I raise a glass, send a warm thought.
Sun outside. Even though it’s still a little cold, there are secret smiles everywhere to be had.
It’s a couple or three hours later now. I just got back from class, The Passions of Ethnic Conflict. This class is gonna rule. It’s doing what I hoped one of my classes last quarter would do: attack rational choice theorists and their tautological explanations for non-economic social phenomena. I had thought that The Politics of Taste would do it, but it just didn’t, it got bogged down instead in Hume and Kant.
The tautological argument goes like this: people do what they do because rationally it brings them closer to what they want or what they desire. They want or desire things, on the other hand, because it is for some reason rational to do so… Suny begins this course by arguing that this is a fundamental miscalculation. Emotion drives taste, and rationality only preceeds toward the fulfillment of human emotion. Emotion, then, becomes a defintional problem, tied up in culture, praxis, and experience.
Sounds almost like the sort of thing I came here to study. But we’ll see.
Now it’s afternoon. What next? Downtown?
I don’t know.
I don’t have anything in common with anyone here. I don’t want to hang out, I don’t want to study. Of course, I don’t really have anything in common with myself, either.
I’m gonna walk.
How did I do that before?
And do I really wanna do it again?