Simone Gubler (courtesy utgrduateconferenceinphilosophy.wordpress.com)

Writing for nytimes.com, University of Texas Philosophy graduate student Simone Gubler [above] wrings her metaphorical hands at the imminent arrival of campus carry. “In order to assess the physical risks of campus carry, we must rely on quantitative studies,” she opines, without mentioning any relevant data. “But as philosophers, my colleagues and I can speak to some of the less explicit threats that campus carry poses by turning to our own long tradition of the qualitative study of violence and its role in human affairs.” In other words . . .

pay no attention to the facts behind that curtain. And get ready for some serious B.S. (and I don’t mean Bachelor of Science).

In general, we do not feel apprehension about the presence of strong people in spaces reserved for intellectual debate (although we might in other contexts — a boxing ring, say, or a darkened alley), but we do feel apprehension about the presence of a gun. This is because the gun is not there to contribute to the debate. It exists primarily as a tool for killing and maiming. Its presence tacitly relates the threat of physical harm.

That’s the warm-up: anyone carrying a gun into “spaces reserved for academic debate” (which is hardly a perfect description of a university classroom) is harshing the academic mellow. And they’ve got nothing to contribute. Because guns. Here’s the pitch:

The gun in the classroom also communicates the dehumanizing attitude to other human beings that belongs to the use of violence. For the use of violence, and of the weapons of violence, is associated with an attitude under which human beings figure as mere means, and not as ends in themselves — as inherently valuable. Adapting Simone Weil’s characterization of force in her essay, “The Illiad, or the Poem of Force”: violence is “that x that turns anybody subjected to it into a thing.” When I strap on my gun and head into a public space, I alter the quality of that space. I introduce an object that conveys an attitude in which people figure as things — as obstacles to be overcome, as items to be manipulated, as potential corpses. A gun is an object that carries with it a sense and a potency that is public and that affects those around it, regardless of its wearer’s intentions.

You know you’re in the presence of university-level philosophy when you have to read the text twice to understand what the writer’s saying. Not because the concepts are above your head. Because the sentence structure is so convoluted, so strewn with overly-punctilious punctuation and obscure references, that you lose the rhetorical thread. Convincing? Frayed knot.

Translation: students who carry a gun into a classroom for self-protection are selfish assholes who lack human sympathy and freak people out. To which the only suitable answer is: I know you are, but what am I?

We live, as the philosopher Richard Bernstein has observed, in what might be called “The Age of Violence,” immersed in a soup of real and fantastic violent imagery. And it is difficult under these conditions of cultural saturation to forswear the correctives that violence appears to offer to itself. But when we arm ourselves and enter a classroom, we prefigure others and ourselves in terms of force, as “things” — and not as equals in speech and thought. And we thereby endanger the humanist values that (along with a fair helping of verbal conflict) characterize the conduct of scholarly life at its best.

As the philosopher chef Campbell reminds us, it’s amazing what soup can do! Especially if it’s cultural soup! Immersed in the symbolic broth of “The Age of Violence” (as opposed to?), Ms. Gubler thinks its difficult to resist “the correctives that violence appears to offer to itself.” Which is a fancy way of saying it’s hard not to be violent.

That’s a problem that’s never affected me, someone who carries a gun every day. But one that seems to bedevil the author. I can only assume Ms. Gubler suffers from that bête noire of the civilian disarmament movement: psychological projection. Hence her use of the word “we” when Ms. Gubler asserts that concealed carry is dehumanizing. I wonder if she’s ever carried a gun? You know, for real.

In addition to these relatively abstract considerations, there remains a need for more concrete philosophical work concerning campus carry — situated work that draws on gender, race and labor theory. We need to ask: What bodies are at greatest risk? What disproportionate harms might the law visit on people of color? What sorts of psychological and physical threats can employees be subjected to in the workplace? And what is the significance of this law for academic freedom?

The race card? Seriously? And gender? And labor relations? It’s no wonder Ms. Gubler likes the soup analogy: it allows her to gather every slimy shibboleth she can find “situated” at the base of her ivory tower, throw them into one pot and call the gun black. Or something like that. (English Major here.) Hell, it’s not even an argument. It’s a list. I rate that an F. At best.

A few weeks ago, I read Albert Camus’ novel “The Stranger” with my students, and we considered the question of suicide — of whether life is worth living. This is an important question (the important question, if we are to believe Camus), but it is one that demands sensitive treatment. It is my worst fear that, one day, when teaching problems like these, I will have a Young Werther on my hands. And, to my mind, the normalization of guns on campus enhances the probability of this event. So what are we to do if we want to be responsible teachers?

