Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Read the rest here: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/mclemee/mclemee237.
- Weisberg, Deena Skolnick, et al. "The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience Explanations" (http://www.yale.edu/cogdevlab/People/Lab_Members/Frank/aarticles/The%20Seductive%20Allure.pdf)
- Weisberg, Deena Skolnick. "Caveat Lector the Presentation of Neuroscience Information in the Popular Media." (http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~deenasw/Assets/Weisberg%20SRMHP%202008.pdf)
Malabou, Catherine. What Should We Do with Our Brain?. Trans. Sebastian Rand. New York: Fordham UP, 2008.
There's little doubt of the increasing significance of the brain sciences for the rest of our contemporary culture, though there's much to explore about what this all amounts to. It is appropriate for the portions of the academy beyond the centers of neuroscientific activity to take note of and absorb the significance of the advances made about such a crucial literal part of each of us. Neuroscience has already received relatively widespread attention from philosophers, most notably from philosophers of mind and of science (though neuroethicists seem to be growing in number), well versed in the technical details of functional magnetic resonance imaging, dopamine, the lateral geniculate nucleus, and long-term potentiation. However, to my knowledge, the resultant philosophy produced by philosophers attending to the neurosciences has been overwhelmingly done in the tradition of analytic philosophy, a few references to Merleau-Ponty notwithstanding. The item under current scrutiny is not part of this neuroscience-influenced strand of contemporary analytic philosophy. The volume appears in Fordham University Press's series Perspectives in Continental Philosophy, is authored by a previous co-author of Derrida's, and has as one of its back-cover blurbs one from Žižek (which I cannot resist pointing out starts off like this: "As a rule, neuroscientists avoid two things like a vampire avoids garlic: any links to European metaphysics, political engagement, and reflection upon the social conditions which gave rise to their science"). What we have here, for better or for worse, is a piece of continental neurophilosophy.
What should we do with What Should We Do with Our Brain?? For starters, let us not doubt that the titular question is a good one. The question does however admit of multiple readings, some of which hinge on how to take the 'should'. Reading it as asking a practical question renders it akin to "What should we do with our abs?" Closer, however, to Malabou's purposes is a reading more political, if not moral, making it more along the lines of "What should we do with our homeless?" Or closer to the actual question at hand: "What should we do with ourselves?" Malabou's answer may be summarized concisely in her own words: We should
refuse to be flexible individuals who combine a permanent control of the self with a capacity to self-modify at the whim of fluxes, transfers, and exchanges, for fear of explosion . . . To ask "What should we do with our brain?" is above all to visualize the possibility of saying no to an afflicting economic, political, and mediatic culture that celebrates only the triumph of flexibility, blessing obedient individuals who have no greater merit than that of knowing how to bow their heads with a smile. (pp. 78-79)
If that's the answer then, one might wonder, what's any of this got to do with brains? Couldn't someone who didn't even know we have brains nonetheless make such a moral/political recommendation? Malabou's answer arrives very close to the end of her 82-pages of main text. However, despite being a short journey, one nonetheless wonders if the destination really needed a route that took a detour through neuroscience. . . .
Read the whole review here: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=15887.
