The Pursuit of Wonder: Political Implications

This course builds on and will refer back to the “Philosophical Invitations” class, but each class is also stand alone, requiring no prior knowledge or preparation. The thesis is this: simple negations of power structures tend to end in futility, if not a different version of the same—because these struggles are between differing versions or visions of control. Possibilities of true freedom or true human flourishing, which would require suspending the drive to control and need for certainty, are overwhelmed by power struggles that divide humans between those who obey and those who rebel. This class will begin with a brief (10-20 minute) lecture over the pragmatics of wonder—how to ask the kinds of questions that matter in the real world—before moving to a discussion of the lecture and a conversation over the homework. Interested students are invited to familiarize themselves with the “Masters of Suspicion” course of lectures for additional context. This is a seven week course. Suggested donation, $70.00, although any one is free to come at any time, without having done the reading. Please register by emailing daniel@humanistinquiries.org.

Live discussions will occur Tuesdays from 12:30-1:30 in room 209 of the Senior Center.I’m hoping to provide either an audio file or written notes for those unable to be present locally during that time.

Class Topics:

26 July: Possibility of wondering :: Can we wonder in a world of answers?

02 Aug:  Producing a question :: Can we ask questions in an ethical way?

09 Aug: Preparation for questioning :: What kind of research must be done?

23 Aug: Performing wonder :: How is it possible to resist ideological gravity?

30 Aug: Practicing questioning :: What does it mean to live within questions?

06 Sept: Pragmatics of wonder :: What changes can wondering cause?

13 Sept: Politics of wonder :: Can asking questions disrupt power structures?