By this point in Ms. Gubler essay, I’m also wondering if life is worth living. Speaking to that point, Ms. Gubler is worried that one (or more) of her pistol-packing [presumably existential] students will imitate the love-stricken “hero” of Geothe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther and shoot himself in the head. Why? Because campus carry normalized guns! And there I was thinking philosophy demands at least a passing acquaintance with the rules of logic.

Of course, if we resolve that the most responsible thing to do under campus carry is to avoid topics that are likely to elicit strong feeling, then there is little point in continuing with the academic practice of philosophy. But before we do away with philosophy altogether, let us decide whether there is anything that we can or should do to resist the wider adoption of campus carry policies. And let us resolve, where resistance is unsuccessful, to think carefully about what needs to be done to protect the practice of philosophical inquiry, and our students, from harm.

The continued existence of philosophy as a university subject or campus carry? Hmmm. If I were, say, a UT dance student facing an on-campus killer, I’d rather have a pocket .380 than, say, a book by John Stuart Mill. Unless my attacker was willing to sit down and be bored to death. Speaking of armed self-defense . . .

Ms. Gubler wants us to be “thinking carefully” about “what need to be done to protect . . . our students from harm.” How could such a practiced philosopher forget to consider the advantages of campus carry in that regard? I dunno. Maybe we should cut her some slack. As Nietzsche confessed, “It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!”

106 Responses to UT Grad Student Simone Gubler: Campus Carry is a Philosophical Conundrum

  1. C’mon RF. You’re picking on Philosophy grad students now? Talk about fish in a barrel. You need to set your sights higher than sheltered youngsters.Caveat: I tended bar in a college town for many years and have heard it all, usually repeated every semester.

    • Here’s a Philosophy quote you’ll never here from one of those types regarding the qualitative and the quantitative as it relates to any sizeable body of individuals which is specifically related to the question of carrying weapons (campus or otherwise):

      “Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” – Heraclitus

    • remember myth busters, fish in a barrel dont even need to be hit, the shock wave from the bullet will get em in that enclosed space anyways.

      Now all we need to do is take Howard Sterns logic bomb and drop it on those poor little anti-gunners, it will be like dynamite in a bathtub.

    • Well, if you’re going to make fun of UT grad students you might as well start with Philosophy grad students. . . . and move on through the social sciences before wading into the real intellectual swamps in the Education Department. (At least the good Ms. Gubler can compose reasonably coherent sentences, something that is a chancy proposition with Ed.D. majors.) Actually, I thought her article was kinda cute. She’s learned the typical grad student’s hope-and-a-prayer conceit called “paper hanging” where she mentions a few famous writers in the hope that their random appearance will somehow lend more credibility to her otherwise vapid ideas. Reminded me of old times.

    • Gender is a linguistic concept which has been misappropriated by post modern thinkers to describe the biological concept of sex.

    • Ur giving me micro aggressions because your a man. You are more privileged because I think so. Because feels. Sarc/

    • The long and short of it is the idea that gender, and subsequent roles, are a social construct and not a biological one. Basically, advocating that society can, and does, supersede human biology.

      I wouldn’t hold your breath on it going from theory to law, anytime soon.

      • I see. Well, then yes, this stuff is becoming law now! For example, Washington state has a new law that makes businesses open their bathroom and locker room doors to both men and women – meaning, men must be granted equal and unfettered access to the ladies’ restrooms and locker rooms.

        It’s probably happening elsewhere, too. I believe I read about some locker rooms elsewhere that were forced to allow men who feel pretty to use the women’s side. A while back the Cleveland City Council considered a proposal to make all restrooms and showers, including those in businesses and schools, open to all men and women. I don’t know how that turned out.

        The Republican National Committee approved an official resolution in February that encourages state legislatures to force men to use the ladies’ room. And North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law a sweeping anti-LGBT measure that will, among other things, require women in the state to share public restrooms with bearded and muscled transgender men.

        So I guess gender theory is becoming law.

    • Even Socrates engaged in a form of self-defense. Although, his was a more political one against his accusers in the city. And the history of philosophy is littered with philosophers and thier students who have killed a lot of people. I doubt any real philosopher would object to carrying a gun for self defense. Unless, the person carrying it was someone they were trying to get rid of.

  2. Or she could have just googled up some examples of colleges where campus carry has been the norm and see that it’s a tempest in a teacup then go blather about something more existentialist?

