What Fred Dretske did about what it’s like
August 3, 2013 § 1 Comment
Fred Dretske was my undergrad epistemology professor. He did something wonderful that stuck with me forever. I was giving a seminar report, up at the board, drawing diagrams etc, in a graduate seminar on scepticism, and I paused and asked if there were any questions on what I had covered so far. A grad student at the table sat back, folded his arms and said: “I. Don’t. Get. It” So I asked what exactly he was confused about, and he said “Everything you said.” So Dretske said, “Oh, maybe I can help.” Really gently. And then he repeated the first half of my presentation! The student said, “Oh, thanks! That was very clear.” And in the same gentle tone, Dretske said, “Well, I just said exactly what Lynne said, in her own words, so that’s something to think about, isn’t it?” I was blown away. First demonstration of a male professor showing a male student up for being such a jerk, but doing it with total class.