Monday, December 31, 2007
- Mytho-Poetic Wisdom as Origins of Self-knowledge—Part 2 Myth is a very concrete image of the world expressing in very rudimentary fashion the ethico-religious experience of primitive man; an experience rooted in fear and wonder and which is always at the origins of religion. For Vico, myth rather than logical thinking is the first form through which truth reveals itself.
- Mytho-Poetic Wisdom as Origins of Self-knowledge—Part 1 Vico insists throughout his opus that in order for Man to understand himself and avoid the danger of scientific objectification, he needs to attempt a re-creation of the origins of humanity. This is achievable in as much as it was Man himself who created his own origins, and therefore he can return to them. By doing so he can hope to understand the destiny and meaning of his striving in space and time, which is to say, in history. In the beginning there is the end.
- The Nexus between Language and Vico’s Historicism—Part 2 Man’s relationship to language and history cannot be one of ‘using’ them but rather, one of ‘participating’ in them. In the presentation of contemporary histories, the reader rarely gets an invitation to participate actively in language as another man standing within a world made by language...A whole semester may be spent on literary analysis while the text itself will go unread and thus the student rarely discerns that a great literary work is truly an historical experience in the sense that understanding stands in a specific place in time and space.
- The Nexus between Language and Vico’s Historicism—Part 1 The very possibility of Vico’s science is related to the existence of universals of human nature reflected in linguistic universals formed by the human mind. There is a diachronic and a synchronic unity in language which is based on the unity of human nature. The failure to correlate spoken and written language produces in turn the failure to understand the origins of language.
- The Encounter with History as Extension of the Self—Part 2 It does indeed take about half of one’s lifetime before one becomes aware that our existential condition is, to say it with Heidegger, of “being thrown into the world.” Youth, misguidedly perceiving itself as immortal is rather slow in perceiving this condition.
- The Encounter with History as Extension of the Self—Part 1 For Vico, self-experience does not come by way of introspection, but rather by meeting others and their worlds, i.e., by way of history.
- Vico’s Hermeneutical “understanding” of our Humanity—Part 3 Vico’s most important hermeneutical insight is that human beings cannot be explained objectively, they can only be “understood.”
- A Revolutionary New View of History and Humanity—Part 2 Properly speaking, Vico is the grandfather of modern hermeneutics even if little or no credit is accorded to him in courses on mythology or history of religions.
- A Revolutionary New View of History and Humanity—Part 1 Vico’s New Science (1725) is a watershed to modern historicism. He was however too far ahead of his contemporaries to have any direct impact on them. They had already embarked on a Cartesian paradigm of reality which now pervades modern culture. We modern men can hear Vico’s wake up bell much more clearly in the wake of what rampant rationalism has wrought on us.
- "Man Is His Own History" leads to Self-knowledge -- Part III To briefly summarize Vico’s theory of knowledge we can say that history becomes science when Man orders and understands his deeds according to those eternal notions that Man finds in himself. The truth of history does not consist in mere facts produced by men, but also in the possibility that men have to recover the facts of history to the structure of their mind and to the eternal order that God reveals to the mind of men.
- "Man Is His Own History" leads to self-knowledge--Part II Vico is the precursor of Martin Buber's basic insight that it is only in the world of I-Thou that true reality is to be found. The world of I-it is there to be analyzed, categorized, organized but it is not the total world.
- “Man is his own History” leads to self-knowledge—Part 1I am not suggesting that the concept of history is a special privilege of Western Man. Non Westerns too have a history. However, it is only in 18th century Europe that Man becomes aware of the far reaching implications of that fact. While Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Muslims had chronicles and archives, they were not intellectually conscious of the astonishing fact peculiar to Western Man...