  3. Jesus christ, these anti gun philosophy feminists out of austin just keep getting more and more ugly. I think these young ladies see beautiful women with guns on their instagran feeds so they turn into an anti-gunner out of jealousy.

  4. I am an English and journalist enthusiast but her words???
    Bottom line is bad things have been happening on campuses around the world without campus carry….mainly to young women. I wonder how many rapes or worse could have been stopped by a responsible young woman or man carrying or is she saying no students are responsible enough to carry safely?
    She loves her own almost indiscipherable wording that has almost no ( emphasis ALMOST) merit in reality whether she chooses to accept it or not.

  5. Ugh, once again ashamed of my school…

    Everything I’ve heard about ut and campus carry has been disappointing and now that I’ve graduated, I’m disappointed I can’t contribute to responsible carriers doing nothing yet keeping everyone a bit safer…

  6. I’m sorry special snowflake, but carrying a gun just means you can’t use violence on me to gain my compliance with whatever views you are espousing. You will have to use facts, reason, and logic to deal with me. If you are not equipped mentally to use those three things, then I will go peaceably on my way.

    You should consider finding a different academic path than what you are on. By your writing, you are not mentally equipped for it.

        • Looks like she needs a shower to me, and a little make-up. Oh, she’s a Philosophy student? Never mind.

      • She’ll be competing for scholarship money and government grants, not someone’s affections. And she’ll get taxpayer-funded or taxpayer-guaranteed dollars from half-baked, politically-correct foundations and such to continue her “studies”. And if she really gets in a tight–well, Austin is probably still home to more “massage parlors” per square mile than any place in the country.

  7. Gubler’s article is proof that Nietzsche was right:

    If you gaze long enough into your navel, your navel will gaze back into you.

  8. It seems there is a big philosophical fissure here. When I and like minded gents see a beautiful woman like that we think it would be great for her to be empowered by gun ownership and protect herself.

    Then there are those that think that beautiful women should only rely on others for defense (oddly enough the feminists).

    Is it self hate? “As if who am I to protect myself?”

    I don’t get it.

  9. If we are living in a unique age of violence how would one describe the Roman Empire or the medieval period?

    It’s like the those leftists, neoisolationists and faux Libertarians who babble on about perpetual war. Human history is the story of perpetual war.

    • Actually, the evidence shows it’s a story of decreasing violence over time.

      One is much more likely to be a victim of violence now than at any time in history, and that has been the overall trend for millennia. Even the reputedly vicious Romans were comparatively less violent than many of their contemporaries and predecessors.

    • How bout the Golden Age of Greece? Philosophize in winter, plow in spring, fight in high summer, and harvest in the fall. Socrates was a proud Athenian soldier, and I don’t think that Plato or Aristotle had any antipathy towards arms. Or don’t they teach the Greeks anymore?

        • That’s both racist and misogynist.

          You’re not allowed to recognize the white Euro male contributions to society.

          For shame.

        • Actually it was the Romans who lionized and celebrated Greek culture (it was far superior to Roman culture); had it not been for the Roman trade in Greek artifacts, little may have survived the Roman conquest in 146BC.

      • Plato wanted arms centrally controlled as he believed the perfect society was one ruled by the intellectual “superiors,” i.e. the philosopher-kings, as he called them. Aristotle broke from him on this and believed the ideal society was a constitutional democracy in which the people possessed arms, both for self-defense and to check tyranny. The Founders were very influenced by Aristotle.

  10. Wow, talk about desperation–the NYT is presenting a grad student, in Philosophy, to convince the sheeple that campus carry is bad? Seriously?

  11. (Ye Gods, she GRADUATED??? With a brain like that?)

    All this article proved is that she knows her audience well. The NYT could no more easily accept campus carry at, say, Columbia, than students taking their pet alligator for a walk.

    The main point she is trying to make (to her Daddy) is that she was awake in class and all the money he spent on her expensive child care/education wasnt totally wasted.

    Here’s a way to break Daddy’s heart: In the spirit of academic enquiry (you know, why you’re even there) Miss Gubler could go to a local gun range and learn a little about guns from those who know about them. She might discover a little visceral fun and decide to take the hobby up. She would probably lose her parental support, but she would gain an adult level of autonomy that would allow her to think for herself. Then she would no longer have to visit the hoplophobic echo chamber that Bloomberg has financed.

  12. Went to high school in the late 60’s. Every pickup in the student parking lot had a rifle in a rack in the window. Quite a few in the trunks of cars. No mass shootings. Nobody freaking out.

