Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, November 1, 2013

Questions for Carlin Romano

Post your questions here for our author & distinguished guest by Wednesday the 6th. Come see him in person if you can, in JUB 204 at 1 pm on Thursday the 7th (if it gets too crowded we'll move to the TN Room or the lobby) AND at our first-ever FALL LYCEUM on Friday the 8th, 5 pm, COE 164. Bring your copy of America the Philosophical for him to sign before the talk, and buy another copy (signed books make great Christmas gifts!) there too.

I'll kick us off:

  • Can you discuss the aphorisms at the beginning of America the Philosophical: why did you choose them, what is their significance for your thesis that America is a far more philosophically-inclined civilization than is generally realized? (Especially James's statememt about there being no "rules of the game," and Rorty's that philosophers' definitions of philosophy tend to be exclusive.)
  • Why do you prefer Isocrates to Socrates? Were they both "sophists" in your opinion? Would that be a bad thing?
  • What do you think of the Colin McGinn sexual harassment scandal? What does it say about the status of women in philosophy and in academia generally?
  • Who besides Isocrates and Richard Rorty are your personal favorite philosophers? Why, briefly?
  • How did you get to be "Critic-at-large" at the Chronicle of Higher Education? What do you like most and least about that job?
  • You recently wrote a feature in the Chronicle about the rise of Chinese philosophy in America. Can you talk about that? Is there any kind of parallel to the popularity of American philosophy in China in the 1920s & '30s?
  • What do you see as the future of higher education? Will the online alternative (MOOCs etc.) be the death-knell of the traditional university as we've known it?
ANNOUNCEMENTS. (My digital post-it is acting up again...) M 4/T 5 - HEGEL, SCHOPENHAUER (LH); STERN (PB); Common-sense, Skinner, Maslow, Coles... (AP 182-197). WE'LL GRADE EXAM #2 IN CLASS.

W 6/Th 7 - Mill, Darwin (LH); Reeves, Singer (PB); ...Coles, Gardner, Burke (AP 197-212)

Carlin Romano will be visiting class on Thursday the 7th (everybody from all three sections: post two discussion questions each for Romano by Wednesday night, by replying to "Questions for Carlin Romano"); then he'll be delivering our inaugural Lyceum Lecture on Friday the 8th at 5 pm, COE 164. He'll be available to sell & sign books at 4:30 pm on the 8th.

(Rumor also has it: he may be visiting Happy Hour/Philosophy Club at the Boulevard on Thursday at 4:30.)


  1. DQ: What influenced you to study philosophy?
    DQ: How many books have you written and how old were you when you wrote your first one?

  2. DQ: What events occured that inspired you to write "America the Philosophical?"
    DQ: What do you believe the nature of morality is?

  3. DQ: Who is your favorite philosopher and why?
    DQ: Have you always wanted to study philosophy?

  4. DQ: Would you consider yourself a Platonist or Aristotelian?
    DQ: What was your sole purpose/goal in writing "America the Philosophical"?

  5. DQ: Who would you consider some of the most influential philosophers in history?
    DQ: Which philosophies do you most identify with? Which ones do you least identify with?

  6. DQ: What would you classify as being philosophical? for example, is dr phil or oprah winfrey considered philosophers to you?

    DQ: Who, if anyone, do you try to model yourself after in your philosophical views?

  7. DQ: Do you feel that religion positively or negatively affects many Americans' willingness to study philosophy?
    DQ: In your opinion, should philosophy be introduced earlier to students? Should it be a required course?

  8. DQ: Do you feel that America's religious ties has made it a more fruitful place for philosophy? Or do you feel that belief in religions has held it back until more recently?

  9. Olivia (The Highlanders)10:01 AM CST

    DQ: Do you think America has always been philosophical, or is becoming more/less philosophical?
    DQ: What hinders Americans or other countries from seeing America as a philosophical nation?

  10. Who is your favorite philosopher?
    How do you believe Skinner contributes to philosophy?

  11. DQ: Do you feel that America is not considered a philosophical nation because what Americans feel are philosophical ideas/areas of life differs from other nations?
    DQ: Do you think that many Americans are philosophical without realizing it?