Sunday, March 7th, 2004
I’ve been gearing up for lots of land work.
Every semester appears to get busier and busier, but who can know, since the last one is gone into the past. I like to ask this question: where is the physical yesterday? Anyway, the students are busy, too: I’ll have papers coming in next week for four out of the five courses I teach. Hopefully the texts will be in order–documentation, organization, and that the processes have been at work, the ones that aren’t under my control. The best college work is the kind done outside of the teacher’s control, the kind that people do on their own time and using their own mental resources, their own powers of synthesis.
Consider British Lit. We swing into Mill’s On Liberty this week and continue the revenue of ideas.
What does Mill mean by Liberty, since it will have to be defined and continues to go through the paces of the art and practice of definition. Liberty to do what? Is Liberty an action, a state of being, an interdependency, a thing that people want or don’t want? Is one in “Liberty” or does one do “liberty”? Is it an illusion given answers to the former?
The definition matters.
Freedom of movement, because we have legs.
Freedom of speech, because we have vocal cords.
Freedom to think, because we do.