    • Some people attend college to obtain a job, others to avoid obtaining a job. Which discipline is chosen, usually, is a good indicator to which type you’re dealing with, more or less.

  13. ATTENTION! ATTENTION! SPECIAL SNOW FLAKES. FACTS AND LOGIC ARE ON THE LOOSE. PLEASE EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY TO A SAFE AREA. DOORS TO SAFE SPACE ARE NOW OPEN. PLEASE PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

  14. God, out of every class I took during my one year of college, philosophy was not only the most useless, but actually the most damaging. The common argument in favor of philosophy classes is that it teaches people how to think. But that’s not strictly true. It teaches people to think (at least ostensibly) ABSTRACTLY, which is very different from thinking critically.

    The issue arrises when you take someone who doesn’t know how to think critically (read: a massive chunk of my generation, as in millennials) and try to teach them to think abstractly. What happens instead is that they become very good at bullshitting eloquently, using elaborate, flowing language while saying absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, they then mistake elegance for substance, and think that they are therefore extremely intelligent.

    And yeah, of course this applies to the world of academia as a whole, but it’s especially prevalent among those who study (even for a single course) philosophy.

    • Yea but one of the best classes I took from the philosophy department was logic 101. I was a Comp Sci major and it was required, and it was pretty darn good in weeding out derp philosophy majors. I think the CS department required it to help the philosophy department do just that. The CS folk took to those snowflakes like propane pipe torches. God bless Montana State University (at least when I was there)

  15. When I took my one and only college philosophy course we learned something to the effect “it is good to believe, but better to know”. I believe I am safer when I carry concealed on my college campus. I know that there are 9 states and over 200 colleges that allow campus carry and it is not a problem.

  16. So, it’s just the gun that “threatens” violence, because it’s a weapon. I wonder how she feels about a xxth degree black belt martial artist attending an intellectual discussion? His WHOLE BODY is a lethal weapon. What if a modern day Bruce Lee (quite the philosopher himself) attended this snowflake’s class?

    • Who needs a black belt?

      What does she appear to weigh – 130ish, maybe?

      I can shoulder press a straight bar and one plate (her body weight), no problem. And I’m only 6ft and around 185lbs, I’m not even a big dude.

      Some skinny, hippie chick isn’t going to hold a candle hand-to-hand against even the most out of shape, couch potato male.

      If she is worried about physical conflict, she better break her class down into gender specific weight classes.

  17. Philosophy notwithstanding, the fact of the matter is that violence, or at least the credible threat of it is the authority from what all other authority is derived. As it has been so it shall be.

  18. As usual, people who don’t know the most elementary aspects of a topic are not afraid to opine about it. What would make an interesting philosophy experiment would be for one of these little fluff brains to write their smug little diatribe and then go out and get a firearm, training, and a carry permit. Go to the range twice a month and carry religiously for 6 months, making sure to avoid breaking any of the many applicable laws. Then go back and read their original diatribe and write another essay on what they got right and what they got wrong. If nothing else it would illustrate the philosophy of humility.

  19. So many questions:

    Do students at UT *normally* resort to violence in the middle of academic discussions? Do fists fly so often that bullets are only a slight escalation of the norm?

    What about LGBT/Minorities/Womyn who fear for their safety at the hands of oppressors and arm themselves- are they as likely to go postal as the people she calls out in her missive?

    Is she as fearful of people who practice and attain “black belt” status in martial arts, skills which are designed and are only useful for injuring, maiming, killing other human beings? Gosh, isn’t it threatening that someone would practice and train for hours and hours to perfect such skills? What are they trying to compensate for!

    • To answer your second question, as a member of the LGBT+ (Even i don’t keep track of all the letters they’ve attached at this point, you want to talk about soup…) The only violence I’ve committed is against my own brain, reading this woman’s ‘philosophy’ and hitting my head on the desk to try to get the stupid back out. To quote a movie: “That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to that. May God have mercy on you.”

        • Lesbian
          Gay
          Bisexual
          Transgender
          Questioning
          Intersex
          Asexual
          Pansexual
          Demisexual

          And that’s even outdated now because there’s something new called genderqueer.

        • Well, I stand slightly better informed, and still not caring. Unlike many who live by their identity with that community, I’d like to think I’m defined by a bit more then just a couple letters. That said, wouldn’t mind if people only identified me by one set of letters: CZ P-09 Duty. ;P

  20. “The gun in the classroom also communicates the dehumanizing attitude to other human beings that belongs to the use of violence.”

