The riddle, koan or potential paradox posed in the upper panel alludes to the matter of Yale’s professor Thomas Pogge, a noted ethicist, and some unbecoming behavior of which he has been accused — but as professor Judith Stark writing at Conversation suggests, there’s further interest beyond the case of Pogge and his accusers.
In order to teach ethics, one must know physics and logic. The three domains go hand and hand together, but at times, together, they can be seen as a three-headed snake trying to swallow its own tail, a position which many one-headed snakes in this feed find themselves in, from time to time.
Structure gives the three-headed snake one tail and multiple heads in the domain of physics; an orientation of culture gives the three-headed snake the logic needed to move its structure into a position; and ethics positions the three-headed snake for the bite. Biting is one thing that snakes do.
Perhaps the instructor taught his pupils to take the correct position, at least in the context of biting, i.e. don’t bite your own tail or shave, unless you know which domain to use first. To shave yourself you need to first put yourself in the position, then ask why?
After all he wasn’t trying to teach physic nor logic, which pretty much answers what and how.
As Orientation begins in the workspace, perhaps there was something about his environment or culture that affected his position, but, on the other hand, the ethics he taught were those needed and wanted, by his students, to put them in a position of advantage in any workspace they found themselves in, after graduation.
So he earned his money at his job, but may have been, as a human, a scumbag. Something that could happen in any workspace.