Sunday, October 26, 2008
Dalrymple, Theodore. "False Apology Syndrome: I'm Sorry for Your Sins." IN CHARACTER (Fall Issue 2008).
Chrisafis, Angelique. "The Cultural Whipping Boys' Manifesto: France has Vomited on Us for Too Long." GUARDIAN October 3, 2008.
- Jerome Lewis on abundance
- Interview with Noam Chomsky
- Lionel Sims decodes Stonehenge
- Keith Hart: a philosophy for life
- Marek Kohn: can we learn to trust?
Access the whole issue here: http://www.radicalanthropologygroup.org/journal_02.pdf.
- Lucretius. On the Nature of Things. Trans. A. E. Stallings. Intro. Richard Jenkyns. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2008.
- Gillespie, Stuart, and Philip Hardie, eds. Cambridge Companion to Lucretius. Cambridge: CUP, 2008.
Read the rest here: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/the_tls/article4861564.ece.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Ceccarelli, Leah. "Defenders of Science Shouldn't Let the Sophists Carry the Day." SEATTLE TIMES June 17, 2008.
"The Third Sophistic: New Approaches to Rhetoric in Late Antiquity," Society for Late Antiquity, Philadelphia, January 9-11, 2009.
Abensour, Alexandre. "The Unconscious and its Images: Ricoeur, Reader of Freud." LA VIE DES IDEES. July 17, 2008.
- "A Reading of the Seminar from an Other to the other IV" by J-A MILLER
- "The Other Side of Lacan" by J-A MILLER
- "The Son's Aleatory Identity in Today's World" by ALAIN BADIOU
- "The Image in the Fantasy" by LILIA MAHJOUB
- "Madness and Structure in Jacques Lacan" by MASSIMO RECALCATI
- "Strange Foreign Bodies" by JEAN-LUC NANCY
- "Why Lacan Is Not a Heideggerian" by SLAVOJ ZIZEK
- "Cecily Brown Doug Aitken" by JOSEFINA AYERZA
Friday, October 24, 2008
"The Other Side of Reason: the History of Madness Today," Humanities Institute, SUNY Buffalo, October 31-November 1, 2008.
Back in 1950, while a physics major at Harvard, I wandered into C. I. Lewis’s epistemology course. There, Lewis was confidently expounding the need for an indubitable Given to ground knowledge, and he was explaining where that ground was to be found. I was so impressed that I immediately switched majors from ungrounded physics to grounded philosophy.
For a decade after that, I hung around Harvard writing my dissertation on ostensible objects -- the last vestige of the indubitable Given. During that time no one at Harvard seemed to have noticed that Wilfrid Sellars had denounced the Myth of the Given, and that he and his colleagues were hard at work, not on a rock solid foundation for knowledge, but on articulating the conceptual structure of our grasp of reality. Sellars’ decision to abandon the old Cartesian problem of indubitable grounding has clearly paid off. While Lewis is now read, if at all, as a dead end, Sellars’ research program is flourishing. John McDowell, for example, has replaced Lewis’ phenomenalist account of perceptual objects with an influential account of perception as giving us direct access to reality.
But, although almost everyone now agrees that knowledge doesn’t require an unshakeable foundation, many questions remain. Can we accept McDowell’s Sellarsian claim that perception is conceptual “all the way out,” thereby denying the more basic perceptual capacities we seem to share with prelinguistic infants and higher animals? More generally, can philosophers successfully describe the conceptual upper floors of the edifice of knowledge while ignoring the embodied coping going on on the ground floor; in effect declaring that human experience is upper stories all the way down?
This evening, I’d like to convince you that we shouldn’t leave the conceptual component of our lives hanging in midair and suggest how philosophers who want to understand knowledge and action can profit from a phenomenological analysis of the nonconceptual embodied coping skills we share with animals and infants. . . .