    Dear special snowflake,
    Quite the opposite. I value humans very much. It’s the foremost reason I carry.

  21. Anyone care to bet that Miss Sanctity of Life here is also a raging pro-abort? Leftists always lie and always project. She sees seething anger, dehumanization, and potential violence in others because she herself is eat up with such sentiments. She lacks the wherewithal to act on her inclinations, and seeks to similarly disempower others.

    Those who mention this is also about keeping the monopoly of violence on campus among the left are also astute in their observations.

  22. The writers of opinion pieces like Simone always start from a flawed assumption – that there are not and have never been any guns in classrooms. That is obviously not true since we have shootings in classrooms. Just one more case of someone confusing erudite writing with logical thought.

  23. Philosophy versus reality: reality won in the tragic case of the young woman who was raped and murdered.

  24. My wife has Dancing with the Stars on and now I read some of this…I can feel IQ points just melting away.

  25. Instead of using the philosophical virtues of reason, logic, objectivity, and evidence, she touted feelings and cited emotion – philosophical fail.

    • She was even open about it- “qualitative” (feelings) instead of “quantitative” (measurable results). What she doesn’t seem to understand is that, outside of academia, quantitative is the only one that counts.

  26. She completely misunderstands the agnostic nature of force. There’s no inherent vice or virtue in it. It depends upon the circumstances and who’s applying it to whom. In that vein, she neglects to mention that campus security and Austin P.D., the entities whose agents would respond, eventually, belatedly, to an active shooter situation, would arrive well armed and prepared to deploy lethal force. Oh? That’s OK, because it’s in her defense? I see, except that does not comport with her absolute condemnation of firearms as exhibitors of dehumanizing attitudes.

    With all that misunderstanding and neglect on her part, it’s a shame she didn’t read Goethe’s book more closely:

    “Misunderstandings and neglect occasion more mischief in the world than even malice and wickedness. At all events, the two latter are of less frequent occurrence.”

    Perhaps the well-meaning Ms. Gubler could study these topics with greater scrutiny and less credulity, and perhaps she wouldn’t embarrass herself and the university as readily?

  27. Wow. I’m sorry. I couldn’t even finish. I was done at the age of violence… If this is the age of violence, with the violent crime rate at like a 50 year low, then we are all screwed.

  28. My philosophical moment came in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam in probably 1968 as a 20 year old. Our unit was placed with a battery of 155 self-propelled artillery in the middle of nowhere with a platoon of Montagnards for protection. They made great rice wine. We were located on a PSP runway for who knows why.

    One night I stepped out of our underground sandbagged sleeping quarters to take a pis* in a 155 shell casing with the end cut off buried in the dirt.

    A thought came to me about the possible VC sniper/soldier hiding in the woods on the other side of the runway and that I could get my head blown off just about anytime/anywhere so I never worried again about death, just that I would do anything I could to stay alive.

    I didn’t really think about the philosophical mindset of the other guy just that if he showed up I’d have to shoot him.
    Same philosophy today though I’m probably better armed.

    For another comment about what this person is going to do, let’s hope she doesn’t run for President!!!

  29. Not labor relations, Robert, “labor theory” as in the Labor Theory of Value, aka one of the first principles of Marxism. Of course, Menger, Jevons, and Walras thoroughly tore this idea a new one over one hundred years ago in the Marginal Revolution and established the Subjective Theory of Value upon which all sound (and a whole bunch of unsound, but for other reasons) modern economic theory is based. The LTV has most eloquently been called the phlogiston theory of fire of the realm of economics, and yet despite this Marxists, most of whom aren’t economists and instead are practitioners of some postmodern froof like our dear author, cling to.

    Of course, in my humble opinion most Western philosophy since the Enlightenment has been pretty crappy. We probably peaked somewhere around Rosicrucianism. Is our civilization in decline? Maybe. Taoism seems to have better practical advice anyway.

  30. It’s amazing to observe the intellectual knots some people will twist themselves into as they try to avoid acknowledging that anyone they are incapable of fighting off has the ability to end their lives at a whim.

  31. Sorry TTAG…could not get to the end of the article. I got halfway through her crap before I felt physically sick and almost vomited.

    Robert, I will pray for you as I know you must have gone through hell anaylising that bovine scat.

