How can you get into Philosophy before entering a college or university classroom? In Ben Sidran's magisterial series Talking Jazz novelist and jazz trumpeter Ralph Ellison defines jazz as "an art of individual assertion within and against the group". While elaborating the difference between commercial music and true jazz, Ellison says that the jazz impulse is a contest in which each artist challenges all the rest; each solo flight, or improvisation, represents (like the successive canvases of the painter) a definition of his identity: as individual, as member of the collectivity and as a link in the chain of tradition.
That is just the impulse I feel when studying and teaching philosophy.
This is a fitting metaphor for the way I study and teach philosophy. So, why not approach philosophy as jazz? Whether you are a home schooler an interested high school student or simply a thoughtful person who would like to get into philosophy before entering the classroom, here is your invitation to begin finding your identity and representing yourself within and against the philosophical tradition.
Watch for video and audio postings from select philosophy classes when my semester begins! The postings will be from my current courses on Logic, Introduction to Philosophy, Philosophy of Christ and Culture and Apologetics.
Members, please see my Blogs page. Items for Philosophy as Jazz are marked "PaJ".
Note: Philosophy as Jazz is in a holding pattern for the current academic year.