Service, Robert. "The Frock-Coated Communist: the Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels." TIMES April 26, 2009.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
- "Rhyme, Reason, and Animal Rights:Elizabeth Costello’s Regressive View of Animal Consciousness and its Implications for Animal Liberation" by Norm Phelps, Pgs. 1 - 16 [http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/JCAS/Journal_Articles_download/Issue_8/Phelps1_16.pdf]
- "Three Fragments from a Biopolitical History of Animals: Questions of Body, Soul, and the Body Politic in Homer, Plato, and Aristotle" by Dinesh Wadiwel, Pgs. 17 - 31 [http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/JCAS/Journal_Articles_download/Issue_8/Wadiwel17_31.pdf]
- "‘Most Farmers Prefer Blondes’: the Dynamics of Anthroparchy in Animals’ Becoming Meat" by Erika Cudworth, Pgs. 32 - 45 [http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/JCAS/Journal_Articles_download/Issue_8/Calvo32_45.pdf]
- "Response to Katherine Perlo’s 'Extrinsic and Intrinsic Arguments: Strategies for Promoting Animal Rights,'” by David Sztybel, Pgs. 46 - 52 [http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/JCAS/Journal_Articles_download/Issue_8/Szybel46_52.pdf]
- "Fundamentalism or Pragmatism?" by Katherine Perlo, Pgs. 53 - 60 [http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/JCAS/Journal_Articles_download/Issue_8/Perlo53_60.pdf]
- Nature Ethics: an Ecofeminist Perspective, Kheel, Marti (Rowman Littlefield 2008), reviewed by Lynda Birke, Pgs. 61 - 67 [http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/JCAS/Journal_Articles_download/Issue_8/Birke61_67.pdf]
- Confronting Cruelty: Moral Orthodoxy and the Challenge of the Animal Rights Movement, Munro, Lyle (Brill Academic 2005), reviewed by Nik Taylor, Pgs. 68 - 70 [http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/JCAS/Journal_Articles_download/Issue_8/Taylor68_70.pdf]
- Capers in the Churchyard: Animal Advocacy in the Age of Terror, Hall, Lee (Nectar Bat Press 2006), reviewed by Sarat Colling, Pgs. 71 - 78 [http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/JCAS/Journal_Articles_download/Issue_8/Colling71_78.pdf]
- Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of the Earth, Best, Steven, and Nocella, Anthony J., II, ed. (AK Press 2006), reviewed by Sarat Colling, Pgs. 79 - 82 [http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/JCAS/Journal_Articles_download/Issue_8/Colling79_82.pdf]
"Transforming Higher Education Into an Ethical Space and Place for Learning," Yale University, April 25, 2009.
Cohen, Patricia. "In Tough Times, the Humanities Must Justify Their Worth." NEW YORK TIMES February 24, 2009.
Read the rest here: http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/node/1069/full.
Posner, Richard A. "Why the Economic Crisis Was Not Anticipated." CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION April 17, 2009.
Cfp: "The Semiotics of Time," 34th Annual Meeting, Semiotic Society of America, University of Cincinnati, October 15-18, 2009.
- 9.30am-10.45am: Simon Robertson (Southampton): "Nietzsche and Practical Reason."
- 11am-12.15pm: Martine Prange (Amsterdam): "Kant and Nietzsche, Conflict and Cosmopolitanism."
- 1.30pm-2.45pm: Robert Guay (Binghamton): "Order of Rank."
- 2.45pm-4pm: Jessica Berry (Georgia State): "'Perfect Moral Skeptics': Moral Skepticism in Nietzsche and Moral Disagreement in the Skeptics."
- 4.15pm-5.30pm: Babette Babich (Fordham/Georgetown): "From Nietzsche to Adorno on Anarchy, Socialism and Nihilism: Modern Science, Conservation, and the Anarchist’s Cry: Ni Dieu, ni Mâitre."
- 9.30am-10.45am: Heike Schotten (UMass Boston): "Reading Nietzsche in the Wake of the 2008-09 War on Gaza." 11am-12.15pm: Dirk Johnson (Hampden-Sydney): "A Reading of GM II: 1-5: Aspects of Nietzsche's Challenge to Darwin's Evolutionary Paradigm."
- 1.30pm-2.45pm: Mark Migotti (Calgary): "Priests, Philosophers and the Ascetic Ideal: Towards a Reading of On the Genealogy of Morality III."
- 2.45pm-4pm: Gary Shapiro (Richmond): "States and Nomads: Hegel's World and Nietzsche's Earth."
- 4.15pm-5.30pm: Ken Gemes (Birkbeck/Southampton): "Freud and Nietzsche on Sublimation."
Saturday May 2:
- 10am-11.15am: Christian Emden (Rice): "Against Moral Communities: Political Realism in Friedrich Nietzsche and Max Weber."