  32. Ms. Gubler wants us to be “thinking carefully” about “what need to be done to protect . . . our students from harm.”

    You know, she’s given a pretty good schema for refuting her own argument, point by point: Symbolism. Agency. The Existential question. And how to relate to others in groups. Off the top of my head…

    I’ll grant that a gun is indeed a symbol, while someone strong generally symbolizes something different. But a gun is a symbol of what? Of looking at the world clear-eyed, to see that there is, indeed violence in it that won’t be stopped by words. So, in that world, what do you do?

    A gun, holstered, is a symbol deciding that at need, you will do what you can. Different from symbols of gangs or thuggish groups, intimidation backed by the threat of force used first to make a point.

    The apprehension that comes with some seeing a gun, reminding them of possible harm, really just refutes their world fantasy. The world is sometimes a dangerous place. Sorry for reminding you about that, by doing something about it. I’m not required to be a victim to maintain your delusion that you may not be. Apprehension isn’t the right, or healthy response to this truth. Live calmly in the risk – some philosophy can help with that.

    Is life worth living? Indeed, to bear an gun is to answer pretty clearly: “Yes.” You don’t bear a gun to kill people, you bear a gun to stay alive, when you might not otherwise. To knowingly bear a gun expresses a clear, active answer to the existential question. Is life worth living? Mine is. (I don’t know about yours.) Mine is so much worth living that I’m willing to do some work, simply to knock down the odds of somebody cutting mine short. Really, someone who knowingly bears a gun has most likely digested Camu.

    Indeed, to bear a gun is to answer pretty clearly the other, usually unspoken part of the existential question: “Who decides.” To knowingly bear a gun is to pretty clearly say: “My life is mine to live if I choose.” and “It is mine to do what I can to live my life, if I choose.” The Existentialists talk a lot about suicide, but the negative-image question is always there: “To choose not to kill yourself is to choose to live. Why choose to live, and what will you do for that boon?”

    To knowingly bear a gun expresses clear ownership of your own life. No, you don’t get to choose whether I live or not, at least not without a fight. And no, philosophy-wrangler, you don’t get to up my odds of dying before I want to, for your comfort. It’s my life and your comfort. How about you do something yourself, to make yourself comfortable. So, autonomy and connection, constraints and (dare I use the word) agency are wrapped up in carrying a gun, or not.

    And life is full of risk. The question is not how to be safe, but how to live when there are risks. Really, someone who carries a gun, having imagined that maybe someone will attack them physically, is hardly telling twisted tales, or imagining excessive risks more than someone who imagines free play of guns in their classroom, from some words. Who’s delusional? Delusion or no, who’s clinging to the story that makes them small, vs. seeking to create the life they might have. It might be dangerous, so we have to shut up. You have failed Camus’ question, which is not whether to live or not, but “Do you have the strength to choose.” No, you don’t.

    It might be dangerous, so tool up just in case. Who is working toward the bigger life? Who is living, because they choose to?

    To knowingly carry a gun is to live philosophy:

    Life is (largely – ed) what you make of it.

    The hardest thing about this world is living in it.

    Who does the hard thing? He who can?

    And Camu’s answer, or Heinlein’s if you prefer (they have more in common than you might know): Of course the game is rigged. But you can’t win if you don’t play.

    Style points for anyone who can identify the sources of those quotes. (How anyone can get a Ph D in philosophy without a grasp of Existentialism *or* Stoicism is beyond me. That there are better examples of both readily pulled from pop culture is a bit disheartening.)

    • I’ll grant that a gun is indeed a symbol, while someone strong generally symbolizes something different. But a gun is a symbol of what?

      If the gun isn’t visible, then it’s not a symbol, at least physically… in that moment.
      To some a penis is a symbol, too. But, they are also generally concealed in public.
      Concealed is concealed, eh? 🙂

    • Amen. I was miffed upon seeing L’Etranger torn from its context like that.

      They must be reinforcing projection, rather than critical analysis, in their curriculum now.

      • They must be reinforcing projection, rather than critical analysis, in their curriculum now.

        Quoting C. S. Lewis: “What do they teach in schools these days.”

        Our correspondent might have been better served by reading Steppenwolf. Analysis from here: http://allenhackworth.com/prose/steppenwolf.htm

        “Haller learns to take responsibility for the shaping of his own personality. On one occasion his personality is broken into many chess pieces. The chess teacher then shows Haller that many moves and combinations are possible in playing this game of life. (220)”

        “A third condition which promotes a healing for Haller’s neurosis is a quality of mind which understands, accepts, and reconciles harsh opposites.”

