Monday, January 21, 2008

Tapping Philosophy: Practice


Quotes--There are so many good ones:

“The moment of understanding is the moment of interpretation is the moment of application.”

-Hans Georg Gadamer

“Kneel down, move your lips in prayer, and you will believe”

-Blaise Pascal

And my favorite:

If Coach tells you that I missed practice, then that's that. I may have missed one practice this year but if somebody says he missed one practice of all the practices this year, then that's enough to get a whole lot started. I told Coach Brown that you don't have to give the people of Philadelphia a reason to think about trading me or anything like that. If you trade somebody, you trade them to make the team better...simple as that. I'm cool with that. I'm all about that. The people in Philadelphia deserve to have a winner. It's simple as that. It goes further than that ... If I can't practice, I can't practice. It is as simple as that. It ain't about that at all. It's easy to sum it up if you're just talking about practice. We're sitting here, and I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we're talking about practice. I mean listen, we're sitting here talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, but we're talking about practice. Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it's my last but we're talking about practice man. How silly is that? ... Now I know that I'm supposed to lead by example and all that but I'm not shoving that aside like it don't mean anything. I know it's important, I honestly do but we're talking about practice. We're talking about practice man. We're talking about practice. We're talking about practice. We're not talking about the game. We're talking about practice. When you come to the arena, and you see me play, you've seen me play right, you've seen me give everything I've got, but we're talking about practice right now. ... Hey I hear you, it's funny to me too, hey it's strange to me too but we're talking about practice man, we're not even talking about the game, when it actually matters, we're talking about practice ... How the hell can I make my teammates better by practicing?

— Allen Iverson at a press conference on May 8, 2002

He said "practice" more times than he's actually practiced.

— Larry Brown speaking to reporters the next day

And now for the topic itself:

This week, we’re talking about practice, and Allen Iverson probably won’t show up. This word has several different meanings: there’s praxis as the implementation of theory (Marx), there is practice of a skill (Aristotle’s techne), and religious and cultural practice. Is there any shared ground between these definitions or an overall understanding of practice at which we might arrive through discussion? What social institutions play the largest role concerning the implementation of praxis, and what institutions are more hands off with regard to practice? What is the relationship of praxis to constructs such as criticism, ideology, and culture? Why is practice important to forming an understanding of the world? It seems obvious that the notion of practice as action in general is of quite obvious important, but why is it relevant to simply understanding things theoretically or philosophically? Is the practice of an individual, an institution, or a culture the most important ground for judging its effectiveness or its worth? Why do we practice?

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