Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ How to read (part twelve). Can I read philosophy like I read a novel?

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

As most readers know, my background is in philosophy. According to what we read here, this means that the way I read is, in an important sense, different from the way most other people read. People who work with 'stories' (the word 'novel' is to limited) can be said to be reading "with a sense of identification," that is, aligning with the protagonist. Or reading might even be 'aspirational', that is, wanting to identify with the author, work, or intended audience. Reading philosophically, by contrast, is reading 'adversarial', that is, reading to question, criticize, or dispute what is being asserted. I don't read to 'see myself' in literature, I read (maybe) to position myself against a large, wide, confusing and often baffling world. What's interesting here (and not stated in the post) is that reading adversarially is a reflection of privilege, where who I am has not been questioned, and my right to exist well-established. Related: Critical Thinking in Reading Comprehension: Fine Tuning the Simple View of Reading.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 20, 2024 01:23 a.m.

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