Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dalrymple, William. "A Writer's People: a Way of Looking and Feeling by V. S. Naipaul." TIMES September 23, 2007

Few would deny that VS Naipaul has been one of the most innovative and interesting writers living in Britain; he was also, from the late 1950s until the mid-1980s, one of the seminal figures of postcolonial literature. At his best, his prose was distinguished by its startling clarity and precision, its spare and deceptive simplicity and its penetrating directness and honesty. . . . More at:

CFP: "Recoupling Genre and ‘Gender,’" ANGELAKI December 2008

Recoupling Genre and 'Gender'.  Ed. Moira Gatens.  Theme Issue for Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities.  Proposed publication date: December 2008 .

Questions about genre always raise questions of tradition, authority and exclusion. What justifies the judgement that one text is'philosophical', another 'literary', and yet another 'historical'? And how might these broad 'genre' distinctions play out in the realm ofgender? Is literary production 'feminised' in relation to a 'masculinised' philosophy? And what can be said about the gendering of genres within disciplines? For example:· writing the history of 'Great Men' and 'Great Events' is the preserveof men whereas social histories, that require an 'eye for detail' and the 'everyday', are suited to the special talents of women.· Metaphysics and Epistemology are at the 'science' end of philosophy,whereas moral and social philosophy is at the 'humanities' end and so more suited to women.· Epic poetry, high tragedy, and wide-ranging, 'big picture', creations are the literary preserve of men; women's genre is the novel and the short story, both of which suit women's talents in representing the everyday and domesticity. Perhaps these platitudes do little more than rearticulate the claim that Man is able to grasp the 'universal' whereas woman's preserve is the 'particular'? Recent scholarship, across the disciplines, has questioned both how these disciplines (history, philosophy, and literature) relate to each other and the way in which 'gender' has been coupled with particular genres of writing. This special issue of Angelaki aims to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars in order to reconsider ways in which the genre and gender question has been configured in recent theory. It seeks innovative reformulations of the genre-gender relation that emphasise the ways in which this relation is intimately tied to specific social norms and particular institutions in a variety of cultural, historical and political contexts. To this end, the papers will explore the specificity of the discursive relationship between various 'coupled' authors as well as the way in which the reception of their writings may have changed over time. (The 'coupled' authors might include: Wollstonecraft and Godwin, George Eliot and G.H. Lewes,Virgina Woolf and Vita Sackville West, Mary Shelley and P. B. Shelley,Heidegger and Arendt, Delueze and Guattari). The overriding aim is to move towards a 'recoupling' of genre and gender that acknowledges the full force of the range of institutions and social and historical conventions at work in genre allocation. The upper limit for submissions is 10,000 words but shorter pieces arewelcome.

Please follow MLA style and submit papers electronically (inWord format) to

Deadline for submission: 15 April 2008.

CFP: "Theory, Practice, and Tradition: Human Rationality in Pursuit of the Good Life," Society for MacIntyrean Philosophy, July 30-August 3, 2008.

The International Society for MacIntyrean Philosophy invites submissions focusing on Alasdair MacIntyre’s accounts of theory, practice, and tradition as a foundation for ethical and political work. Diverse philosophical approaches and methodologies are welcome and the theme can be broadly interpreted. Papers should not exceed 30 minutes reading time. Select papers may be published in a special journal for the International Society for MacIntyrean Philosophy. The International Society for MacIntyrean Philosophy was founded by the participants of “MacIntyre’s Revolutionary Aristotelianism: Ethics, Resistance and Utopia,” a conference organized by Kelvin Knight, held at London Metropolitan University in June 2007. The society includes professional philosophers from different traditions, experts in political theory, the social sciences, the humanities and education, as well as members of non-philosophical communities and practices, and others interested in the relevance of their commitments and professions. Please submit a 100 word abstract no later than January 10, 2008 by email. Plenary Speakers Include:
  • Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University
  • Ronald Beiner, University of Toronto

Other speakers include:

