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Reflections from Last Thursday

kgrass's picture

In class we talked about the philosopher Richard Rorty, who was an American philosopher who had a childhood fascination with orchids and was also passionate about social justice. His goals for college were to find a framework for how these two could be related, but he couldn’t find one. Paul discussed how Richard spent the rest of his life focusing on the fact that there is no fixed truth or reality, which is why he could not find a fixed framework for these two subjects. Some passions just may not mix perfectly together or there may not be a reason for liking two very different things. What I find interesting is that rather than pursuing either of these passions, Richard focused his life on trying to figure out the meaning behind it. In this case, the pursuit of meaning was more important than the actual interests. I feel like this example is very important in our discussion of “truth”. I think “truth” isn’t really what is important to society, but rather the story behind “truth”. The explanation is always more interesting than the fact because we search for understanding rather than knowing.

            On another note, I found an interesting video on a comedy website called Britanick. It’s called “Academy Award Winning Movie Trailer”, in which all of the elements of movies are put together in a particular way that exposes the “formula” for a movie trailer. I thought it pertains to our conversations about what is “new” and whether there is an algorithm for successful literature (or in this case movie trailer). Here’s the link:



alexandrakg's picture

re: Reflections

I would agree as well.  Though I question the difference between "truth" and "the story behind it," I definitely feel as a society we like a good story.  My high school physics teacher would often tell us the back story of the scientists who discovered certain aspects of physics.  I admit it made physics a lot more interesting, and also gave it a little human aspect.  However, these back stories really had nothing to do with actual physics.  Whether or not Newton was the one who first realized it, gravity still exists.  When apples fell from trees before Newton was born, they still hit the ground.  Sometimes the back story can be distracting, and point people away from what is really important.  I worry sometimes that in the pursuit for the juiciest story, people lose touch with reality.

rachelr's picture

Who cares as long as we're entertained?

 I completely agree with your idea that “'truth' isn’t really what is important to society, but rather the story behind 'truth'." This is exactly why we read tabloids and love gossip- its the story of a scandal, the fact that this couple that seemed madly in love and had 5 children together has suddenly been split up due to infidelity. We read an entire novel and not just the last chapter because we want to know the story, the juiciest parts, and that is better than the conclusion. Often people miss the moral "lessons" imbedded in a movie or book if the plot (the story) is engaging enough. Its not what is told but how what's told is told that matters. 

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