Week 2 – Know Thyself | Learned a lot about Descartes, but more about myself

 know2The last time that I studied Descartes was over 50 years ago.

In those days books with assigned readings were put on reserve in the library, and students had to sign up for a time slot in order to read them.  When the appointed hour arrived  I would be anxiously standing by the desk waiting for the book to be returned so that I could claim it.  As soon as the precious object was in hand, I would head for the quietest spot in the library stacks and diligently read and take notes until my time was up.  I always got the readings done on time and allowed no distractions to interrupt me. Now that the readings are available any time any day, I find it is much harder to settle in and study because I know that I could easily read at another time or place which might be somehow better or more conducive to remembering.

The Know Thyself lectures by  Prof Mitch Green are absolutely mesmerizing, so I am finding that it is impossible not to pay attention!  In other Coursera courses I have had the unfortunate tendency to start listening to a lecture and then deciding that I would come back to it later.  Not so this time!

I missed a question on the quiz this week and was feeling stupid, and then I looked back at my notes and saw that I had the answer written down and even underlined. Then I felt not just stupid but careless as well.  I am consoling myself that at least my note taking was adequate, and next week I will spend more time studying my notes before I submit the quiz.  This was a valuable lesson that I needed to learn!

This is the second of my weekly reflections on Coursera/ Know Thyself by UVa Professor Mitch Green.

One Reply to “Week 2 – Know Thyself | Learned a lot about Descartes, but more about myself”

  1. Ruth, at least you have studied Descarte! I have never taken a philosophy course before. A friend recommended a book to me, “Little Big Minds,” which was written by a professor at PVCC. I imagine that she was a student of Dr.Green’s! What I am finding is that the lectures are pulling me back to the movie, The Matrix. Someone tweeted a link to a YT video that discusses the philosophy behind the movie. I kept thinking about Neo and when the hardware was hooked to his head and his “self” was having experiences without his body. Maybe I am stretching this a tad bit and need to watch the philosophy clip and then reread my notes.

    Looking forward to next week and a new meditation. I felt a little cheated with just one this week!

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