- The Journey Continues The Enlightenment remains to be enlightened about itself. When it finally does it will come to the realization that if reason is made into a god of sort, then, far from taking us beyond ourselves it can degrade and dehumanize us; make us rationalists rationalizing what ought never be rationalized. Most of the Nazis who planned and rationalized the Holocaust in less than two hours and executed it in less than four years sported a Ph.D. after their name. That is modern nihilism at its worst.
- The Journey Begins After a preparatory preamble on Providence and the historical consciousness, I’d like to begin the journey into Vico’s mind with a metaphor from my own intellectual life-experience: that of a long journey on a train and the reflections it engendered.
- Man’s Freedom/God’s Providence: The Origins of the Historical Consciousness The idea of freedom is peculiar to the West. For the Western imagination this idea is nothing short of the underpinning for the historical consciousness. In fact, the consciousness of Man being his own history is one of the most striking characteristics of the Western world. It allows the self to turn back upon itself and judge itself ethically. This is possible because that same self conceives of itself as created in God’s own image and therefore essentially free, for this is a God that is free and creates freely. I dare say that there lies the theological genius of the West.
- An Invitation to the Hermeneutics of the Self Like the ancients of antiquity, Vico insists that without self-knowledge there is no acquisition of wisdom. His was the question of the ancients re-discovered by the high medieval and Renaissance humanists: what does it mean to be human; how does one live humanly? And the question is addressed to each one of us.
- The Idea of Providence within Vico’s Poetic Science of Humanity This is the crux of the problematic of providence vis-à-vis man’s freedom. Is providence wholly immanent within man’s social life? And if so, how is man free? On the other hand if providence is transcendent, how exactly does it operate in human history? Isn’t the very attempt to define God, even if only symbolically, an attempt at reducing his transcendence to the purely human?
- The Uniqueness of Giambattista Vico’s Poetic Philosophy There are two dangerous extremes in modern Western philosophy: that of mythos without logos leading to a false transcendence and ushering in the Nietzschean charismatic Man; and that of logos without mythos leading to pure rationalism and ushering in technocratic Man. In between those dangerous extremes there is Vico’s poetic philosophy, humanistic, holistic and able to harmonize the two extremes.
There are serious political weaknesses in Foucault’s work. But many people are inspired by the radical side of his writing. He may not be easy to read – but what he does have to say is almost always thought provoking. . . .Though at times simplistic and not fully acquainted with Foucault's work, the rest of the article may be read here: http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=13783.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
"The Promise of Reason: Perelman's THE NEW RHETORIC after 50 Years," University of Oregon, May 17-20, 2008.
- legal argument and justice
- rhetoric and human rights
- ethical rhetoric and communications
- argumentation as a substitute for violence
- international diplomacy and conflict resolution
- rationality and reasonableness in international relations
- negotiated assent in public debate
- opposition and cooperation is conflict situations
- argumentation across cultures
- persuasion and leadership
For further information, please visit: http://www.uoregon.edu/~promreas/.
"The Responsibilities of Rhetoric," 13th Biennial Conference, Rhetoric Society of America, Seattle, May 23-26, 2008.
- Charles Johnson One of the leading current American artists and public intellectuals, MacArthur Fellow Charles Johnson won the 1990 National Book Award for his novel Middle Passage. His most recent novel, Dreamer, and the title story of his short fiction collection Dr. King's Refrigerator both meditate on the career of Martin Luther King, Jr. Tentatively scheduled to speak at the spectacular Seattle Public Library, near the conference hotel.
- David Zarefsky Owen L. Coon Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University, past president of the National Communication Association and current president of RSA, David Zarefsky is the author of five books and the editor of many more, including President Johnson's War on Poverty and Lincoln, Douglas, and Slavery: In the Crucible of Public Debate. Tentatively scheduled to speak at the traditional conference luncheon.
- Marc van der Poel A leading and prolific classicist and expert on Renaissance rhetoric who served for many years as editor of the massive Erasmus project, Professor van der Poel is currently Professor of Latin and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. His plenary presentation will be followed by a reception.
