lecture30.0330 - Bringing it Home: When you find your place...

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1 Bringing it Home: “When you find your place where you are, practice occurs.” "I want to talk about place as an experience and propose a model of what it meant to “live in place” for most of human time, presenting it initially in terms of the steps that a child takes growing into a natural community. "Few today can announce themselves as someone from somewhere. "Our place is part of what we are. Children start out learning place by learning those little realms around the house, the settlement, and outward." Gary Snyder ( The Practice of the Wild , 1990) Lecture 30, 03/30/11 1 2 And that connection to "the good" GS: “An ethical life is one that is mindful, mannerly, and has style. Of all moral failings and flaws of character, the worst is stinginess of thought…. Wastefulness and carelessness are caused by stinginess of spirit, an ungracious unwillingness to complete the gift-exchange transaction.” ST: “Sin is based on greed; this is the worst kind of sin, to be greedy. Even murder is a lesser sin than greed. The opposite of sin is dharma . The source of is love." Lecture 30, 03/30/11 3 Places: Where anthropologists work Lecture 30, 03/30/11 4 And why: learning by doing Iris Murdoch on “vision” and “morality”: “[A]t the level of serious common sense and of an ordinary non- philosophical reflection about the nature of morals it is perfectly obvious that goodness is connected with knowledge.” I can only choose within a world I can see, in the moral sense of ‘see’ which implies that clear vision is a result of moral imagination and moral effort.” Lecture 30, 03/30/11 5 The Jeffersonian Grid: 1785 Ordinance “The survey changed open fragmented space into an ordered geometry that could be enclosed by the human imagination. . .” (John Opie: The Law of the Land) “It is not nature-as-chaos which threatens us, but the State's presumption that it has created order. . . . Nature is orderly. That which appears to be chaotic in nature is only a more complex kind of order.” (Gary Snyder: Good, Wild, Sacred) Lecture 30, 03/30/11 6 My own work: Nepal to North Dakota And the questions I ask: “The ordinary person does not, unless corrupted by philosophy, believe that he creates value by his choices. He thinks that some things really are better than others and that he is capable of getting it wrong. We are usually not in doubt about the direction in which Good lies.” Iris Murdoch, The Sovereignty of the Good Lecture 30, 03/30/11
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2 7 Why care about farm families? (Less than 2% of Americans) Here’s what Thomas Jefferson said: “Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever he had a chosen people, whose breasts he has made the peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue. It is the focus in which he keeps alive that sacred fire, which otherwise might escape from the face of the earth. “It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a
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lecture30.0330 - Bringing it Home: When you find your place...

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