- 11.30-12.45pm: Dan Conway (Texas A&M): "The Community Organizer and the Provincial Governor: Beholding Nietzsche in Ecce Homo."
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Read the New York Times obituary here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/15/arts/15sedgwick.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&emc=eta1&adxnnlx=1239984171-lMriwPkxnTyRBSRwXMQDlg.
Read a tribute here: http://www.hastac.org/node/2081.
- Jacques-Alain Miller Another Lacan
- Jacques-Alain Miller Action of the Structure
- Jean-Luc Nancy Interview with Jacques Derrida
- Alain Badiou On a Finally Objectless Subject
- Shariar Vaghfipour A Monster Found Everywhere
- Bruce Fink The Seminar of Jacques Lacan
- Eric Laurent Psychoanalysis and Science
- Slavoj Zizek My Own Private Austria
- Jamieson Webster Drawing the Impossible
- Dylan Evans Science and Truth
- Thomas Svolos Ordinary Psychosis
- Charles Sheperdson A Pound of Flesh
- Pierre-Gilles Guéguen The Short Session
- Maire Jaanus Inhibition, Heautoscopy, Movement
- Richard Klein Lacan and Gödel
- Raphael Rubinstein Three Poems
- Maria Cristina Aguirre The Refusal of the Language of the Other
- Kirsten Hyldgaard Sex as Fantasy and Sex as Symptom
- Bernard Burgoyne and Darian Leader A Problem of Scientific Influence
- Allan Pero The Chiasm of Revolution
Eagleton, Terry. "Culture and Barbarism: Metaphysics in a Time of Terrorism." COMMONWEAL March 27, 2009.
The Agonist is published by the Nietzsche Circle.
- Rhetorical Allure, Real Evil: Claire Ortiz Hill, The Roots and Flowers of Evil in Baudelaire, Nietzsche, and Hitler written by Claire Ortiz Hill, reviewed by Angela Holzer, Princeton University WEB PDF
- Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art written by Alexander Nehamas, reviewed by Jill Marsden, University of Bolton WEB PDF
- Metaphysics without Truth: On the Importance of Consistency within Nietzsche’s Philosophy written by Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, reviewed by Yunus Tuncel, Ph.D., The New School WEB PDF
Visit the journal homepage here: http://nietzschecircle.com/AGONIST/agonist.html.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Sherman, David. Camus. Oxford: Blackwell, 2009.
The last section of the chapter before the "Epilogue" of David Sherman's Camus is titled "Rebirth", an appropriate title for many reasons. First, because the section is devoted to an examination of Albert Camus' last (in fact posthumously published) work, The First Man, a largely autobiographical text which relates the birth and upbringing of the narrator as well as the experience of the pieds-noirs, the European settlers who established themselves in Algeria after 1848, looking for a new life in what became home for them and their descendants. Second, this text was the unfinished manuscript that Camus was carrying with him when his life met its end in a fatal car crash on January 4, 1960. It is difficult not to see in the posthumous publication of the work found on the very site of the crash some form of rebirth of its author, especially because the book turned out to be an important factor in changing the perception many had of Camus as an intellectual who failed to support the Algerian nationalists fighting for their independence. Another Camus scholar, David Carroll, states that The First Man changed his perception of Camus' position on the Algerian war as it did for many others (Albert Camus the Algerian, Columbia UP, 2007). So, indeed, the publication of The First Man does mark a rebirth for its author at a time when the collapse of ideological certitudes means that Camus is no longer persona non grata and can be read afresh as "a philosopher of our times after all" to quote the last words of Sherman's book.