Some Additional Special Features:
Seminar led by Professor van der Poel on the meaning, development, and persistence of the "loci communes"—the so-called commonplaces of argument and rhetorical construction—in reading, speaking, and writing from classical times through the early modern period, from Aristotle to Vossius. Offered in cooperation with the International Society for the History of Rhetoric.
Plenary session and reception at the spectacular new Seattle Public Library. http://www.spl.org/images/slideshow/NewCentralSlideshow.asp
Featured sessions organized by scholars such as Dexter Gordon (on the rhetoric of civil rights movements), Jeanne Fahnestock (rhetoric of science), Martin Medhurst (rhetoric of the 2008 presidential race), Michael Hogan (social movements), Susan Wells (publics theory), Steven Mailloux and Michael Leff (on inter-disciplinary collaborations among rhetoricians in English and communication studies), Barbara Warnick (rhetoric and new media), and John Lucaites and Robert Hariman (visual rhetoric).
Especially for graduate students:workshops, professional development seminars, networking opportunities, and a chance to share work in progress with these senior scholars: James Aune, Don Bialostosky, Patricia Bizzell, Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, Gregory Clark, Sharon Crowley, David Holmes, Michael Leff, Andrea Lunsford, Alisse Portnoy, and Edward Schiappa.
For more information, please visit: http://18.104.22.168/cgi-bin/WebSuite/tcsAssnWebSuite.pl?Action=DisplayTemplate&AssnID=RSA&DBCode=538222&Page=AWS_RSA_CONFERENCES.html
Friday, December 28, 2007
Lakoff, George. "The Functionalist's Dilemma [Review of Jackendorff's LANGUAGE, CONSCIOUSNESS, CULTURE]." AMERICAN SCIENTIST (January-February 2008).
Dickstein, Morris. "Praising Not the Hedgehog but the Fox [Review of Hartman's A SCHOLAR'S TALE]." NEW YORK SUN December 26, 2007.
Donadio, Rachel. "Out of South Africa [Review of Coetzee's DIARY OF A BAD YEAR]." NEW YORK TIMES December 16, 2007.
Jaschik, Scott. "Identity Studies for Everyone [Introducing Age Studies]." INSIDE HIGHER ED December 28, 2007.
Interpretation represents a moment at which cognition is not absolutely bound by necessity to produce a particular result . . . and this moment serves as a portal through which character, an individual way of being in the world, enters the work. . . .Read the rest here: http://insidehighered.com/views/2006/12/27/mclemee.
"Hermeneutics: Contemporary Prospects (Tradition, Transmission and Treason)," British Society for Phenomenology, Oxford University, April 4-6, 2008.
Hermeneutics lies at the centre of debates about method, and the status of interpretation within ethics, aesthetics, theology and philosophy in general. The conference brings together leading figures in the field to examine the nature and implications of current debate within hermeneutics and to assess the contribution that hermeneutics can make to methodological controversies in the humanities today. Programme
- Günter Figal (University of Freiburg) "Hermeneutics as Phenomenology"
- Gianni Vattimo (University of Turin) "The Cultural Relevance of Hermeneutics"
- Istvan Fehrer (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest) "Hermeneutics and the Philosophical Tradition"
- Jens Zimmerman (TW University, Canada) "Towards a Critique of the Theological Dimensions of Vattimo's Hermeneutics"
- James Risser (University of Seattle) "The Incapacity of Language"
- Annette Hilt (Ruprecht-Karls-University) "The Boundaries of Comprehensive Sense: Towards a Hermeneutics of Emotional Expressivity"
- Sinead Murphy (University of Cork) "Is Philosophical Hermeneutics Constructive?"