        “…It is found at this point that the “romantics of atonement” will not do.(246)

        What is needed, rather, is a willingness to live, not die, a willingness to responsibly shape one’s own life, and a willingness to develop humor, that is, a certain attitude towards life. Mozart says to Haller, “You are to live and to learn to laugh. You are to learn to listen to the cursed radio music of life and to reverence the spirit behind it and to laugh at its distortions. So there you are. More will not be asked of you.”

    • “…I’m not required to be a victim to maintain your delusion that you may not be.”

      That’s a great statement. If it’s okay with you I’ll add this to my reference library/quotes for explaining reality to special snowflakes.

      • “…If it’s okay with you…”

        Of course. I’m flattered that anyone reads through so much dross of mine to find something on-point.

  33. “We live, as the philosopher Richard Bernstein has observed, in what might be called “The Age of Violence,” immersed in a soup of real and fantastic violent imagery”……

    Hhmm sorry buttercup. maybe you should have thrown in a world history course with the mumbo-jumbo liberal speak classes. I am not quite sure how to gauge the level of violence in the early to middle ages but I most assuredly know it was way more violent than the times we live in now, especially for women. I think she might want to make a field trip to some middle-east craphole that is still stuck in those time and test the “violence” waters. I will fund it if she wears a body cam 24/7.

  34. I want this ignoramus to show me where Socrates (who received honors for his bravery at the Battle of Delium), Plato, or Aristotle ever barred those wearing knives and swords from their classes. Indeed, Alexander and his teen buddies would often have been in class with Aristotle while armed.

  35. TACOM is involved in a program called the WOOT program in Tyrone township MI. They have crashed 2 government satellites and are working on a third without the government’s knowledge, and have committed rape of 22 different woman inside tyrone woods trailer park since 2012. Contractors built an under ground shelter connecting trailers. They used triptamine drip, and electrode implants to make people unaware of these scopes crashing, and there after used the same method to commit rape and get away with it. The satellites being crashed have data on them that indicates source codes being sold or stolen by people who committed torture in order to make veterans affairs junkies commit suicide, and also shows the woot programs employees commiting the types of crimes listed above. They used a VACCIS scanner to make the trailer park light up so they could see which other satellites were watching until the shutter became stuck open and was dropped down a well leaking 7 RMS of cobalt 68 radiation. There has been $190,000,000 spent on covering this problem up. And evidence of this is on Google earth at Tyrone woods trailer park in Tyrone Twp MI. And just north of Hogan rd from this location is a crash sight and equipment.

    • Well Im all for satelite crashing. Every stinking one of them, from weather sats to deep space probes. Not into the rape or torture thing, but crash them satelites hoorah. I dont care about losing internet or cable TV. And while were at it, clip the wings on every aircraft worldwide too.

  36. If UT had allowed campus carry back in 1966, Charles Whitman might have been stopped before he killed 16 people. A little suppressing fire towards him might have allowed folks to escape.

      • And not just virtue in being a victim…when there are victims a-plenty, there are solutions “only” the .gov can provide.

        They don’t want real solutions to problems…it removes the Progressive raison d’etre.

  37. If it’s not quantifiable then it’s not science. It is not a coincidence that philophy is part of the school of Art: That’s why Simone can’t cite any data, but I’m sure her degree in lesbian dance therapy will serve her well. lol

    Charlie

    • I’m not sure what you are trying to say here.

      Universities generally put Arts and Sciences together.

      Terminal degrees in science fields are Ph.D.’s, which is “Doctor of Philosophy.”

  38. “There remains a need for more concrete philosophical work…..”

    With that I’m over and out.

  39. All the bs philosophical stuff aside, I took particular umbrage with one specific thing. Age of Violence? I wish I had a time machine and could drop her off in Dark Ages Europe or any other time when edged weapons were the norm. Then she might see that our age, and location, don’t have any particular claim to violence in the least.

  40. The problem is these sheep want to deny that there are wolves living in their latte fields of gold. The extent of their denial is to deny anyone else their natural right to self defense. These sheep think the government is the sheperd. Sheepdogs know that it is government that is the biggest wolf of all.

  41. You been to school for a year or two
    You know you’ve seen it all
    In Daddy’s car thinkin’ you’ll go far
    Back east your type don’t crawl
    Play ethnicky jazz to parade your snazz
    On your five grand stereo
    Braggin’ that you know how the n_____ feel cold
    And the slums got so much soul

    It’s time to taste what you most fear
    Right Guard will not help you here
    Brace yourself, my dear
    Brace yourself, my dear

    It’s a holiday in Cambodia
    It’s tough, kid, but it’s life
    It’s a holiday in Cambodia
    Don’t forget to pack a wife

  42. Here’s some background on ms Gruber…

    1. Spent 4 years in Australia studying for a BA in bachelor of laws. (I think we all know how those law courses viewed guns…)

    2. Tuition for the program for 4 years is over A$120k. Even given the strength of the dollar this is not chump change. My guess is her parents are not blue collar and she didn’t get a cut of steak for Christmas…

    It is likely we have a typical priveledged elitist trying to tell us plebes why we should be victimized to satisfy her feelings.

