Notes for lecture on "Possibilities and Practice: The Heroic Task and Self Education."

The Hebrew speakers/the piano players in the room

Commencement and William James's goal of a college education

Constructional method ala Carnap, Goodman, Aristotle, Maslow.
(oughtness of the best questioned, then accepted if survives criticism)

How to apply the findings.

The statue in the WU library reserve reading room

Possibilities, the sculpture as its sculptor's model, self as task, as project.
The haunting why weren't you you question from the Hasidic tale/& or selection from Buber's The Way of Man According to the Teachings of the Hasidim  (Citadel Press, 1994).

The importance of understanding the limits and possibilities presented by the material (Lao Tzu/Buber).

The importance of not forgetting the neglected possibilities - Lau Tzu, Buber, Feuerestein
The role of mediated experience and human plasticity including brain plasticitiy (e.g, Reuven Feuerstein's work - see, &

Bruce Ching, the secret of the martial arts according to Jou  Tsung Hwa; application of the secrets (investigation of the possibilities, practice. BCvideo  from his Warrior Healer blog).

The 10,000-Hour Rule (ch. 2 in Gladwell's Outliers)

The complaint “if I only knew Latin . . .”

DeWitt's The Last Samurai.

The future and  . . . the Hebrew speakers in the room / the piano players in the room . . . .

Some authors to look at in connection with this, Aristotle (Ethics), de Beauvoir (Ethics of Ambiguity,  The Second Sex),

Octavia E. Butler's essay "Furor Scribendi" in Bloodchild and Other Stories.
George Leonard,   Mastery (New York:  Penguin/Plume,1992).
Dave Lowry, Autumn Lightning, and other works.
Amdur, Ellis.  Dueling with O-Sensei: Grappling with the Myth of the Warrior Sage (, and other works.
Helen DeWitt, The Last Samurai
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
Nelson Goodman, Ways of Worldmaking, and other works.
Abraham Maslow, The Farther Reaches of Human Nature.
Jou  Tsung Hwa, The Dao of Taijiquan.
Bruce Ching. A Warrior's Guide to Healing (illustrated by Adam Talley), and his Warrior Healer Blog (

M. Kagan, PHL 403, last revised March, 2016; some edits and additions 10.19.2017.