Monday, January 21, 2013

Week 2

This week brought a lot of new information and things to ponder.

We discussed Plato and Aristotle's views on education, and one thing I found particularly fascinating about this exploration was the fact that both Plato and Aristotle held music and music education in such high regard.  While doing additional research on the topic, I ran across a quote on Aristotle's view of music education that I enjoyed:

"Before children are ready for intellectual training, however, they  must acquire a taste for harmony in music so that they will be inclined to seek the harmony of their souls through a proper balance, in which the appetites are subordinated to the rule of reason" (Sorbom, pg. 40)

Source: Göran Sörbom. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. Vol. 52, No. 1, The Philosophy of Music (Winter, 1994), pp. 37-46

I especially like the end of the quote.  I believe that too often in today's society we allow ourselves to become ruled by our emotions, and by attempting to take a step back, gain a new perspective, or utilize logic and reason to dictate our actions, we can lead a healthier and more productive lifestyle.  It is, of course, very difficult, if not impossible to completely eliminate the effects our emotions can have upon us, but really trying to be impartial and objective is still a very useful intellectual exercise.

Another topic that we had a somewhat heated argument on was whether or not technological devices should be allowed during class.  And while the advances in technology and access to information have been incredibly progressive in some regards, I honestly believe that our reliance on technology is becoming more and more of a detriment.  All too often I find myself sitting in any number of places surrounded by silence and downward staring faces.  Conversation has been replaced by the iPhone.  Philosophy was built upon conversations and arguments.  And in a class where we are studying the deeper questions of life and education, it is important to be fully engaged.  

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