  • Kelvin Knight, editor of The MacIntyre Reader (1998) and author of Aristotelian Philosophy: Ethics and Politics from Aristotle to MacIntyre (2007);
  • Paul Blackledge, co-editor of Alasdair MacIntyre's Engagement with Marxism: Essays and Articles, 1953-1974 (forthcoming 2008);
  • David Lorenzo, author of Comunitarismo contra individualismo: una revisión de los valores de Occidente desde el pensamiento de A. MacIntyre (2007);
  • Andrius Bielskis, author of Towards a Post-Modern Understanding of the Political (2005);
  • Christopher Stephen Lutz, author of Tradition in the Ethics of Alasdair MacIntyre (2004);
  • Marco D’Avenia, translator of Italian edition of Alasdair MacIntyre, Edith Stein: A Philosophical Prologue (forthcoming);
  • Peter McMylor, author of Alasdair MacIntyre: Critic of Modernity (1994).

Suggested topics include:

  • What is the good life? Can we still talk about the good life?
  • Is practical rationality necessarily moral? Is moral reasoning necessarily practical?
  • What is a practice? Can practices be normative? Must practices be teleological?
  • What is a tradition? Are traditions rational? Are traditions normative?
  • How do theories and practices form traditions? How do traditions bear theories and practices?
  • What are some sources of conflicts within and between traditions?
  • Must the good life be religious? Can the religious lead a good life?
  • Is any kind of metaphysical biology necessary or possible today?
  • Is universal human nature a philosophical discovery or an oppressive ideological imposition?

Conference Dates: July 30 through August 3, 2008; Location: Saint Meinrad School of Theology, St. Meinrad, Indiana, USA; Website:

Monday, September 24, 2007

Purcell, L. Sebastian. "Review of THE CONTINENTAL ETHICS READER, ed. Matthew Calarco and Peter Atterton." ESSAYS IN PHILOSOPHY June 2007

There is much in this book that recommends it for classroom use. Anyone interested in providing an alternative to many of the contemporary debates in analytic ethics, or those who seek to discuss ethical topics in gender studies or literary theory will do well to look to this book. Since it is the first of its kind, however, it is certainly not perfect, and anyone interested in providing a course on Continental ethics would do well to supplement the materials provided here with some of the others suggested above. My recommendation of the book, then, is qualified, or rather specific to its planned use, and I hope to find either a second edition of the work, or a more comprehensive alternative that might merit an unqualified recommendation. Read the full review here:

Lundberg, Johan. "The Conformity of Rebellion." AXESS 5 (2007)

It has become a requirement of contemporary culture that art transgress norms and overstep boundaries. But the absurdity of this consensual rebellion is being exposed by Søren Ulrik Thomsen and Frederik Stjernfelt, who want to free art from any ideological directives, whether radical or conservative. . . .

Gal, Egon. "On the Mystery of Human Consciousness." EUROZINE August 23, 2007

Philosophers and natural scientists regularly dismiss consciousness as irrelevant. However, even its critics agree that consciousness is less a problem than a mystery. One way into the mystery is through an understanding of autism. . . .

Lerer, Seth. "The Edifice of Pinkerism." NEW YORK SUN September 12, 2007.

Not since the 18th century has there been so much argument about the mind. In that era, philosophers such as John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, David Hume, and Immanuel Kant argued about the relationships between thought and speech, and between sensation and knowledge, in terms that we still mull over today. Are human beings born with innate ideas, or are we just blank slates, filled up by experience as we grow up? Is language something that uniquely makes us human? Do words really represent things in the world or are they markers of ideas inside our brains? Is there a language of thought itself, or do different languages embrace and shape the world in different ways? . . . Continue reading at:

Adams, Tim. "Cultural Hallmark (Stuart Hall Interview)." GUARDIAN September 23, 2007

He grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, studied at Oxford and emerged as one of the country's leading cultural theorists, helping to define the huge changes in 20th-century Britain. Now 75, he talks to Tim Adams about his pioneering new venture, and the alarming cultural shifts that define the new century. . . . More at:,,2175203,00.html

