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Jane Bowyer's recent letter is outrageous. She ascribes her inability to follow my argumentative threads to her naive, and prescriptive, idea that decisions should be based on facts. She implies that I assert a normative ethical claim, e.g. Decisions should be based on facts, not emotion. In fact, I never claim this. I offer descriptive conceptual analysis to illuminate the ways in which emotions do, in fact, drive people's decisions. Besides, she also makes two false claims, regarding my decision to resign from St. Helena's school board.

Bowyer erroneously says that, my resignation caused "an uncertain amount of complexity and possible additional costs." In fact, the options provided school boards, per California Ed Code, are simple: boards can either appoint someone to fill a vacancy or opt for a special election. Given the fact that the board decided to fill via appointment, taxpayers didn't have to pay between $25,000 and $40,000 for a special election. Bowyer fails to frame the issue in a manner consistent the facts.

Bowyer continues her falsehoods claiming, I "[cite] the fact that [I] could do more on the larger political scene" and plan to run for higher office. In fact, I explicitly state my reasons for stepping back in my resignation letter. I clearly say, "at this stage in my life, I've decided to step back from local politics to pursue my master's degree in philosophy..." In fact, my long term career goal is to become a philosophy professor, not a politician.

For the record, I'm in the process of applying for my Sacramento State Bachelor's degree in Philosophy with a concentration in Ethics, Law, and Politics, after completing an outstanding Spanish degree requirement. I've returned to Napa Valley College, with two classes left, to earn an Associate's degree in Humanities and Philosophy. Subsequently, I plan to apply to Staffordshire University to earn a PhD in Continental Philosophy, and then, the European Graduate School for a PhD in Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought.

Readers can follow my philosophical work via my podcast, Napa Valley Insurrection:

Regarding the question of running for higher office, my political praxis these days is akin to Diogenes of Sinope's meeting with Alexander the Great. King Alexander, while in Corinth, searches for Diogenes, the infamous Cynic "dog philosopher" known to sleep in a tub in the public square. Alexander finds Diogenes sunbathing on a meadowy hillside outside the city. Alexander, given his wealth and power, asks Diogenes if there is anything he wants; Alexander will grant his wish. Diogenes replies, "Yes. For now, just stand a little out of my sunshine."

Flabbergasted, Alexander replies, "If I were not Alexander the Great, I would like to be Diogenes."

Alex Shantz

St. Helena