06 November 2006
a few years back, i took a course with ken sharpe and barry schwartz about the application of neo-aristotelian political philosophy(ies) to problems of modern life -- what are the professions, for example, and how can one best practice them? one of the key(est) elements of that course is its insistence that particularities and individual narratives matter when you're plotting Grand Theory. now, i think that some of that sort of literature is decidedly weak; it follows the general outline that this is my story, i don't care if it is exceptional, it's mine, mine, mine all mine, generalizability and population distribution(s) be damned, etc. i also happen to think that that sort of literature is totally and completely necessary to any sort of principled life -- if it were just us and the principles we'd get really discouraged really fast. so let me just say: there is absolutely no one better than bitch ph.d. at using personal narrative to work through theoretical issues. go read that.