What is it to be Philosophical?
To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, not even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.—Thoreau..Walden
I have been interested in philosophy as far back as when I first encountered the forests and lakes of my native Michigan. As I grew up, having had the chance to encounter others seeking greater insight and understanding, I began gradually to realize that the perennial questions primarily concerning the phenomenon of being a sentient entity within a complex environment were among the most important that any person could entertain. I discovered that there were liberal arts institutions that preserved that time-honored, philosophical tradition called "dialogue." Dialogue is the interactive, mutually reciprocal questioning and answering that takes place between learners interested in finding the truth. Fortunately for me, I encountered a few profoundly insightful philosophical mentors along the way, many of whom were formally educated in philosophy, and many of whom were not. My self-educated father, Rev. Benjamin F. Borcoman, was among the latter. Mr. Hal Chapman, science instructor, inspired me for life. Mr. Laurie Vincent made the high school experience into an intellectual adventure. One of the most profound philosophers I was privileged to study under is one Pierre Grimes. I have studied Greek, Sanskrit, and Latin and am particularly fond of Socratic Inquiry as well as the practical philosophy of Marcus Aurelius. The Transcendentalists, Emerson and Thoreau have provided such a rich set of insights to American philosophy and to my own orientation that it would be impossible to give them too much credit. A video on Transcendentalism can be found here. Add to this mix a bit of Stoic Cynicism and Pyrrhonistic Skepticism. Of course, most of all, I owe so much to my son, Brandon, who is a prolific writer of poetry and a continuous source of philosophical inspiration, insight, and novelty, while, throughout his life, he has been blessed with great depth of understanding. He has made me truly proud!
K.D. Borcoman has been an instructional designer, academic technologist, and Acting Director for the Center for Teaching and Learning working for California State University, Dominguez Hills, and the Orange County Department of Education. He currently teaches philosophy and psychology courses entirely online for University of Alaska, CSUDH, and Coastline Community College. He has won several awards for innovation in educational technology. These include the Outstanding Professional Award from the Community of Academic Technology Staff (CATS) The Al Maresh Award for Excellence in Alternative Education, Faculty of the Year, Marymount College, CA, The Visionary Leadership Award from CSU and the City of Carson, CA, as well as several others. His online critical thinking course has previously been nominated for the Blackboard Exemplary Course Award. Borcoman also pioneered multimedia efforts to help students produce e-portfolios and has contributed to the CSU Affordable Learning Solutions program. He maintains a website for environmental ethics as well as a personal website devoted to philosophy. Hobbies include: astronomy, amateur radio, photography, backpacking, and participating in Earth Day events.
K.D. Borcoman, Philosophy Instructor
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