Thursday, July 14, 2016
In the THE, boring studies.
In 2005’s A Philosophy of Boredom, the Norwegian philosopher Lars Svendsen asks: “What can possibly be more existentially disturbing than boredom?” Noting that it may be a gateway to substance misuse, eating and sleeping disorders, depression, aggression, risky behaviour and even suicide, Svendsen nonetheless finds a redemptive strain in Heidegger’s belief that the “silent fog” of boredom motivates insight, innovation and creativity as it lights a fire under sufferers’ bums (my own formulation, not Heidegger’s), inspiring them to transcend tedium. Many conferees endorsed Heidegger’s appreciation of boredom, especially pedagogy scholars who argued that schoolchildren (and perhaps university students?) need unprogrammed downtime to relax, process their lessons and, most importantly, learn to amuse themselves.
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