I invite you all to hit "comment" and reply by posting your own introductions, and to ruminate as well in response to any or all of these questions:
What is philosophy? How do you think it differs from religion, science, and other generalized approaches to understanding our place in the universe? Do you like to think "deeply" about things? Why or why not? Do you think you are entitled to believe whatever you please, for any reason or for none? Have you had any experiences, heard any music, seen any films (etc.) that impacted or influenced you in a way you'd call philosophical? Do you have any favorite philosophers, living or dead? Are YOU a philosopher? Do you have a personal philosophy of life that you can summarize in a few words?Our first class meeting will consist mainly of introductions. We'll not spend much time going over the syllabus or talking course mechanics, there's plenty of time for that later. But I do invite you to peruse the Quick Start Guide, Daily Participation Scorecard, and Syllabus page links on our course blogsite (in the right margin). Let me know what's especially unclear.
My birthday is Feb.14, we'll observe it on the 12th: bring cake and candy to class that day. Also a cure for aging if you've got it. (Last year someone brought biscuits and jam from the Loveless. That helped.)
My Ph.D. is from Vanderbilt. I'm originally from Missouri, near St. Louis. I was indoctrinated as a Cardinals fan in early childhood. My undergrad degree is from Mizzou, in Columbia MO. (I wish my schools weren't in the SEC-I don't approve of major collegiate sports culture or of violence in football, but don't get me started.)
My philosophical expertise, such as it is, centers on the American philosophical tradition of William James. Last year a student asked me to respond to a questionnaire. I did, and have continued to reflect on its excellent questions. "It was an honor..."
I post my thoughts regularly to my blogs Up@dawn and Delight Springs, among others, and toTwitter. Follow me if you want to. But of course, as Brian Cohen said, you don't have to follow anyone. (Extra credit if you get that reference... and real extra credit if you realize that my "extra credit" is usually rhetorical.)
Enough about me. Who are you? (Where are you from, where have you been, what do you like, who do you want to become,...?) Why are you here? (On Earth, in Tennessee, at MTSU, in philosophy class)? What intrinsic or voluntary meaning does your existence entail or imply? What are your thoughts on the other questions posed at the beginning of this post?
Hit "comments" below and post your introduction, then read your classmates'... and bear in mind that this is an open site. The world can read it. (The world's probably busy with other stuff, of course.)