In early Chinese thought, heaven was considered "round" and earth "square." Westerners from St. Anselm to Kant taught that round and square are opposites. I will explore the connections between east and west (round and square) in a blog that takes seriously the little details of our lives. Round and square; east and west—never the twain shall meet (it has been said). Except when they do, and that is the whole point of this blog.
From Round to Square (and back)
For The Emperor's Teacher, scroll down (↓) to "Topics." It's the management book that will rock the world (and break the vase, as you will see). Click or paste the following link for a recent profile of the project: http://magazine.beloit.edu/?story_id=240813&issue_id=240610
A new post appears every day at 12:05* (CDT). There's more, though. Take a look at the right-hand side of the page for over four years of material (2,000 posts and growing) from Seinfeld and country music to every single day of the Chinese lunar calendar...translated. Look here ↓ and explore a little. It will take you all the way down the page...from round to square (and back again). *Occasionally I will leave a long post up for thirty-six hours, and post a shorter entry at noon the next day.
Theory Corner is an occasional Round and Square series highlighting various aspects of social, cultural, and historical theory of immediate use to the practicing student of anthropology or history (not to mention other disciplines). I see these entries as "refined flour" theoretical reflections. Like white bread or polished rice, they burn right through your system with immediate (if short term) insights. I will soon start an accompanying series (perhaps called "Theory Dungeon") that deals with "whole grain" theory—chewy intellectual pieces, such as "Foucault Loaf" or "Habermas Braid," that take much more time to digest.
[b] Casual theory
[c] Causal Theory
Theory Corner is based upon the short, fifteen minute presentations that I give in my historical and anthropological research classes. To grasp the scene fully, you must imagine the following. The "theorist" walks into the room; s/he is wearing a cardigan sweater and tennis shoes. Sitting down in a rocking chair, s/he smiles warmly, mumbles something about "neighbors," and begins to take the listener on a trip to a happy kind of theory-land that is not-too-hot and not-too-cold (as Lévi-Strauss might say). It is "baby-bear" theory...that is just right.