Headline July 16, 2019/ '' 'PHILOSOPHY -THY- PROFESSOR' ''


EVER SINCE DESCARTES INSISTED upon the separation of mind and body, philosophers { especially feminist philosophers} have tried to impress upon us the necessity of attending to the body.

Descartes thought the mind was the divine and indubitable aspect of his own being, that single point of certainty on which to rebuild his crumbling world : ''I think therefore I am.''

In January 2018, while I was chaperoning my daughter's school ice-skating trip, a sturdy third-grade boy lost control and came sliding into me from behind on his knees.

He was just the right-size projectile to undercut my skates and send me flying backward on the ice, where I landed on my head. Thus began my ignoble descent into becoming a philosopher on brain rest.

When I got up I was not my usual self. Feeling disoriented and unable to remember my own address or the date, I was taken to the emergency room, where I was examined and told I had whiplash and concussion.

I found the medical terminology for my condition, ''mild traumatic brain injury,'' confusing and humorous. It was confusing because I'm not sure how anything can be both mild and traumatic at once. It was humorous for the same reason.

The elegant doctor who saw me assured me that i would stop weeping for no apparent reason very soon, and that all I had to do to hasten my recovery was commit to ''brain rest'' - essentially no reading, writing, screens or strenuous thinking until I could sustain focus without a headache or other symptoms of injury.

The predicted time for recovery was three months. It was at this point that she nonchalantly asked me what I do for a living.

''I am a philosopher,'' I replied. And I am pretty sure that we both though that was hilarious.

Being a philosopher on brain rest is like being a point guard on hand rest. The major asset for your profession is suddenly not working reliably. I have often lamented the fact that my job as a philosophy professor confines me so much to chair and a desk.

I've wished philosophy entailed more calisthenics, rugged walking, running outdoors. With my concussion, I found myself suddenly freed from the professional obligation to think. I even had a doctor's note.

Sadly, I was in no condition to run, and absent a clear head, walks and daily movement was more difficult and less enjoyable than before. Brain rest itself was elusive, as I seemed incapable of arresting thought. There was no protective cone to keep the wounded place from being itched, no cast to keep the brain still.

Perhaps predictably then, brain rest inspired more thinking about the very nature of thinking.

One of the most disconcerting aspects of the immediate days and weeks following my concussion was the degree to which I found my self missing. I felt bad in so many ways, but the profound gap in my identity had to do with my lack of basic recall and the challenge of carrying out previously simple mental steps.

I was moving about with no apparent difficulty, but my head felt like an anvil and my mind felt like a slosh. It made me question anew the degree to which I am my brain.

Descartes theory of mind recalls Plato's theory of the soul as the immortal, essential and indestructible part of the human being, the body a temporary prison or Shell. Mind body dualism is often ridiculed in contemporary philosophy as a legacy of stubbornly metaphysical, patriarchal and Western thinking.

Dualism oversimplifies both mind and body and leads to a devaluation of the complexly embodied, psychosomatic ways in which beings inhabit the world. No serious philosopher or neuroscientist today thinks that mind and body can be neatly parsed into two distinctly separate objects and systems.

But a concussion has a way of changing one's sense of the balance between mind and body.

The Honor and Serving of the latest Global Operational Research on super writings, continues. The World Students Society thanks author, Megan Craig, associate professor philosophy and art, State University, New York.

With respectful dedication to the great art and science of Philosophy, Students, Professors and Teachers. See Ya all on Facebook, prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot. com and Twitter-!E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' !WOW! & THEE '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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