Re: teachingtheory

Holmberg Joseph Marv (z961639@OATS.FARM.NIU.EDU)
Thu, 22 Feb 1996 14:01:19 -0600

Yes, I care..although I am a Junior with a major in Special Education
with an emphasis in Hearing Impairment. When I was in High School and
even currently in College, I was and am able to discuss anything..even
Aristole, Plato, Hobbes, Locke, and countless others. Yes, I concur with
you that I had encountered the problem of my "schoolmates" becoming less
and less able to discuss basically anything and had met up with blank
looks. Sports and Sex are the only topics on their minds, as to speak.
Sad, huh?
Thu, 22 Feb 1996, Robert Lawless wrote:

> I've been teaching a graduate course on anthropological theory for some years
> that starts with a consideration of the Enlightenment thinkers, including
> Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, Hume, and Kant. Over the years my students have
> become less and less able to discuss the works of these philosophers. If I
> introduce any non-Western philosophers, such as Siddhartha Gautama, Lao-tzu,
> or Chuang-tzu, I draw a complete blank. I can recall that in my undergraduate
> years in the 1950s several courses covered these writers in some detail--yes,
> even the non-Western ones. For my graduate training I was required to read
> complete works of these philosophers. (I approached the *Critique of Pure
> Reason* with dread but did finish it and fancy that I understood it.) I did
> attend some very good schools, but I'm wondering whether anthropological
> training still includes immersion in the classics. Certainly at a minimum
> we know that Kant's thoughts greatly influenced the formation of American
> anthropology. I notice that the most recent textbook on *Anthropological
> Theory* by McGee and Warms begins in the mid-1800s. Have we lost something?
> Does anyone care? Robert Lawless, Dept. of Anthropology, Wichita State
> University.