Friday, September 21, 2007

Edmundson, Mark. "Freud and Anna." CHRONICLE September 21, 2007

Why publish a book about Sigmund Freud in 2007, a time when many people — perhaps most — think that Freud is passé? Even a reasonably sympathetic observer is likely to believe that what's best in Freud's work has already been absorbed into the culture. Everyone, this line of thinking runs, now knows what Freud knew about dreams, about the unconscious, about the centrality of sex in human life, about jokes and slips of the tongue, and about a half a dozen or so other consequential matters. Then, of course, there's what his critics think of as the bad side of Freud: contemporary psychologists dismiss him as insufficiently scientific; feminists denounce him as the ultimate patriarch. So why bother now with Sigmund Freud? The answer to this question is at:

Monday, September 03, 2007

Documentary on Heidegger

The documentary may be found here:

Documentary on Nietzsche

The documentary is found here:

Nietzsche 'Footage' on YouTube

Is this the result of modern technology? Go to:

Harris, James A. "Review of Knud Haakonssen, ed. Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy." NDPR July 12, 2007

Knud Haakonssen's long-awaited Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy is an achievement equal in importance and stature to its illustrious predecessors in the Cambridge History of Philosophy series. It is impossible to imagine this book being superseded for years to come. It comprises thirty-six chapters collected under five headings: 'The Concept of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy', 'The Science of Human Nature', 'Philosophy and Theology', 'Natural Philosophy', and 'Moral Philosophy'. Immediately striking is the fact that the chapters are devoted to topics and problems, and not to individual philosophers or particular philosophical schools. This is exactly as it should be. A history of eighteenth-century philosophy that restricted itself to chapters on canonical figures, using standard means of categorisation, could do little or nothing to refashion our understanding of the period. It would merely give us again the eighteenth-century that subsequent philosophers and their epigoni have constructed as a means of making sense of and legitimating their own particular projects and agendas. Haakonnssen's book, by contrast, while of course returning again and again to Locke and Hume, Wolff and Kant, Condillac and d'Alembert, puts the familiar in the company of many of their rather less well known contemporaries. Hume's 'Of Miracles' is set by M. A. Stewart in the context of a debate about the rational basis of revealed religion carried by, amongst others, John Toland, Anthony Collins, Matthew Tindal, Thomas Woolston, Peter Annet, Arthur Sykes and Conyers Middleton. Udo Thiel describes reactions to Locke on personal identity from, not only Butler and Reid, but also Samuel Clarke, Berkeley, Collins, Edmund Law and Condillac. The result is untidy and distinctly unfriendly to the notion of the history of philosophy as linear and progressive. Old ideas and arguments refuse to die and disappear; new ones are by turns ignored, misunderstood, and traduced. . . . More at

Uzgalis, William. "Review of Conal Condren, et al, eds. The Philosopher in Early Modern Europe." NDPR July 17, 2007

The editors claim that "[v]iewed from a post-Kantian vantage, the landscape of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century philosophy appears as a foreign country" (5). They tell us that in order to recover "understandings of philosophy not easily assimilated to the current self-understandings of the discipline", their volume "argues for a more thoroughly historical approach to the history of early modern philosophy." To do this, the volume focuses on "the complementary phenomena of the contested character of philosophy, and the persona necessary for its practice, that is, the purpose built 'self' whose cognitive capacities and moral bearing are cultivated for the sake of a knowledge deemed philosophical." (p. 7). . . . More at

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Power, Nina. "Philosophy's Subjects." PARRHESIA 3 (2007).

This article begins with a systematic exposition of the permutations of (a) the term ‘subject’ itself and (b) the conceptual history and reception of the term in French philosophical and political thought in the early twentieth century. The importance of this exposition is threefold. The key elements of my argument here will demonstrate, first, how certain prevalent interpretations of the ‘subject’ operate at the level of their presentation and argumentation; second, how one particular way of conceptualising the modern subject (namely, the Cartesian, or rather, a certain construction of the Cartesian subject) has come to dominate both the dogmatic and critical contemporary discourses of the subject and third, to show that the mid-twentieth century controversy concerning ‘humanism’ in its Marxist, structuralist, humanist and antihumanist modes masked the more fundamental issue of the nature and necessity (or otherwise) of a concept of ‘the subject’ for philosophy and politics. The rest is here:


A new issue of Parrhesia is now online at