Aspects of Creative and Reflective Thought

MALS 601

 

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Class Presentations and Final Essays

 

There are 2 components to your final course submission:

a) Presentations in class (December 1)

b) Final Submission (December 8 or earlier by email)

 

 

a) Presentation in Class:

The presentation in class is on Wednesday, December 1. It can be with or without a PowerPoint. On a continuum, it can range from an outline to a near final submission. The goal is to have your classmates comment and to inspire you to take your ideas to another level. To add the personal if missing as well as augment the conceptual. Class input may result in a 10%, 20%, 30% change in your argument and content. There is no bar. It is your reflection on the course and what you have learned. The length of the presentation is up to you.

 

b) Final paper (7 pages):

In the week following your presentation in class, please revise and submit your final paper no later than December 8th via email.

 

c) Question to be addressed for Presentation in class and Final Submission:

 

Caputo’s conclusion to his book is “to let TRUTH be, to let it lead so we can follow. We never know what TRUTH will do next, nor can anyone dictate to TRUTH how it is supposed to behave”. (p. 244) His book ends with a plea for the reader to accept a “postmodern faith”. (p. 257 ff.)

 

For Caputo, truth and religion in modernity, is another face to the debate between faith and reason. His answer is a “new Enlightenment” (p. 10). His method is “a hermeneutic or postmodern theory of TRUTH that accepts the choasmic play of multiple and competing interpretations of the world “(p. 18)……what he calls “changing with the changed” (p. 19) [Should we think Bob Dylan—times they are changing?]

 

The many hermeneutic faces of the debate between faith and reason are only one side of the coin in this course – the reflective. The other side is the creative. How we express ourselves creatively —- through mediums such as art, writing and music — shape the debate. Reading Tich Nath Hahn, we encountered how lack of mindfulness inhibits creativity. Reading Zygmunt Bauman, we encountered how our lives are continually challenged by uncertainty.

 

Using Kuhn’s idea of “paradigm shifts” (pp. 224 – 232 in Caputo’s book Truth), write a 7 page essay that addresses how your Creative Experience (e.g., vision board, writing, music, meditation, yoga) assisted you to reflect on faith and reason, in short, truth. What is your truth? Have you ever experienced a paradigm shift in your life? If so, when, why, and how did this come about? Did this class affect your version of the Truth? Compliment your essay with selections from your readings.

 

***One guide to understanding paradigm shift is re-reading Caputo’s discussion of the fertility of Kuhn’s concept with regard to art and our construction of what it means (truth) -“When Duchamp placed a urinal on a pedestal in 1917 and declared it a piece of art, he effected a paradigm shift in contemporary art, or (and this is even more revealing), changed the rules of the art game (Wittgenstein—British philosopher) or recast our interpretative frame (hermeneutics—framework to interpret).

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