In 1963, I was invited by the RAND Corporation to evaluate the pioneering work of Alan Newell and Herbert Simon in a new field called Cognitive Simulation (CS). Newell andSimon claimed that both digital computers and the human mind could be understood as physical symbol systems, using strings of bits or streams of neuron pulses as symbols representing the external world. Intelligence, they claimed, merely required making the appropriate inferences from these internal representations. As they put it: “A physical symbol system has the necessary and sufficient means for general intelligent action.”
As I studied the RAND papers and memos, I found to my surprise that, far from replacing philosophy, the pioneers in CS had learned a lot, directly and indirectly from the philosophers. They had taken over Hobbes’ claim that reasoning was calculating, Descartes’ mental representations, Leibniz’s idea of a “universal characteristic” – a set of primitives in which all knowledge could be expressed, -- Kant’s claim that concepts were rules, Frege’s formalization of such rules, and Russell’s postulation of logical atoms as the building blocks of reality. In short, without realizing it, AI researchers were hard at work turning rationalist philosophy into a research program.
At the same time, I began to suspect that the critical insights formulated in existentialist armchairs, especially Heidegger’s and Merleau-Ponty’s, were bad news for those working in AI laboratories-- that, by combining rationalism, representationalism, conceptualism, formalism, and logical atomism into a research program, AI researchers had condemned their enterprise to reenact a failure. . . .
Hourigan, Daniel. "Review of Matthew Sharpe, et al. UNDERSTANDING PSYCHOANALYSIS." MOR October 7, 2008.
"Deleuze and the Political," Scottish Centre for Contemporary French Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, University of Dundee, November 1, 2008.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Frank B. Farrell in NDPR (http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=14387): Analytic philosophy of literature and deconstructionist thought make strange bedfellows, but they join in making matters difficult for the literary humanist. The analytic philosopher, using investigations regarding truth, reference, meaning, knowledge, justification, and the like will press toward a conclusion that literary fiction cannot be about the world and cannot give us knowledge of it. From quite different considerations, in emphasizing textuality and in supposedly undermining notions of representation and truth, the postmodern thinker concludes that literary fictions do not gain their significance through the ways they link up with a non-textual world beyond them. In contrast, the literary humanist wishes to argue that literature involves a cognitive engagement with the world, in ways that matter to our living out our lives as humans. John Gibson wants to give a strong defense of that claim, while at the same time granting considerable strength to the views of the humanist's opponents. . . .
Clare Carlisle in TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION (http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=401034§ioncode=26): This engaging and admirably clear contribution to the philosophy of literature attempts to rehabilitate what the author terms "literary humanism" - the unfashionable but intuitively appealing view that fictional texts have cognitive value, that they offer a "window on our world" - by disconnecting it from a mimetic or representational model of the relationship between literature and life. In articulating an alternative account of this relationship, John Gibson criticises current trends in both analytic and continental philosophy of literature: the modelling of fiction on games of make-believe, and the post-modern "panfictionalism" inspired by Jacques Derrida's infamous remark that "il n'y a pas de hors-texte". Neither position is hospitable to "humanist" interpretations of works of fiction. Gibson claims that these very different approaches to literature both rest on a "division of word and world into distinct realms that require bridging if language is to touch reality". In his search for fundamental common ground between the specifically literary character of works of fiction and life outside the text, Gibson embarks on a critique of representational thinking. Reference and representation are not the only ways to understand the relationship between language and the world: "there are other forms of linguistic involvement with reality, forms that must already be in place for representation and reference to be possible". Drawing on Wittgenstein's social, cultural conception of language as embedded in types of practice, Gibson suggests that just as the standard metre archived in Paris is not itself an object to be measured but an instrument that functions in a practice of measurement by providing a criterion, so works of literature contain "archived" possibilities of life, aspects of the world - anger, betrayal, suffering, for example. These are neither things nor objects that are represented by fiction, but rather "standards of representation" that "open up a way of seeing the world". . . .
