However, nothing is quiet around here for very long.
Jim McFee brought an old friend around to meet us during lunch hour. We all sat in the doorway of a boxcar and listened to what he had to say. He was very interesting.
First he said he had been to “A Chautauqua.”
Now – – – he didn’t say he had been to “The Chautauqua” which would have been a town or a lake – – – he said “A Chautauqua” which confused me greatly.
Because we had made a trip to Bradford, Pennsylvania I knew that Chautauqua was a town just north of the Pennsylvania-New York border. And I knew there was a lake there also.
See – – – I have a picture of it right here!
So I questioned Jim’s friend why he said “A Chautauqua.”
You know what he said? He said that “A Chautauqua” was a session in which people learned things.
In fact he showed us a picture of “A Chautauqua Institute” usually held at the Athenian Hotel in Chautauqua, New York.
Well – – – now we were getting somewhere. I think he and I were starting to speak the same language.
Then he said “A Chautauqua” can be held anywhere; even outside.
I finally got the picture. A Chautauqua was a gathering of people who learned about the history of humans and why they do what they do.
Well – – – I thought I knew all about that stuff but I am beginning to think maybe there is more to it than “people watching.”
However this is what happened next.
He started preaching about something call “phenomenology.” I got a little nervous.
He said something about phenomenology being the study of structures of consciousness.
Of course I stopped him right there and asked for a little clarity.
He then said something like “Phenomenology is different than other philosophies such as ethics. Phenomenology has been talked about for centuries, but it came into its own quite recently.”
I apologize for all the “somethings” but it was quite complex and I am not sure if I remember it correctly. Anyway;
Jim’s friend continued on; “Phenomenological ideas are surrounded by intentionality, consciousness, quality, and perspective. These have been prominent in philosophy.”
He mumbled on – – – for what seemed forever – – – about something or another.
However I was stuck on “intentionality, consciousness, quality, and perspective” for the remainder of my lunch break.
He was an interesting but rather perplexing fellow.
I will probably dream about it tonight. But I sure hope not!