  43. Well.. um, yes. If you threaten me with death or grievous bodily harm, you ARE an obstacle to my continued survival, and you ARE a potential corpse.

    …so don’t do that.

    I also wonder if she think we dehumanize people and view them all just as potential selfie backgrounds because we carry a camera phone. After all a phone’s only purpose is to take selfies and gentrify minorities. #LiberalLogic

  44. If you try to rob, rape or murder somebody you transform YOURSELF Into a “thing”… a thing that needs to be neutralized so that it’s no longer an immediate threat.

    If a clone of Cho Seung Hui were to show up in close proximity to the twit quoted in the article, I wonder if she’d prefer that the police show up with GUNS, or fairy wands, a la Monty Python.

    At one time irrational people of low intelligence and reasoning ability were collected in asylums and group homes.

    Now they go to college…

  45. Just think, Bernie Sanders wants the taxpayers to foot the bill for these deranged fools. When I went to college 17 years ago, things were bad. However at some point things got even worse and colleges have turned into progressive hate factories.

  46. Well, she definitely validates Thucydides observation:

    “The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.”

  47. Studying logic is very difficult, or at least it was to me. It was like some bastard combination of English and calculus designed specifically to annoy and aggravate you. It was very satisfying to work arguments out symbolically though.

    Interests/areas of study are moral and political philosophy, that explains it. I was never any graduate student but the three moral and political philosophy courses I took had a similar shall we say, feel, to her writing.

  48. “but we do feel apprehension about the presence of a gun. This is because the gun is not there to contribute to the debate. It exists primarily as a tool for killing and maiming. Its presence tacitly relates the threat of physical harm.”

    A philosopher should know that there is a difference between capability and intent.

    And stop being such a sniveling, whiny pustulence.

  49. “Hmmm. If I were, say, a UT dance student facing an on-campus killer, I’d rather have a pocket .380 than, say, a book by John Stuart Mill. Unless my attacker was willing to sit down and be bored to death. Speaking of armed self-defense . . .”

    OK, let’s be fair. While she most likely weighs more that my side arm, she probably weighs less that most cops. Especially after they put on their gear. And I would probably be pretty entertained watching her talk a mugger to death.

    Granted I would probably need to consider the weight of a case a beer. I don’t think she’d finish before I pounded down a six pack.

    And I suppose I should take into consideration the laws about cruel and unusual punishment.

    to quote Blazing Saddles, ‘You use your tongue prettier than a …’

  50. Soup of violence…Maybe she should read up on medieval England.
    Waaay before guns.

    “…Even in today’s USA – which with its widespread possession of guns is considered a notably violent society – usually only half a percent of crimes are homicides…a useful insight into the thirteenth-century homicide figures is the modern estimate that London in the thirteenth century had five murders a year per 10,000 people, with a population estimated at some 200,000. In comparison, Miami today, the self-proclaimed murder capital of the USA, has 1.5 homicides per 10,000 people per year. For what it’s worth, one scholar guesses that the threat of murder or serious wounding in thirteenth century London was nearly twenty times higher than now. – Michael Wood, “In Search of England.”

  51. Sorry sugarplum, but we are living in the golden age of human existence.

    Despite the population being a fraction of what it is now, America’s murder rate during the times of the founders was about 20 per 100k. Such trends were similar elsewhere, if not worse, since most of the world had a significantly lower standard of living.

    Its amazing how ‘educated’ illiberal morons miss tiny little facts like these. For being ‘professional students” their lack of reasoning is quite comical.

    This is why you become a STEM major in college, or, if that isn’t cut out for you, obtain a trade. Well informed families dont send their kids off to study philosophy or other pseudo-intellectual horses–t. The irony of people like the aforementioned above is that she’s part of the same group of intellectual lightweights that b–ches and whines about how they cant find work, as if they are somehow owed a living for thinking abstractly, and then will flock to some politician that will ensure their fantasy comes true…even at the cost of obtaininig it by force.

    No circle of hell is good enough for that ilk

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