"Making and Thinking: Performance and Philosophy as Participation," University of Wales, Aberystwyth, January 31, 2009.
- In 'Anaximander's Legacy', theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli (co-founder of Loop Quantum Gravity and author of Quantum Gravity) charts the historical dynamics of science's ever more radical overturning of the commonsense image of the world from Anaximander through Copernicus to the 'unfinished revolution' of twentieth-century physics - a revolution which, suggests Rovelli, challenges us to find a way of understanding the world in the absence of the familiar stage of space and time.
- Rovelli's question 'Can we think the world without time?' is one which has preoccupied renegade theoretical physicist and historian of science Julian Barbour (author of Absolute or Relative Motion? and The End of Time) for the best part of five decades. In our interview 'The View From Nowhen' we discuss the nature of his radical rethinking of the foundations of physics, his arguments for the non-existence of time and change, and the influence his ideas have exerted on contemporary quantum gravity research from outside the halls of academe.
- In his contribution to the volume, Turner Prize winning artist Keith Tyson - well known for his intricate and provocative artistic displacements and extrapolations of scientific ideas - presents his own unique take on the enigma of Copernicanism.
- In our interview with Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart (authors of dozens of ground-breaking popular science books, including their co-authored works The Collapse of Chaos, Figments of Reality, and What Does A Martian look Like?), we discuss with them the continuing collaboration between mathematician and biologist; the key conceptual innovations of their co-authored works; their trenchant criticisms of what they see as the overly conservative and unimaginative nature of contemporary astrobiology; and their positive programme for a new science of alien life, beyond astrobiology, which they call 'xenoscience'.
- In 'Sailing the Archipelago of Habitability', cosmologist and astrobiologist Milan Cirkovic provides a sophisticated defence of anthropic reasoning (understood in terms of 'observation selection effects') against the charges brought against it by the likes of Cohen and Stewart as part of an ambitious project of laying the 'philosophical groundworks' of the nascent science of astrobiology.
- In 'Where Are They?', philosopher and transhumanist Nick Bostrom (Director of Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute, author of Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy) revisits Fermi's Paradox, employing probabilistic 'anthropic' reasoning to motivate the conclusion that, far from being a cause for celebration, the discovery of extra-terrestrial life would in fact augur very badly for the future of the human race.\
- In his (2006) motion-sculpture Binary Star artist Conrad Shawcross gestured 'Beyond Copernicanism', simulating the experience of life in a solar system where there is 'no such thing as one'. In his contribution to the volume Shawcross investigates the relationship between his work and the philosophical trope of Copernicanism.
- In an interview charting the journey 'From Copernicanism to Nemocentrism', Thomas Metzinger (philosopher of neuroscience, author of Being No One) discusses his 'self-model theory of subjectivity', the potential social and cultural ramifications of the findings of contemporary neuroscience, and responds to criticisms of his radical eliminativist position with regard to the existence of 'selves'.
- In his 'Thinking Outside the Brain', philosopher Paul Humphreys (author of Extending Ourselves: Computational Science, Empiricism, and Scientific Method) proposes that computational science is fast displacing humans from the centre of the epistemological universe, speculates on the possibility of a 'science without humans', and presents his proposals for a radically non-anthropocentric empiricism.
- The paintings of Nigel Cooke present a philosophically-informed meditation on the continual displacement of the author-subject in the history of thought and artistic representation. His contribution in the form of a series of drawings, 'Thinker Dejecta', contributes to a thinking-through of the consequences of Copernicanism from this perspective.
- In our fourth and final interview, 'Who's Afraid of Scientism?', James Ladyman (philosopher of science, co-author of Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalised) discusses the forlornness of contemporary analytic metaphysics and the prospects for a radically naturalised metaphysics which would fully take on board the most counterintuitive findings of contemporary physics, finally dispensing with the habitual ontology of 'little things and microbangings' which continues to hold sway in contemporary 'pseudo-naturalist philosophy'.
