End of an era…REALLY???

A few books I read this past month

A few books I read this past month

By Kenneth Justice

~ If you haven’t noticed I’ve taken some time off this past summer from blogging. Partly due to an insane pace that I was on via my travels and vocation, and partly because of a couple side projects I’ve been putting together. I happy to announce that one of the side projects is complete.

When I first went to college years ago I focused on the discipline of psychology and racked up the necessary degrees and diploma’s to become a counselor in the field of chemical addictions (alcohol and drug dependency). Unfortunately, after working for a couple years in a local county jail and a rehabilitation clinic I soon learned that I had major problems with the current infrastructure and philosophy towards treating addicts. I came to the realization that in order for me to stay in the field of psychology I would have to compromise my own personal beliefs regarding currently held theories.

I took a sabbatical from counseling (actually, I’ve never gone back so I guess this has become a permanent sabbatical) in order to explore other avenues, and it also gave me the opportunity to begin blogging. Fortunately, my daily vocation has been going well and financially all of my bills are paid and then some.

After my departure from psychology I felt a major void in my life; what was I going to do now? With the popularity of my blog and people’s interest in my philosophical thoughts I began thinking about a new direction. I was amazed at how many people came out to hang with me as I traveled from city to city and from one coffee house to the next and by mid-June I had pretty much made up my mind as to the direction I was going to take.

Last month I applied to a graduate program at a major University (one whose name all my readers would know), I wrote an entrance essay, submitted my college transcript from previous degrees, and kept my fingers crossed. Two weeks ago I received my acceptance letter and at the start of this Autumn I will begin a Master’s degree in Philosophy which I hope to finish by the end of next year (2015) with my next goal of earning a PhD in Philosophy to follow.

Philosophy and Liberal Arts are dying subjects in the Western World. Most high schools across the United States don’t even teach philosophy anymore, and many colleges and Universities have dropped their philosophy programs and classical studies.

Colleges and Universities (even many of the good ones) have often become nothing more than diploma mills; they are places people go to get a piece of paper that they hope will get them a better job that makes more money than their current income.

The Western World in general has changed dramatically from where we were forty years ago. Public discourse, intelligent debate, and engaging dialogue were a visceral component of Western Culture in past decades. Yet in our current society we’ve watered down our minds with our fast food culture of 30 second sound-bites, silly celebrity news, and our obsession with meaningless athletic conversations.

Had I stayed in the field of psychology I would already be working on my PhD and would be close to finishing, but because I’m switching to Philosophy  it sets me back a couple years. At the age of 36 though, I still feel young enough and have put a goal of graduating with my PhD in four years.

Hopefully this won’t detract from my blogging at all. Perhaps I might need to take a day off here or there, but my goal will to continue offering my readers the daily ruminations of nonsense that run through my head.

And I’m sure my early morning cup of coffee will still be ever at my table,


Categories: Culture & Society

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61 replies

  1. Congrats, enjoy the new direction, and keep the coffee fresh. I’m down for any discussions on Nietzsche, Emerson, or the pre-Socratics with that coffee, too.

  2. Best wishes on your new venture. I look forward to following the journey through your blog postings!

  3. Good luck with your Philosophy Master! I hope all your plans work out for you 😉

  4. Tu sais qu’il n’y rien … oooh Il n’y a rien Kenneth

  5. Our conversations these days have to fit in a 140 character sentence. Fast paced. We are moving at light speed compared with the laid back 30 years ago.

    I applaud you on your new set adventure. I am cheering you on. And why bring forth the age. Never to old to learn new things. Cheers dude.

    And your switching to Philosophy 😉

  6. Truly- hat off! I once wanted to pursue a Philosophy degree… of course I didn’t because one needs balls to do it and at that time I needed something to put me into work… But it sounds so good, I might just think about it again as all other Life matters are in place 🙂 Good luck to you!!! 🙂

  7. Good for you! I mourn the demise of intelligent debate, being old enough to remember when it still flourished. Luckily for me, it’s still alive and well in my family.

  8. Yay, yay, yay, yaaaaaay!! I am beyond delighted for you! Philosophy, that’s right up your alley. 🙂 Man, how exciting. I recently came to the conclusion that I want to change my major to history, instead of English. Things have been changing, internally, for me the past year. Anyways, congrats on your new venture Kenny!

  9. Good post! Please correct it: “switching to Philosophy” instead of psychology.

  10. Good for you; Congrats and good luck.
    Glad you listen to your mother’s advice 🙂 2014 A year to remember for sure!! xoxo

  11. You can philosophize right here. So I’m thinking you’re looking at a job at some point. A lot of companies could use a philosophical consultant to iron our the wrinkles and contradictions: to help them formulate a sound company message.

  12. Congratulations! I am still waiting for you to come out to Santa Cruz, CA.

  13. There is a reason those studies are dying. I’d suggest that you have a more primary goal at the end of four years. A way to support yourself. BTW, I’m a PhD. I rarely use it. I never use the title. My wife calls me doctor when she’s making dinner reservations.

  14. Welcome back! It is good to take a break to refresh and renew! I am so proud of you! Congratulations on pursuing your Masters and your acceptance into the program. I enjoyed the few philosophy classes I took in my undergrad and grad programs…after the headaches went away from stretching my brain cells around some of the concepts! Namaste!!!

  15. My Dad just got his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Illinois a little over a year ago. I won’t put his age down, but I am 36. 😉 After my children leave the house, I want to get my degree too. At my age, I’m still not sure what I want to get it in, but it will have to do with social issues, psychology and/or religion. I think that as we get older, we discover that different things are important to us than the ones we thought were important when we were 20.

