Nov 27, 2010


It's quite gratifying to get good marks occasionally. My last two (in both senses - I probably won't be doing any more philosophy for a while, if ever) philosophy courses gained me A+s to help drag my grade point average up a little. I feel an A+ in philosophy is somehow particularly noble, though am not sure why. I finally feel too like I might finally be almost living up to my potential in philosophy. But to balance this, I know I didn't put a huge amount of work in to the courses, particularly the second one. Lectures were missed and revision largely consisted in me trying to reinvent the field with the help of the internet, as that was more interesting. I didn't have much background in it for a stage 3 course and to be honest, it seems I snuck in between the academic cracks using my native intelligence; competing against people who, as interested as they may claim to be in philosophy, have been blessed with less of this as well as with less interesting ideas (i.e. I know how to be controversial without going too far) and of course, along with everyone else I've been taking advantage of general grade inflation. I find it hard to believe that high marks in advanced courses have always been given out so easily as they would seem to be now, particularly in Arts courses.

Comparing all this with my molecular biology papers is potentially a little depressing, but to some extent the same goes there, in that I don't have much background in this field either - the difference is that in that realm, it actually shows up in my marks. I can start to see the stereotype of an Arts degree kind of course in my philosophy papers; pity I've only really just got used to the art of intelligently bullsh*tting as that part of my degree comes to an end. Of course, I tend to believe what I write, but I know full well that it isn't particularly rigorous or even, usually, novel - I just also know that it's better than what my classmates are writing.

Taking another tack, I particularly enjoy getting good marks for defending Christian orthodoxy in fields which are generally presumed to have 'gotten over it'. Perhaps I have postmodernism and the tolerant pluralistic society to thank, but I'm seeing that Christian faith stands up well when articulated clearly and when in critical dialogue with other options on offer in the marketplace of ideas.

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