- In his 'The Phoenix of Nature' Martin Schönfeld (artist and philosopher of nature, author of The Philosophy of the Young Kant) presents us with a vivid picture of Immanuel Kant profoundly at odds with the recent popular characterisation of him as a conservative, anti-Copernican thinker, via a stimulating exploration of his early cosmology. Here we are presented a radically anti-anthropocentric, anti-Christian, naturalist, speculatively audacious Kant who pushes 'Copernicanism' to its limits; who abolishes the hand of God from, and introduces a history and evolution into, the Newtonian cosmos; and who as early as 1755 strongly anticipates the fundaments of what became the Standard Model of modern cosmology only in the 1930s.
- To accompany his piece Schönfeld also contributes a new translation of Immanuel Kant's 'Concerning Creation in the Total Extent of its Infinity in Both Space and Time', an extended excerpt from his 1755 Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens in which this astonishingly prescient cosmology of 'island universes' and the birth and death of 'worlds' is most magnificently and perfervidly portrayed.
- Tackling the great philosophical 'Copernican Revolution' head-on, Iain Hamilton Grant (philosopher, author of Philosophies of Nature after Schelling) examines the 'Prospects for Dogmatism after Kant'.
- In 'Copernicanism, Correlationism, Critique' Damian Veal (philosopher, editor of the volume) critically re-examines the question of the meaning of 'Copernicanism' for philosophy, providing reasons for rejecting the idea popular amongst recent 'speculative realists' that a proper philosophical assimilation of the findings of the modern sciences demands a thoroughgoing break with the Kantian critical legacy.
- In 'A Throw of the Quantum Dice Will Never Overturn the Copernican Revolution' Gabriel Catren (Director of the project 'Savoir et Système' at the Collège International de Philosophie, Paris) presents what he calls a 'speculative overcoming' of recent influential quasi-Kantian interpretations of quantum mechanics. Rather than being limited to a mathematical account of the correlations between 'observed' systems and their 'observers', or pointing to the inherent 'transcendental' limits of physical knowledge, Catren argues that quantum mechanics furnishes a complete and realistic description of the intrinsic properties of physical systems, an ontology which exemplifies the Copernican deanthropomorphisation of nature.
- In 'Errancies of the Human: French Philosophies of Nature and the Overturning of the Copernican Revolution', Alberto Gualandi (philosopher, author of Deleuze and Le problème de la vérité scientifique dans la philosophie Française contemporain) indicates the features common to certain speculative philosophies of nature in 1960s France and problems facing contemporary evolutionary biologists.
For further information, visit: http://www.urbanomic.com/.
"Memory: Rhetoric’s Forgotten Canon," Federation Rhetoric Symposium 2009, Texas A&M University - Commerce, February 6, 2009.
"Phenomenology, Sciences, Philosophy," Conference on 150th Anniversary of Husserl's Birthday, Husserl Archives, Louvaine, Belgium, April 1-4, 2009.
CFP: Annual Meeting, Society for Phenomenology and the Human Sciences, Duquesne University, October 16-18, 2008.
The programme may be found here: http://www.phenomenology.ro/newsletter/pages/2008_Program_Final_WebPost.pdf.
