Thursday, November 3, 2011

What Traditional Vocabulary Do You Teach?

I just realized that, although I work primarily in the traditions of pragmatism and continental, I teach in an analytic vocabulary.  I think that is amusing, because its an unintuitive way to break-down traditional barriers.  Breaking down barriers is not the same as breaking traditions; it is being neighborly rather than hostile.  I do this not by accident; I honestly think that analytic terms are easier to grasp on the face of it.  However, as I would complain if you asked, they are no different from continental or pragmatist terms in assuming a specific background by which they foreground their taken meaning.

I teach most introductory courses in a historical format.  Of course, I introduce and insist upon the historic terms, but I also introduce contemporary terms in my commentary, e.g., the "this is what this is about."  (The distinction between historical perspective and explicit retrospective is a concept for a higher-level course, in which the distinction between historic and contemporary terms would be more significant.)

Does anyone else notice such tradition-shifting between their research and teaching, or between teaching different subjects in their own practice?  In the future, I would love to teach upper-division or graduate courses where we would address issues "bi-lingually" in two traditions' vocabularies.  The very first course I would like to do that in would be on phenomenal qualities ... because that's where my research is going.  I'll keep dreaming that I'd ever get such a position, as the market looks so terrible.

1 comment:

  1. Now I can articulate why this seemed amusing and significant to me. We need to distinguish any concerns we may have about institutional power and philosophical traditions. I have a lot of concerns about institutional power, but these should be kept distinct from attaching necessarily to any one tradition.


There was an error in this gadget