Saturday, June 9, 2012

The furniture in Mr. Roger's neighborhood

From Harrisonburg, VA, USA
Before I say anything critical about this, let me just say: This video is AWESOME, and it's been stuck in my head for two days now...

As great as it is, though, my quibble is philosophical and anthropological in nature. While I simply love the metaphor "garden of your mind" where ideas "grow," it does presuppose a rather rationalist Enlightenment view of the human person, as primarily thinking beings. The trouble is, ideas have consequences in the real world and on real bodies, and not always good ones.

The other bit that gives me pause is the line, "it's good to be curious about many things." As Stanley Hauerwas pointed out in an essay last fall, curiosity hasn't always been thought of as good. "It was so," Hauerwas states, "because curiosity was an ordering of the affections, a form of love, by which the knower sought to make that which they knew unique to themselves."

Rather, in the pre-Enlightenment view, being studious, was seen as a virtue. Being studious requires being part of a community of learning, of exemplars and apprentices, of subjecting oneself to a discipline that shapes the person into a virtuous actor.

So put that in your garden and grow it, while you try to get this amazing song out of your head!

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