  16. Congrats on the beginning of your new adventure! 😀

  17. May things go well for you. Don’t ever be afraid to try new things. You already know that.


  18. Congratulations on grad school! I’m sure you will gain so many wonderful experiences from the program.

  19. Congratulations and good for you! I alluded to it earlier, but some of my fondest memories growing up are the philosophical debates we had around our dinner table with family and friends. I come for a family of six and both of my parents worked at a small private college in eastern Iowa. We were raised devout Christians, but not fundamentalist. Open discussion from religion to politics was encouraged. Keep on doing what you’re doing!! Congratulations!!

  20. “The Western World in general has changed dramatically from where we were forty years ago. Public discourse, intelligent debate, and engaging dialogue were a visceral component of Western Culture in past decades. Yet in our current society we’ve watered down our minds with our fast food culture of 30 second sound-bites, silly celebrity news, and our obsession with meaningless athletic conversations.”

    I too wish to bring back a world where people can talk peacefully about things that matter. My talks with you on the podcasts have reminded me how much I crave the relevance that only comes from communicating with those different than me.

  21. Congratulations Kenneth. Good choice:). I have always been a huge fan of classics. Latin, Greek Mythology – these were the subject that set my heart alight….and still are. Science after all is simply a modern upstart…and let’s not forget that science is nothing more, nothing less than Natural Philosophy after all:). Wishing you all the very best and excited for you. Looking forward to joining you on your philosophical path.

  22. That is awesome! Congratulations and good luck on your new journey. You’ll do great!

  23. WooHoo! What? You mean you didn’t already have your degree in philosophy? No way! Do we maybe have the next ‘Francis Shaeffer’? Hmmmmmm. When are you releasing your first book. If you want to do one of those funky documentary’s like he did in the 70s (it was the 70s right. Had to be, with those knickers and all) let us know ok.
    btw, make sure you let me know if you’ll end up in my corner of the world ok.

  24. Congratulations! That’s wonderful news! Please keep us posted!

  25. Exciting times for you. Best wishes

  26. Good luck kenneth. I recognise a few books in your pic.
    Keep up good work.

  27. Best of luck! Welcome to the lovers of wisdom club 🙂

  28. Congratulations. I can’t think of a better course of study for you. I know you’re going to enjoy this new direction immensely.
    As George Elliot said “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

  29. Please watch out for the “descent into despair” that has plagued philosophy since the Enlightenment. (Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There). The big question for me is, can we know wisdom apart from God, or is all wisdom God’s wisdom?

  30. good luck with school! I went back at around 45 yrs old. My school required both philosophy and theology. I enjoyed both of them but still really can’t justify either the time or money spent. I’ve learned a HELL of a lot more of both subjects (and many others) on my own.

  31. For years I’ve held that philosophy isn’t given the recognition it deserves. particularly by politicians.

    The desires to ‘get ahead’, ‘be above’ are shoved relentlessly down young throats from the start. It is not pointed out that to get ahead you need to leave a lot of people behind, or to get above, you need a lot of people below. And these are people, who also need to feel a self of worth in what they do. If they weren’t there you would have dirty toilets and offices, and there wouldn’t be any oranges in the supermarket.

    We need to get away from the language of the capitalists and advertising agents and stop our obsession with materialism. Using wealth as a measure of worth, makes a lot of unworthy people think they are ‘ahead’ and ‘above’ the rest of us just because they are better cheats.

    It doesn’t take a psychologist or a philosopher to understand this type of thinking leads to an elite of sociopaths, who draw like-minded people into their ranks. It is inevitable totalitarianism will follow. The only question is: how long will it take?

    Like many other people, I don’t like be measured by a bent rule. Neither do I like being ruled by bent rulers.

    • I really like your thoughts on understanding that all people are little parts in this complexity that we call society. If one is expert at maintaining all the individual parts, then the overall machine will run well…naturally.

      I completely agree with your thoughts regarding moving away from an obsession with materialism. Although one needs to advertise ones goods to ensure viability, some of the methodologies we’ve developed over the last fifty years are simply another form of hypnotic brainwashing that has resulted in a degradation of simple and pure moral values. I have ALWAYS felt the best form of advertising has been word of mouth. Do a good job and people will find you. Despite some of the horrendous practices in advertising, word of mouth is still the number one way to increase ones business.

      Sadly, through many years of hypnotic brainwashing…things like pursuing a career, raising a family, etc. have become backstage to wanting to be famous, popular or liked/accepted.

    • Well said Bryan and I agree entirely

  32. This is awesome news. The last year has prepared you well for this move and it really makes sense to go in this direction.

    I envy those who have the stamina to read the volume of tomes on the subject. We had the set, GREAT BOOKS OF THE WESTERN WORLD on our bookshelf for more that thirty years and I never picked up one volume. My ex, on the other hand had a naturally interested in the subject read most of them. I do think coming from an Connecticut upbringing may have inspired that inclination. Some of us California girls were still not convinced that higher learning was the end all be all…which today, I believe is more true than it was in my youth.

  33. Go for it Kenneth! Pursue your interests, you need to feed the mind and soul not continue in a field in which you are unhappy. Do it while you have the opportunity…wishing you much success and happiness.

  34. Happy you’re going for it! My best wishes!

  35. Philosophy was one of my favorite classes back in college. (Waaaayyyy back…) Just finished watching the movie God’s Not Dead based around a Philosophy professor…a most awesome movie, IMHO.
    The best to you on your journey.

  36. As a fellow Philosophy grad student (though on my way out as you’re on your way in), welcome to fold. Also, good idea to get the masters first. I went straight from Bachelors to PhD and the learning curve was sharp and intense – I would have loved to have a year or two of prep work under my belt before jumping in.

  37. Good for you and congrats. Best to you with your studies.

  38. Good luck and congratulations!

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