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M. Phil Update

“Aaron,” I hear some of you asking, “what’s the progress on that Masters degree you’re always whinging about?” Ah! I’m glad you asked convenient rhetorical audience members! The progress is best described as “slow, but steady.” I’ve got a draft of my thesis in to my adviser and I’m slowly working my way through the sizeable reading list for the comprehensive exams. Currently I’m neck-deep in ancients and getting ready to work my way into the Medieval period.

Which is, in a way, a bit of a slog.  I’m much more interested in Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment philosophy, and while I’m glad I know the Ancients, it’s been hard to motivate myself to learn them inside and out in the fashion that one has to for Comps.  Still, once I get the first Comp out of the way, the second one should be much more pleasant.

And then?  Well, then who knows really.  I think that there’s enough material that could go in my thesis that, if I got a burst of inspiration I could probably flush it out to book length.  But given how sick I am of the topic now, it would probably have to sit for awhile.  I also want to do a doctoral degree SOME day (hopefully focusing in AI or Robotics).  Probably after I’ve let formal academics go for awhile so that I can recover.

For now, though, I’m face-down in Plato, Aristotle, et al.  From there it’s on to Augustine, Aquinas, and those.  Then it’s Comp #1, and then on to the more interesting (to me) stuff.

In closing, I’ll leave you all with a quote from one of my favorite Ancients who is, regrettably, not on the Comps list. 

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Seneca the Younger) scripsit:

“Kindly remember that he whom you call your slave sprang from the same stock, is smiled upon by the same skies, and on equal terms with yourself breathes, lives and dies. It is just as possible for you to see in him a free-born man as for him to see in you a slave.” (Epistle 47)

Posted in Philosophy, Realtime Autobiography.