- Daniel Tate (Bonaventure University, New York) "Art as Cognitio Imaginativa: Gadamer on Intuition and Imagination in Kant's Aesthetic Theory"
- Morny Joy (University of Calgary) "Paul Ricoeur and a Hermeneutics of Human Capability and Fragility"
All of the papers are on April 4 – 5. The final day of the conference is reserved for the AGM of the British Society for Phenomenology and other meetings. The aim of the BSP is to organize conferences at which rigorous debate can be carried out in a friendly and inclusive atmosphere. There are no parallel sessions and everyone is encouraged to participate fully. Student Bursaries: The British Society for Phenomenology is offering two bursaries, available to students wishing to attend the conference. Each bursary consists in two nights bed and breakfast accommodation at St Hilda’s College and the cost of the main dinner on Friday night. To apply for one of the bursaries, please prepare a statement of 400 – 600 words outlining the importance of the conference to your studies and send this to: David Webb, Faculty of Arts Media and Design, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2XW: firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must arrive by January 29th 2008.
For further information, please visit: http://britishphenomenology.com/Conference.aspx.
"Multiculturalism and Feminism," 13th Symposium, International Association of Women Philosophers, Ewha Women's University, Seoul, July 27-29, 2008.
The symposium plans to focus its discussions around a number of substantive areas, or 'sites of inquiry.' These include:
- examination of the self-understandings of women in diverse culture and societies today.
- critical reflection on the role forms of the family play within women's lives;
- examination of how the perpetuation of tradition and processes of modernization - and tensions between them -- affect women's lives within diverse social and historical contexts;
- examination of processes of globalization, their intersections with particularistic forms of inequality for women, and the dilemmas thus faced by emergent global or trans-national feminist movements;
- discussion of biomedical practices, and other uses of science and technology, that may threaten women's rights to bodily integrity and social autonomy;
- analysis of the diversity of cultural norms that give rise to images of women in various forms of representation and self-expression, ranging from art, to religion, to the media.
We welcome the participation of women philosophers and other scholars in addressing the intersections of feminism and multiculturalism through an exploration of any of the above "sites of inquiry." Proposals that address the relations of feminism and multiculturalism through other "sites of inquiry" will also be considered.For more information, please visit: http://www.iaph2008.org/.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Bauerlein, Mark. "The Write Stuff: the Hunger for Literature Among Student Officers." WEEKLY STANDARD 13.15 (2007).
Fitzpatrick, Michael. "Was Jesus a Revolutionary? [Review of Eagleton on the Gospels]." SPIKED REVIEW OF BOOKS 8 (2007).
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
It is probably the most negative book review ever written. Or if there is a worse one, do let me know. "This book runs the full gamut from the mediocre to the ludicrous to the merely bad," begins Colin McGinn's review of On Consciousness by Ted Honderich. "It is painful to read, poorly thought out, and uninformed. It is also radically inconsistent." The ending isn't much better: "Is there anything of merit in On Consciousness? Honderich does occasionally show glimmers of understanding that the problem of consciousness is difficult and that most of our ideas about it fall short of the mark. His instincts, at least, are not always wrong. It is a pity that his own efforts here are so shoddy, inept, and disastrous (to use a term he is fond of applying to the views of others)." And in the middle, there is nothing to cheer the book's author. Honderich's book is, according to McGinn, sly, woefully uninformed, preposterous, easily refuted, unsophisticated, uncomprehending, banal, pointless, excruciating. What does the man on the receiving end think of this review? "It is a cold, calculated attempt to murder a philosopher's reputation," says Honderich. The review has reignited a feud between the two philosophers that shows how bitter, unforgiving and (to outsiders) unwittingly hilarious academic disputes can be. It certainly makes the bear pit that is journalism seem like sunshine and lollipops by comparison. McGinn is unrepentant. When I ring him in Miami to find out if there is any chance of a rapprochement, he tells me: "It's not like you're hitting someone over the head with a hammer. Ted is not very good at philosophy. That's the problem." So probably not. . . .Read the rest here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,2230842,00.html. To read the cause of the hullaballoo (McGinn's review) and Honderich's response, please go to: http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2007/12/mcginns-reply-t.html.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Early Modern Philosophy:
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Kirsch, Adam. "Between Liberalism and Leftism: a Review of Michael Walzer's THINKING POLITICALLY." NEW YORK SUN December 12, 2007.
