, then they are usually apt to look at corporate, labor, or business law.  Others may find that they like politics and will work in that area.  Unlike the large public universities(state universities), WJU makes the student better prepared for whatever work environment they may wish to join.  The skills learned in the PEP major(especially writing because that is just a given for our major) will give each student the tasks that will give him or her a leg up over the other students who went to these larger public institutions.  As a side note that Dr. Younkins did not include about the major, another great aspect of PEP is the ability to participate in up to 6 credit hours of a legal internship.  Personally I will be doing this starting next semester and running through the summer.  By giving students placement in local law firms(some even paying-yeh!), PEP gives the student something that many other students who go to law school will probably not have-on the job experience.  Not only does this look good on a law school application or resume, but it helps the student to put into practice all the philosophical principles learned in the classes for the major.



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Sunday, November 13, 2005 - 11:03amSanction this postReply
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I was a PEP major at WJU.  I am currently in my last year of law school at Syracuse University.

I found Dr. Younkin's article to be brilliant. 

I was a student in the Conceptual Foundations of Business course that Dr. Younkin's mentioned, and I loved it.  It was the perfect merger of ethics, philosophy, politics, and how the topics interrelate. 

In addition to Dr. Younkins, Wheeling Jesuit is blessed with the presence of Dr. Thomas Michaud. Dr. Michaud is one of the chief proponents of the PEP major. 

I enjoyed my time at WJU studying under the direction of both Dr. Michaud and Dr. Younkins, as well as many other talented professors.

I'm proud to be graduate of the PEP program.  I think that the understanding I have of the world and of especially "how to learn" stems from my instruction as a PEP major.

I believe that the PEP courses are the BEST preparation any student can have for law school (or for life in general). 

I thank Dr. Michaud and Dr. Younkins for the PEP program and for preparing me for my career.  I cannot imagine taking any other route.

Thanks Dr. Younkins! I enjoyed the article.  I hope that PEP continues to flourish!




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