MOVING TO FRONT FROM YESTERDAY--UPDATED
This is worth reading; an excerpt:
Fisher says that many of his students are in a state that he calls “depressive hedonia … an inability to do anything else except pursue pleasure”. I’m not trying to give my students pleasure, or make them enjoy themselves. I’m trying to show them how critical engagement with literature enables critical engagement with living. I’m trying to interrupt what Fisher calls “the constant flow of sugary gratification on demand”. And finally, I’m trying to help them pass that literacy test.
UPDATE: Philosopher Nick Smith (Sydney) calls to my attention the rather unfortunate choice of photograph accompanying the article linked above; he shared with me the letter he sent to The Guardian:
I am writing to complain about the picture you used in conjunction with this article:
The picture shows the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney (of which I am the Chair). The article is not about Philosophy students and not, as far as I can see, about students at the University of Sydney at all.
The article makes claims such as the following:
"I have two burning concerns: one is to give readers an insight into what it is currently like to teach at an Australian university. To satisfy this concern I want to tell you about semesters and classes shortened to save money on teaching; on passing incapable students simply to keep quotas up; on teaching students for whom attendance at university is no longer a necessary part of gaining a degree."
None of these comments has any applicability to Philosophy at Sydney. The association of such comments with a photograph of our Department is offensive to Philosophy staff and to our students, who are dedicated, interested, engaged, talented and hard working, and are among the best I have taught anywhere in the world. My colleagues and I consider it a privilege and a pleasure to teach these students and I am saddened to think that they might read this article, under a picture of their department, and in any way associate its negative content with their own situation.
Nicholas J.J. Smith FAHA
Professor of Philosophy
Chair of Department
Department of Philosophy, Main Quadrangle A14, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia