About Me

 

The photo above is the view from my home in the Sonoran desert. I’m Tina, 5.3 years old in dog years. I live with my in-house philosopher and Geordie Bear.

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You’ll find a mix of subjects here. I started this blog with the intention of writing about philosophy and fiction—one or the other or both—but I’ve found myself posting about anything that interests me.

I’m working on a novel tentatively titled Philosopher King, which is about a clocked-out philosophy professor who wants nothing more than to maintain his status as a Socratic guru to his handful of devoted pupils. He’s given decades of his life to a quirky and very liberal liberal arts college, but his seniority isn’t enough to get him out of a vague sexual harassment accusation. He’s found himself in the position of “guilty until proven innocent,” and he’s receiving mysterious letters in syllogistic form. When he finally makes an effort to find out the truth from a trusted student, he unwittingly implicates himself. He still has time to salvage what’s left of his reputation, but first he must determine whether it’s worth saving.

I enjoy collaborating with other writers on pretty much anything. I’ve co-authored some articles on subjects about which I know very little, and I’ve found the process stimulating and enjoyable. You could call me an everything writer, a book doctor, an editor, a springboard for ideas.

rung2diotimasladder@gmail.com

 

30 thoughts on “About Me

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  4. I wish you the best of luck trying to find that love again and making philosophy more relevant. I suppose I relate a lot to both those goals and have turned to fiction and writing in some ways in their pursuit, though I haven’t written much solid fiction in some time. Best of luck with your writing and thinking and thanks for stopping by to like my post on hashtags.

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  5. I remember studying philosophy in literature. Maybe you can incorporate the concepts? Often philosophies dramatized as successful come off as manipulative and unrealistic, but the ones that fail?

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    • I think the problem might be that philosophers tend not to know about writing fiction, and fiction writers tend not to do philosophy. The two ways of thinking are quite distinct and attract different kinds of people. But sometimes you come across a good melange. That’s what I’m working on in my novel about a Plato’s philosophy…crossing my fingers that it doesn’t come off as unrealistic!

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    • Welllllllll…let’s see. There’s Voltaire’s Candide, which is a criticism of Leibniz, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Ayn Rand’s works, Sophie’s World, works by Camus, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Tolstoy’s works, Sartre’s WWII trilogy (I’m blanking on the title at the moment) & Nausea, and definitely Crime and Punishment…morality/ethics fall within the purview of philosophy for sure. I’m sure I’m missing a lot here!

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    • “He observes that many writers on creative writing courses are technically accomplished but regard content as secondary.”

      Exactly why I love the idea of a philosophical novel. I find a lot of fiction writing intriguing yet vacuous. Cleverness can only go so far with me.

      On a side note, I see that he lived in Cornwall, which is interesting to me because I’m considering going there next summer.

      Well, you’ve definitely whet my appetite! I’m just ordered “The Craft of the Novel” on Amazon. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  6. Great! I agree about your comment about some modern novels being vacuous. I read Banville’s The Sea and although I wouldnt dismiss it entirely I did think he was overdoing the ‘poetry of language’. You’ll enjoy Colin Wilson. He was a maverick; a total autodidact! His Age of Defeat (Stature of Man in the USA) is another where he challenges the worth of modern novels.

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  7. I love both philosophy and literature and in fact write fiction as if it were philosophy. I use literature in the philosophy classes I teach and even published a little introduction to phllosophy in dialog form (gee, wonder where I got that idea?). The book is less than a hundred pages, costs less than $15–both the goals my students challenged me to reach after they grew tired of thousand page dully philosophy texts costing over $120. Children are natural philosophers but our schools tend to shake that out of them in elementary school. I view my teaching as restoring the love of questions and of wonder that children had and often lost. Maybe that’s why my classes are always full. It’s certainly not because I’m so interesting!

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    • Kudos to you on making philosophy more accessible! Sometimes I wonder if professors are going for a kind of hazing or initiation in the way they conduct things. I’m sure your students appreciate not having to fork over all that money. I never had to buy philosophy textbooks, but I did take a survey of Western thought course which required that I buy a fat pile of books. I believe I spent over $400, and that was after going into town to look for used copies. If I had had a Kindle back then, I could have acquired nearly all of those books for free, as these were all classics.

      You know when I was in France, I found huge sections on philosophy for all ages. There was the most adorable illustrated book on Plato’s allegory of the cave in which these kids find themselves in a computer-generated time warp and they get to meet “Platon” and “Socrate”. I wish I had had such books to read as a child. Philosophy just isn’t as appreciated here. I do remember reading an illustrated version of Aesop’s fables. I was absolutely engrossed in it. It struck me as the cleverest thing I’d ever read.

      Socrates says on his death bed that he wonders if he misinterpreted his recurring dream telling him to “cultivate the arts” and he decides to write his own version of Aesop’s fables!

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  8. I love your description of what wallowing in philosophy can become. That’s been my own experience as well. I appreciate those who can transcend the cess pool, but give me something that connects with real life or give me scifi and fantasy that provide a temporary “escape” from it.

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    • Thanks! Nice to meet you.

      Yeah, I once considered going to graduate school in philosophy, but after attending a symposium on Plato at the university I was thinking about applying to, I decided not to go that route. Scholars from all over the country came to speak and I was very excited to hear what happened at this level. The lectures were about dialogues I’d read numerous times, dialogues I’d come to love. I listened to lecture after lecture for three days and I couldn’t believe so many scholars could take something so inherently interesting and make it boring.

      I never used to be into Sci-Fi or Fantasy, but I’ve learned from my readers that there’s a lot of philosophical themes in these genres.

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