philosophy

The First Morning

Abbey describes his arrival at Arches National Monument as a genesis, a place where the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. He awakens from sleep to a goal of discovering the… Read More ›

Origins: Cactus Ed

MAY ALL YOUR TRAILS BE CROOKED, WINDING, LONESOME, DANGEROUS, LEADING TO THE MOST AMAZING VIEW, WHERE SOMETHING STRANGE AND MORE BEAUTIFUL AND MORE FULL OF WONDER THAN YOUR DEEPEST DREAMS WAITS FOR YOU. — Edward Abbey (1927-1989)   Edward Paul… Read More ›

Manifest Destiny

ONE OF THE PENALTIES OF AN ECOLOGICAL EDUCATION IS THAT ONE LIVES ALONE IN A WORLD OF WOUNDS. — ALDO LEOPOLD   The landscape of 19th century America, the landscape that produced Abbey, Carson, and Leopold, was markedly different from… Read More ›

Five Minds for the Future

Five Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner (2008) For years I’ve used Howard Gardner’s seminal essay, “Multiple Intelligences,” in my freshman composition courses. It’s a fine example of the comparison-contrast mode of expository writing using a point-by-point structure; moreover,… Read More ›

Understanding Media

Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man Critical Edition by Marshall McLuhan (1964) Edited by W. Terrence Gordon (2003) In this, the book that catapulted him to the world stage of philosophic frontiers, McLuhan looks to the likes of W.B. Yeats,… Read More ›

The Gutenberg Galaxy

The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man by Marshall McLuhan (1962) From Shakespeare’s Lear to Joyce’s Finnegans, Marshall McLuhan shows how the printing press moved Western man from the hot, hyperesthetic world of the ear to the cool, neutral… Read More ›

Zen Physics

Zen Physics: The Science of Death, the Logic of Reincarnation by David Darling (1996) I’m a dualist — can’t help it, always have been — no matter how eloquently Hofstadter tells me that I am a strange loop. And I… Read More ›