I am here to do a lovely philosophy post. As undergraduates, we all learn valuable lessons. But there are different lessons for different people, and we cannot underestimate how much we still have to learn. We learn about:
- Understanding and its relation to consciousness ('I am awake now' - is this conative?)
- The necessity for metaphysics and its explanatory power, notwithstanding deflationism
- A lens through which to see topics as diverse as number and action
- Basic tools of formal logic
- Stimulus and response
I could add to the list indefinitely, which is part of my point. This is an exciting time to be alive in philosophy, and I for one would like to know what people have to say. But first, a little story from when I first learned philosophy, before I gotta run and teach a class!
'You have a substance different from body, that is mind. This is the dualist picture.'
'OK, but I thought materialism was everything.'
'Well, that is what some people say. It's OK to disagree. But maybe all they mean is that all the stuffy stuff is physical, but you can still talk about mind as a separate, irreconcilable category.'
'Uhh, wow. OK'.
This was a real turning point for me. I stopped just pushing out essays and began to really approach the issues in my own way. Writing new results has been amazing for me, and I think I should stop to remember that when my desk piles up! Anyway, class beckons....