Monday, March 20, 2006

A Bad Poem About a Tough Class

Dread.
Hume,
Kant,
their epistemology...
for the uninitiated,
the community college.

Years of my study,
Three hours of our pain.

Is anyone home?

1. Matter of fact.
2. Relations of ideas.

What is the difference?
Does anyone know?

Kant, the intrepid revolutionary:
Synthetic a priori knowledge.
What is it?
Why think about it?
Who cares about it?
Is it possible?

Engaging ideas, raging teaching.
Blank stares.

And yet...
That ring-in-lip young women venturing answers to my many questions.
Sometime right, sometimes wrong, but sometimes!
Her expressions show concern.
Her pen is active.

Hume is wrong, I aver. Internal inconsistency.
Kant is wrong, I plead. Internal inconsistency!

Do they fathom "internal inconsistency" at all?
Have they made the law of noncontradiction their friend,
or is it an enemy or a stranger?

There is another way of knowledge, I suggest:
It is God-bestowed; it avoids skepticism;
it transcends transcendental idealism (Kantianism).

I offer "divine preformation" quickly as an alternative,
--with a reference to a book not required--just before the quiz.

Is anyone home, anyone here

--besides that frowning, nodding, and writing young woman?

3 comments:

Becky said...

Yes, your "bad poem" accurately captures the empty looks of introductory students. Our enthusiasm for Hume, Kant, and subcontrary relations in the Square of Opposition only goes so far.

Ross said...

Dr. Groothius,

I'm curious about your reference to "divine preformation"; to show my ignorance I'm unfamilar with this concept as an epistemic theory of knowledge. What is the book that you referenced in the class?

Douglas Groothuis said...

Ross: Ronald Nash outlines this theory in his excellent intro to philosophy called, "Life's Ultimate Question" in his chapter on epistemology: "A Tale of Two Syatems." The most developed treatment is found in Carl F. H. Henry's "God, Revelation, and Authority" (1976-83), vol. 1.