Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blog #12: Last Blog of the Semester

As this is the last time I will be posting I guess I will rehash some of the things that I experienced over the course of the semester that really engaged my mind and made me think.

The first thing that has stuck with me throughout the semester is pondering on Allen Carlson's model for the "appropriate" aesthetic appreciation of nature. Upon first reading Carlson's point of view I found myself agreeing, more or less, with everything he said. As a biology major it made sense to me that to have what I would consider an appropriate aesthetic experience in nature it would require some scientific knowledge about the aspect of nature in question. Carlson's logic seemed sound, and I could see how it practically made sense, so I accepted his view. However, as the semester went on and we read other philosophers' work, I noticed that my confidence in Carlson's view started to fade. I began to redefine what I though was the appropriate experience in nature. I thought about people like Daniel Boone and others of that sort and how I cannot imagine they had an incorrect or inappropriate aesthetic experience in nature. I also found myself standing in awe of certain aspects of nature as I spent more time in the woods on my family's farm. I did indeed believe that the experiences I had there were appropriate. Thus, I cannot at this moment say that I completely disagree with Carlson, but I no longer can say I agree with him either. This was the first major thing that has stuck with me.

The second is a topic that has been discussed rather recently. It was the topic that I blogged on in the last few blogs regarding how someone can judge their lives before it is over that I got from the Bugbee readings. This is something that I believe I have answered for myself, but that I continue to think about every single day. I think that, for me, I have to evaluate my life based on what I see in the Bible and through my personal faith in Jesus Christ. This is how I can tell if my life has meaning or not without having to wait until I am on my deathbed and have to look back on everything I have done in life. This is an idea, as I said, that I bounce around in my head and am constantly refining and updating in my thought life. It provoked a massive amount of thought, which I think is extremely good.

These are just two small parts of the semester that we have looked at in this class. But they are the two things that I think I will remember twenty years from now when I reflect on what I remember from this class. These are the things that spoke to me and the things that I keep with me in my everyday life. While I can't remember everything we talked about or even understand every philosophical labyrinth that Henry Bugbee penned, I will always have these two topics to remember and ponder on, and this class to thank for that.

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