Friday, March 11, 2005

What's So Interesting about Economics, Government and Philosophy? (And What the Heck's Epistemology?)

First of all, let me be plain. I have no degrees in any of the above. My only academic claim to fame is a BA in Communications and Theater Arts from Mt. Holyoke College; furthermore, to be frank, I learned relatively little of an intellectual nature while at that institution, and most particularly, about these four subjects.

Everything I know about them comes directly and indirectly from my father, Edward C. Harwood. He was an economist and a true philosopher of the highest caliber, and it was he himself who recommended against my taking such courses (although I did manage to sneak in Philosophy 101, if only to better understand what it was he objected to; needless to say – or perhaps not so needlessly – I got it immediately; and I'll tell you some day.)

I grew up in a house that served both as a family abode and a business center. In it, my relatively illustrious father worked, ate, slept and brought us up, all four of us – five, if you include my mother.

It was a unique lifestyle. Punctual 6 o'clock family dinners were interspersed with patriarchal wisdom. "Stop bickering. What we have here is simply another lack of communication." "Do not use the word 'concept.' Its meaning has been completely hijacked by modern discourse." "Come with me right this minute to my office, young lady, where I'm going to give you something to cry FOR."

I loved him more than God. I swore I would marry a man just like him, little realizing that never again would I meet such an individual. (Of course, I went through my rebellious period, and took off with a man who had every bit his will, much of his charisma, a lot of his acumen, some of his character – but little of his patriotism, and none of his business sense.)

From the day he first took me up in his arms, we saw things eye to eye. I felt privileged to be able to connect with his every word, almost before he pronounced it. I seem to remember his designating me as his "Lucky Seventh," although I could have imagined that. (My three siblings and mother would not recall it; nor will his three children by a first marriage – but they have an excuse: we never lived under the same roof.)

So in sum, my first 13 or so years were spent submerged in a virtual academy of economics, government and philosophy, the likes of which does not exist anywhere else on earth.

The buildings still exist today; see one here.

  • My sister's and my room was upstairs, right in the middle.

  • Most unusual, indeed, was my childhood apprenticeship. (By the way, epistemology was among the subjects "studied." Webster's defines it as "the study or theory of the nature, sources, and limits of knowledge" – a formidable sounding effort; but a vital one, nonetheless. More about this later.)

    NB: Anyone who feels that I have made an error in my postings is welcome to let me know, and I will gladly rectify it if I can, and if I judge it appropriate.


    Post a Comment

    Links to this post:

    Create a Link

    << Home