Original Post (February 16, 2008):
SPHS encourages the application of phenomenological methodology to specific investigations within the human and social sciences. You are invited to participate in our engagement of phenomenology with multidisciplinary approaches to the social and human sciences. We are looking for those who share our dedication to theoretical, methodical and practical examinations of the Life-World. We welcome submissions on all topics within the human and social sciences concerned with a reflective appreciation of the nature of experience. SPHS invites submissions for conference presentations that explore or apply qualitative approaches to the human and social sciences. Papers can engage any relevant aspect of the human sciences in general, or can focus on specific fields such as sociology, psychology, political science, anthropology, geography, communication, history, ecology, religion, cultural studies, ethnic/race/gender studies, medical/health sciences, and education. Submissions on all topics are welcome, though we especially encourage papers that advance dialogue between philosophy and the human sciences, address the relation between theory and praxis, focus on embodiment or present reflective investigations of the nature of experience in general. Papers should bear substantive relation to phenomenology, broadly conceived, or its kindred traditions. In addition to phenomenology, examples of methods and approaches relevant to the conference include existentialism, hermeneutics, critical theory, ethnography, ethnomethodology, semiotics, grounded theory, poststructuralism, and deconstruction. Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to submit their work. Forms of Submissions:
Presentations may take the form of individual papers, panels, or workshops. If submitting an individual paper final papers are preferred, but extended abstracts will be accepted as well. For panels submit a proposal of less than 1500 words total including individual abstracts, titles and contact information for each presentation. For workshops submit a full abstract of the panel of less than 500 words with a list of all participants and their contact information. To be considered all presentation proposals must include names, paper titles, full contact information including emails and separate abstracts for all presenters. Keep submissions at a length appropriate for a presentation of about 20 minutes. Please identify student proposals as such, indicating school, area of major study, level (graduate or undergraduate). Submissions may be sent via post or email. Electronic proposals should be sent as either a MS Word document or PDF file. For all submissions, please include a separate cover sheet with complete contact information, including email address, postal address, and telephone numbers. Also, please indicate what, if any, audio visual or electronic equipment you desire on cover sheet. Presenters at the conference are expected to be members in good standing with the Society. Submission Deadline: All submissions must be received by Saturday April 5, 2008. Send all submissions to: Erik Garrett, SPHS Program Chair Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies 340 McNulty College Hall Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15282 USA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: (412) 396-1428 Direct additional inquiries to: Celeste Grayson (Graduate student coordinator) (412)396-4855 email@example.com For additional conference information, please visit: http://pages.slu.edu/faculty/harriss3/SPHS/conference.html.
Cfp: "What Could Unfold Phenomenology in the Field of Psychotherapy?", 7th International Forum of Daseinsanalyse, Brussels, October 9-10, 2009.
Seventh Annual Conference, Nordic Society for Phenomenology (Nordisk Selskab for Fænomenologi), University of Tampere, April 23-25, 2009.
"Kant: Morality and Society," Annual Meeting, UK Kant Society, Lancaster University, August 27-29, 2009.
"Thinking and Feeling: Affect and the Embodied Mind," Department of English Studies, Durham University, November 8, 2009.
- November 8th, on Thinking and Feeling/Affect and the Embodied Mind
- February 7th, on Mind in History and Trauma, Memory and Disordered Affect
- March 21st, on Life-writing/mind-writing and Performing Consciousness
Monday, October 13, 2008
Solum, Lawrence B. "Legal Theory Lexicon: Legal Theory, Jurisprudence, and the Philosophy of Law." LEGAL THEORY BLOG October 5, 2008.
- Jan Henrick van den Berg Answers Some Questions by J.H. van den Berg & Robert D. Romanyshyn
- On Cautiousness by Jacques De Visscher
- Journeying with Van den Berg by Robert D. Romanyshyn
- Cultural Therapeutics: The Recovery of Metaphoricity by Brent Dean Robbins
- Obligations Beyond Competency: Metabletics as a Conscientious Psychology by Michael P. Sipiora
- Literacy and the Appearance of Childhood by Eva-Maria Simms
- J.H. van den Berg Revisited: Reflections on the Changing Nature of Neurosis by Bertha Mook
- Medical Science, Paradox, and the Enchanted Year of 1900 by Mike Denney
- Futurology and Metabletics by Andre de Koning
- The Despotic Eye: An Illustration of Metabletic Phenomenolgy and Its Implications by Robert D. Romanyshyn
- Metabletics in the Light of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism by Alan Pope
- The Changing Nature of the Phenomenological Method: Lessons Learned from Dialogal Psychotherapy Research by Richard S. Zayed