Open up any college course catalog. Check out the course titles. And ask yourself: what will I learn in this course? If you saw a course titled “Unicycle Justice” what would you think you were going to learn? Well, something about unicycles I am sure. And if you took a philosophy course on Unicycle Justice, wouldn’t you expect (being that we are here to “think critically”) that you would be engaging in 14 weeks of reading and thought about how to think about difficult ethical issues surrounding the market/use of unicycles? Do you think you would be engaging in a discussion of what factors we might reasonably think are important for making ethical observations about unicycles?
But I am almost sure that most folks who register for such a class also are in it for the following reason. They think unicycles are good. And not only that, they want this to be a class where they learn to defend the goodness of unicycles. Of course, that’s not how philosophy is supposed to work.
Now move onto the class of Unicycle Law. Rather than learning about the difficult contractual issues surrounding the market and use of unicycles, I now expect to learn about why Unicycle Laws are good.
Now move onto the class of Unicycle Health. Rather than learning about the difficult health issues surrounding the production and consumption of Unicycles, I now expect to learn about why public health interventions in the unicycle world are good.
Now move onto the class of Unicycle Science. Rather than learning about the difficult engineering problems involved with keeping a person atop a slim rod and wheel, I now expect to learn about why basic research is underfunded and how the skateboard corporations are corrupting the true science of unicycling.
Now move onto the class of Unicycle Economics. Rather than learning about how scarcity and information impact this particular market, I now expect to learn about why government interventions in the unicycle market are good.
Now move onto the History and Anthropology of Personal Transportation. Rather than learning about the evolution of the human body and the circumstances which led to the adoption of unicycles at different times and places in history, we learn that unicycles are social constructions, and that these really are a tool of male oppression, forcing our entire transportation sector to be dependent on phallic images, just to further entrench the domination of the male gender.
This week is course registration week. I’m so very excited. If anyone really wants to know what I think you should take, it includes calculus, physics/engineering, logic and history – at least the versions that don’t spend too much time on unicycles.