Weiss, Michael. "The Bertrand Russell of Islam: a Review of Warraq's DEFENDING THE WEST [on ORIENTALISM]." NEW YORK SUN December 12, 2007.
Howard, Jennifer. "The Literary Anthology, Revised and Excised." CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION December 21, 2007.
Read the rest here: http://chronicle.com/temp/email2.php?id=fcRjyp3kjvPnpsPNRfSQCMwD8MT3pZxt.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Gallagher, Shaun, and Dan Zahavi. THE PHENOMENOLOGICAL MIND: AN INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY OF MIND AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE. London: Routledge, 2007.
- What is phenomenology?
- Naturalizing phenomenology and the empirical cognitive sciences
- Phenomenology and consciousness
- Consciousness and self-consciousness, including perception and action
- Time and consciousness, including William James
- The embodied mind
- Knowledge of other minds
- Situated and extended minds
- Phenomenology and personal identity
Interesting and important examples are used throughout, including phantom limb syndrome, blindsight and self-disorders in schizophrenia, making The Phenomenological Mind an ideal introduction to key concepts in phenomenology, cognitive science and philosophy of mind.
Shaun Gallagher is Professor and Chair of Philosophy and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Central Florida and Research Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science at the University of Hertfordshire. He is the author of How the Body Shapes the Mind and co-editor of Does Consciousness Cause Behavior? An Investigation of the Nature of Volition.
Dan Zahavi is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen. He is the author of Subjectivity and Selfhood and Husserl's Phenomenology.
They jointly edit the journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.For further information, go to http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t745720617.
Sawicki, Jana. "Review of Michel Foucault's ABNORMAL: LECTURES AT THE COLLEGE DE FRANCE, 1974-1975." NDPR January 3, 2005.
Butler, Nick. "The Management of Populations: Review of Foucault's SECURITY, TERRITORY, POPULATION." EPHEMERA 7.3 (2007): 475-480.
Godelek, Kamuran. "Review of Michel Foucault's PSYCHIATRIC POWER." METAPSYCHOLOGY ONLINE REVIEWS November 27, 2007.
Gladwell, Malcolm. "None of the Above: What IQ doesn't Tell You about Race." NEW YORKER December 17, 2007.
McWhorter, Ladelle. "Review of Cressida J. Heyes' SELF-STRANSFORMATIONS: FOUCAULT, ETHICS, AND NORMALISED BODIES." NDPR December 8, 2007.
CFP: "Literature and Law: a Celebration," John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, April 11, 2008.
This conference aims to bring scholars of literature and law into an interdisciplinary setting to share the fruits of their research and scholarship. The conference celebrates the restoration of John Jay's English major with its unique literature and law emphasis. The conference's keynote speaker is Brook Thomas, a noted literature and law scholar and Chancellor's Professor at the University of California Irvine. His most recent book, just published by UNC Press, is Civic Myths: A Law-and-Literature Approach to Citizenship. We are in negotiations with the journal Law and Literature to publish full versions of the best of the papers presented atthe conference in a special symposium issue.We invite papers dealing with any aspect of literature and law, including papers which might address some of the following:
- Convict narratives
- Mercy and equity
- The reasonable man/person standard
- Natural, divine, and positive law
- Legal standards and presumptions
- Fictional evidence
- Proportionality and punishment
- Fairness versus equality
- Reasonable Doubt
- Lady Justice
- Blasphemy and censorship
- The legal fiction of an era
Please submit abstracts (250 words or less) to Andrew Majeske, email@example.com, by Friday, January 18, 2008.
Further information may be found here: http://literatureandlaw.blogspot.com/.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Dowling, William C. "Literary Studies versus Cultural Studies." CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION September 17, 1999.
