August 29, 2009
Reading authors such as Saint-Exupéry, Sewell, Blake, Hemingway, Ellison, Toffler, Huxley, Kingsley, W.W. Jacobs, Harper Lee, Camus, Kamo no Chomei, Natsume Soseki, J-J Rousseau, Hesse & Krishnamurti during my adolescence lead me down the garden path to an undergraduate university course on Philosophy of Being taught by a Jesuit priest; however, I trace my initial interest in philosophy to my high school math tutor who was a philosophy grad student at a leading university and quoted funny anecdotes concerning eccentricities of intellectuals such as Kant. Later, I obtained a minor in Philosophy (2 logic courses, 4 ethics courses and a survey course of modern philosophy) under an academic philosopher who served on a local hospital's ethics board. Understanding the philosophical and religious orientations of various human communities (as expressed in systems of thought, texts, the arts, rituals, and ethical practices) is, for me, the high road to eudaimonia.
I studied Comparative Culture (Foreign Studies) at Sophia U and graduated with a double emphasis in literature & business-economics. I have a Master's in Secondary Education & an equivalent of an undergraduate minor in Philosophy from Texas A&M.
The weekly discussions of video lectures provide a setting for voicing one's opinions in public. Listening to academic philosophers/scholars (video lecturers) make sense of great thinkers/philosophers of the past allows you to discover both the past and the present of philosophical discourse. People who attend the discussions say all kinds of things that create a 'cognitive disequilibrium' (Piaget) requiring several hours of looking things up on the WWW (Wikipedia, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and other reliable sources) so that I can "find my way out of the forest" after entering it. As for the book group, it is (or was, since it is currently inactive) interesting in terms of discovering the trend or the appeal of various books among U.S.-based readers.