Did You Know That Marco Rubio Took a Course on the Philosophy of Welding?

Samir Chopra, who currently teaches philosophy at Brooklyn College, was the professor. Chopra writes about Rubio’s experience in the course at his blog.  

Here is a taste:


Many years ago, I taught the inaugural edition of my Philosophy of Welding seminar. I began the semester by introducing some of the problems that would hold our attention during the semester: What is welding? How is it distinguished from other activities that claim to be welding? Is there a distinctive being-in-the-world characteristic of the welder and his tools? What makes a welded work beautiful?…

My reading list for the class was not excessively ambitious: I stuck to some of the usual suspects–Heidegger and some of the works of the Shipyard Collective, for instance–and concentrated on a few key passages in each, hoping close attention to them would repay dividends in the form of rich class discussion. Early in the semester, I began to notice that one young student did the readings diligently, came to class prepared, and engaged vigorously in all ensuing discussions.

This was no idle interest; no lofty, disengaged, from-on-high tackling of philosophical problems. This young man was in the trenches, on a mission…he offered a passionate, stirring, argument whose fascinating conclusion was that we have a duty to weld, a moral inclination that must be obeyed.

It was on this last point that we passionately disagreed. Even though I recognized the importance of welding, I could not bring myself to accept this argument. Surely, one could assign welding a respectable position to welding in our hierarchy of valued activities without taking the final move to make our engagement something that acquired normative weight. But this young man would not budge…

What happened to this student? Read the entire post here.  😉

HT: Amy Bass

Does America Need More Welders or More Philosophers?

Philosophers around the country will have something to talk about in class today after Florida Senator Marco Rubio unleashed this gem at last night’s GOP debate:

What is it with Florida politicians taking pot shots at the liberal arts and the humanities? Governor Rick Scott did it. So did Jeb Bush.  Now its Rubio’s turn.
Three comments:
First, we need both welders and philosophers.  I made this argument a few years ago.
Second, who is attacking vocational training?

Third, Rubio might be interested in learning that philosophers make more money than welders.