A couple of years ago, in an article explaining how funds for faculty positions are allocated in American universities, the provost of the University of California at Berkeley offered some frank advice to department chairs, whose job partly consists of lobbying for a share of the budget. "On every campus," she wrote, "there is one department whose name need only be mentioned to make people laugh; you don't want that department to be yours." The provost, Carol Christ (who retains her faculty position as a literature professor), does not name the offender—but everyone knows that if you want to locate the laughingstock on your local campus these days, your best bet is to stop by the English department. The laughter, moreover, is not confined to campuses. It has become a holiday ritual for The New York Times to run a derisory article in deadpan Times style about the annual convention of the Modern Language Association, where thousands of English professors assemble just before the new year. Lately it has become impossible to say with confidence whether such topics as "Eat Me; Captain Cook and the Ingestion of the Other" or "The Semiotics of Sinatra" are parodies of what goes on there or serious presentations by credentialed scholars. At one recent English lecture, the speaker discussed a pornographic "performance artist" who, for a small surcharge to the price of admission to her stage show, distributes flashlights to anyone in the audience wishing to give her a speculum exam. By looking down at the mirror at just the right angle, she is able, she says, to see her own cervix reflected in the pupil of the beholder, and thereby (according to the lecturer) to fulfill the old Romantic dream of eradicating the distinction between perceiver and perceived. The lecturer had a winning phrase—"the invaginated eyeball"—for this accomplishment. During the discussion that followed, a consensus emerged that, in light of the optical trick, standard accounts (Erwin Panofsky's was mentioned) of perspective as a constitutive element in Western visual consciousness need to be revised. . . .Thanks to Ed Brandon for sending the link (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/318).
Metcalf, Stephen. "Dissecting the IQ Debate: a Response to Liberal Creationism." SLATE December 3, 2007.
Hannay, Alastair. "Review of Mooney, Edward F. ON SOREN KIERKEGAARD: DIALOGUE, POLEMICS, LOST INTIMACY, AND TIME." NDPR December 7, 2007.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
"The Guattari Effect: the Life and Work of Felix Guattari, 1930-1992," CRMEP, Middlesex University, April 17-18, 2008.
- Why did Guattari turn his attention to these fields, and what did he produce in them?
- What forms did his activism take in the 1970s and 80s, and of what relevance are they today?
Rare archival film and audio footage from these periods will be screened to accompany discussions of Guattari’s adventures in media activism.
- Franco Berardi, Academy of Fine Arts, Milan 'Chaosmotic Sensibility and Ethics’
- Dr. Gary Genosko, Lakehead University ‘Banking on Félix: Refashioning Low Threshold Semiosis Through A-Signifying Particle-Signs’
- Professor Barbara Glowczewski, Écoles des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales ‘Passion According to Guattari: Attractors and Detractors in Anthropology’
- Professor Monique David Ménard, Université de Paris VII Denis-Diderot ‘Guattari and “Collective Assemblages of Enunciation”’
- Dr. Anne Querrien, Université de Paris XV-Evry Val d'Essonne ‘Mapping in an N-Dimensional Plane’
- Professor Brian Massumi, University of Montreal ‘Always Having Been, For the First Time: Emergence and Eternality in the Work of Guattari’
- Professor Peter Pal Pelbart, Catholic University of Sao Paolo ‘Re-founding the Unconscious upon Deterritorialization’
- Dr. Anne Sauvagnargues, École Normale Supérieure ‘Politics of the Face’
- Dr. Stephen Zepke, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna ‘To Remake the Readymade: Guattari and Duchamp’
- Professor François Dosse, History, Institut Universitaire de Formations des Maitres de l’Académie de Créteil 'Guattari with Deleuze’
Further information is available here: http://www.mdx.ac.uk/www/CRMEP/EVENTS/TheGuattariEffect.htm.