Dr. Eric Weiner, Associate Professor in the Educational Foundations Department, was chosen to write monthly essays for the prestigious web site 3 Quarks Daily. The online magazine posts essays about art, science, literature, politics, and philosophy from some of the top writers, thinkers, and scholars around the world. On Mondays, the site features original essays written by selected authors, and Dr. Weiner is a contributing author in this manner.
3 Quarks Daily aims to provide the reader with a one-stop intellectual surfing experience by culling good stuff from all over and putting it in one place. In other words, they have come to be known as an “aggregator” or “filter” or “curated content” web site.
Dr. Weiner’s most recent essay is titled “Writing To Learn, Learning to Live: Against Instrumentality.” He begins the article with a quote by New Jersey-born progressive writer and intellectual Randolph Silliman Bourne: “The allure of fresh and true ideas, of free speculation, or artistic vigor, of cultural styles, of intelligence suffused by feeling, and feeling given fiber and outline by intelligence, has not come, and can hardly come, we see now, while or reigning philosophy is an instrumental one.” The article then examines how students’ writing adheres to instrumental standards, assessed on cohesion and clarity. In opposition is the concept of writing to learn, where exploration, innovation, imagination, and discovery are highlighted. In closing, Dr. Weiner noted, “By engaging in the divergent practice of writing to learn, we can travel beyond what we know, fuel our creative desires, and realize the potential of our poetic vision to liberate us from the rationalization of instrumental thinking.”
Dr. Weiner’s work explores the intersectionality of power, language, aesthetics, ideology, creativity, and schooling. His last book, Deschooling the Imagination, is a theoretical analysis of the social/political imagination and the disciplinary role of schooling.