Sunday, May 1, 2011

Thought for the Day

. . . In the real world, situations are not bundled together
with options. In the real world, the act of framing — 
the act of describing a situation, and thus of determining
that there's a decision to be made — is itself a moral task. 
It's often the moral task. Learning how to recognize what is
and isn't an option is part of our ethical development. . . 
In life, the challenge is not so much to figure out 
how best to play the game; the challenge is
to figure out what game you're playing.
~ Kwame Anthony Appiah, Experiments in Ethics*


* Quoted in MIT professor Sherry Turkle's most recent book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (I purchased this book as a gift for my husband, who is an admirer of Turkle's work.)

Biography for Kwame Anthony Appiah

"Sidling up to Difference", On Being Podcast with Kwame Anthony Appiah

"Alive Enough?", On Being Podcast with Sherry Turkle


Ruth said...

Maureen, I really appreciate the Kwame Anthony Appiah quote.

Just Friday, a professor who is leaving our department for an offer at Oxford (how can he refuse?) was telling me about how he had to break it to his class. He is very well loved in the department and perhaps even more so than our beloved Tess, about whom I wrote my current post. When Lloyd explained his new job at Oxford to his class, he also asked them not to let the Humanities die in our university. Because we are state funded, we are at the mercy of legislators and also our president and provost, and their values and the realities of the tanked economy. In Lloyd's plea to students not to let the Humanities die, he reminded them of the decision to bomb Serbia back in Clinton's time. He said it was geographers who knew where to bomb, but it was humanitarians who had to contemplate the ethics of whether to bomb. I may not agree with the decision to bomb Serbia (Hillary was chanting for it, if I recall), and I don't pretend to know what we absolutely should have done, but I very much agree with Lloyd's plea for the Humanities, for the analytical thinkers to counterbalance the data of the sciences as we face these games of our times.

Louise Gallagher said...

"the challenge is to figure out what game you're playing."

Soooo true.

Thanks maureen.

Have a beautiful Sunday.

Claudia said...

the challenge is to figure out what game they're true for many areas of life...was thinking of some politicians first hand - but i think you have this in every possible area..

S. Etole said...

and the consequences of 'winning' that game ...

Anonymous said...

funny one.

"bundled together with options" reminds me of car shopping.