Hi everyone, welcome to Spring Semester 2013! And welcome to The Dance of Reason, the new blog of the Sacramento State Department of Philosophy.
This blog is an experiment. The basic idea is to try to break down the barriers imposed by the classroom and encourage the exchange of ideas between students and professors who otherwise may not get the chance to do so.
As for the name. Most people would not think to compare reason to dance, but the similarities are striking when you begin to think about it. Excellence in reasoning requires a cooperative attitude, a litheness of step and a lightness of being that prevents us from taking ourselves too seriously. As philosophers, we do not assign reason the plodding task of getting what we want or the truly degrading one of proving that familiar and comfortable ideas are correct. Rather, we set our reason free to cavort with strangers. We celebrate the opportunity to reinterpret our world, to learn new steps, new ways of moving across the intellectual landscape.
So, starting today, students, professors and friends of the Sacramento State Department of Philosophy have an open invitation to submit posts to this blog. Note that our standards will be high. A good blog piece- and we won't waste your time with anything that isn't good- will be fairly short, well-written, well-reasoned, creative, accessible to a general philosophically inclined audience and interesting. As time goes by, our hope is that professors in the department will use the blog as a forum to discuss what they are currently thinking about. But we also hope that they will encourage students who write particularly interesting papers or who make particularly interesting points during class discussion to develop their ideas for the blog.
To submit to the blog you will send your piece to Professor Mayes <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Submissions that don't meet the above criteria will be kindly rejected, though you may also be encouraged to revise them for re-submission, perhaps in consultation with your professors. As in life, rejections will probably be common. But don't let that discourage you from trying again. All posts are subject to editing. However, if you do not approve of the final form in which your post appears, we will remove it at your request.
Finally, a word about comments. It is ok to make short complimentary comments, but critical ones need to be written in a civilized, thoughtful and generous manner. Any comments that do not meet this standard will be deleted. (Please feel free to report what you regard as uncivilized activity to Professor Mayes.) Also, if you get a submission accepted to the blog, the spirit of dance compels you to follow your partners in inquiry and respond in kind.
For most people, the easiest way to follow this blog will be through the Sacramento State Department of Philosophy's Facebook Page. Just like us. You know you do.