Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Day 2 of my course. Yesterday we looked at critical thinking through the analysis of the reasoning behind chunks of text. We looked at argument premises and supporting points, and we looked at assumptions on which arguments are based. These components, depending on how they are related together make or break an argument and there is a logical, if technical way of determining if an argument is valid or not.

Today, we looked at the ethical dimension motivating decision and action for people individually and socially. We asked what was 'right' and what was 'wrong' and on whose authority do we make such claims? We looked at some simplified principles and ethical premises of various ethical schools of thought and we tried approaching various moral dilemmas on these disparate bases.

These moral dilemmas are to some extent similar to some of the decisions we have to make in KOTOR2. OK, I'm obsessed. Light-siders are motivated to do "Good" though there is the unlikelihood of gaining material reward. Sometimes, lightsiders even sacrifice material (making donations to "worthy" but unprofitable causes, for example) in the hope of gaining lightside alignment points. No material benefit, but your character's portrait appears enshrined by a column of bright, white light, stands up taller and straighter, and looks increasingly heroic. A virtue ethicist approach, as the end result of an action or the consequences matter less than the character building opportunity one gets from dealing with a crisis.

Sith characters, on the other hand, advance themselves through a more utilitarian approach. A pragmatic, what's-in-it-for-me attitude. Sith can gather more material resources this way, at the expense of an increasingly ugly (subjective term), twisted character portrait. Also, Sith get to use the cooler, more spectacular and deadly darkside powers at a discounted cost -- Force choke and lightning, for example. Who cares about 'character-building' when you can do cool stuff like this?

Hmm... now, how can I convince the college to let my students play KOTOR 2 so I can engage them in ethical discourse...?

This evening, Tina sent over the latest update on our Drama Night script and Shah is still choreographing for the Witch's big entrance number. If done well, people are going to love to hate our Witch as soon as she appears. HT dropped in on us to catch a preview. Hey, grrl!

And now for some good news: Girlfriend has recovered over the weekend at Dr Casey's and is now terrorizing the veterinary staff with her teeth and claws. Dr Casey arranged for us to take Girlfriend back to the Square where she belongs. She's a little tired out and annoyed with the blood testing, the sedation, the confinement, the drip and whatever else they put her through. She's eating again, so she should be able to fully recover soon. Hopefully, this is 1 cat that we have 'rescued' from this blight.

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