Title: The World According to Charlie: An Aphoristic Reflection
Many—if not most—academics lead relatively insular intellectual lives. They read deeply in
their area of specialty but otherwise stay relatively confined within disciplinary boundaries.
Charlie Geyer is the exact opposite. His intellectual interests are broad and he reads very widely.
He can be accurately described as an academic omnivore. My presentation will focus on
Charlie’s scholarly disposition through his participation in activities of the Minnesota Center for
Philosophy of Science. To accomplish this, I will use a familiar feature of Charlie’s
conversational manner: his penchant for aphorisms (pithy observations that contain general
truths). Overall, these aphorisms help demonstrate that Charlie exemplifies an older, more
expansive mode of inquiry, which was extinguished by the disciplinary divisions of the modern
university: natural philosophy.