In 1994, the year The First Man was published, five years after the collapse of the Berlin wall, the intellectual world was ready for Albert Camus' rebirth and also ready to reread his work. He had been ostracized and ignored by the intelligentsia on the Left following the publication in 1955 of The Rebel (without being any more palatable to the Right). In the 1980's, the discredit into which Communism had fallen had led to some reconsideration of The Rebel's ethical posture which endorsed neither Capitalism nor Communism. David Sherman rightly states that "in the 1990's a renewed commitment to such cosmopolitan ethico-political concerns as dialogue and human rights" could not but bring back Albert Camus as "a man for our times" since those constitute, ultimately, what he championed as an intellectual and a writer all his life. In 1996 Olivier Todd's monumental biography, Albert Camus, une vie (Gallimard), translated into English the following year (Albert Camus: a Life, Alfred A. Knopf), was another milestone in this comeback. David Sherman's Camus in the Blackwell Great Minds series is certainly a sign that now Albert Camus has found the place he deserves among Western thinkers whose voice our times must hear.
Sherman's book provides an excellent account of Camus' fortunes and misfortunes in the intellectual realm in France immediately following the war. . . .
Read the whole review here: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=15847.
- Editorial: e-Learning in Dialogue by Costas Athanasopoulos FHEA (PRS e-Learning Project Officer, 2007-8) .
- e-Learning Survey Report by Costas Athanasopoulos FHEA (PRS e-Learning Project Officer, 2007-8); Report on a survey conducted by the Subject Centre for PRS on the current state of e-learning in PRS disciplines, and its future development.
- Dialectical Approaches to Theory and Methodology in e-Learning: Implications for Dialogic Teaching and Learning by Richard Andrews, Institute of Education, University of London; This paper argues that the relationship between new technologies and learning is not causal, and is not that simple. Rather, the relationship is dialectical and reciprocal, with technologies and learning developing alongside each other.
- e-Learning in Dialogue: Using e-Learning to Explore the Local Religious Environment by Deirdre Burke, School of Humanities, University of Wolverhampton; This article looks at the underlying pedagogy for a 'dialogical' e-learning approach to the study of local religious communities.
- An Environment, Not a Tool: a Constructivist Point of View on e-Learning by Massimo Capponi, University of Perugia; This paper argues that e-learning doesn’t help to transmit information and documents, but to share, to cooperate, to construct, personally, our own knowledge.
- Philosophy Engines: Technology and Reading/ Writing/ Thinking Philosophy by Annamaria Carusi, Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford; This paper considers how various technologies are affecting the teaching and learning of philosophy, as integral aspects of what it is to do philosophy, that is, its epistemic practices.
- Living the Religious Experience in Ancient Rome: Virtual Learning in the Real World by Dr. Steven J. Green, Department of Classics, University of Leeds; This paper discusses the use of wikis in a module on ancient Roman religion.
- Electronic MCQs with no Right-or-Wrong Answers as a Means for Developing Dialogic Thinking by George MacDonald Ross, Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds; This paper discusses how electronic multiple choice questionnaires can develop dialogic thinking.
- The Seminar Transformed: Use of Blogs to Enhance Face-to-face Learning at Different Levels by Dr Sara Parvis, Dr Jessie Paterson and Dr Kirsteen Murray, University of Edinburgh; This paper looks at the use of blogs with students at various different levels within the Scottish university system.
- Metacognative Hypertexts by Livio Rossetti, University of Perugia; This paper looks at how hypertexts have been used in the past, and how they might be used in the future.
- What dialogue for the electronic era? by Alex Zistakis; This paper discusses what 'dialogue' really means in an electronic age.
I. NARRATIVE AND METAPHYSICS
- "Story Identity and Story Type" (p 5-13) by AARON SMUTS Abstract Full Text: HTML, PDF (Size: 116K) Save Article
- "Imagining De Re and the Symmetry Thesis of Narration" (p 15-24) by NICHOLAS DIEHL Abstract Full Text: HTML, PDF (Size: 122K) Save Article
II. NARRATIVE AND EPISTEMOLOGY
- "Narrativity and Knowledge" (p 25-36) by PAISLEY LIVINGSTON Abstract Full Text: HTML, PDF (Size: 138K) Save Article
- "Counterfactual Narrative Explanation" (p 37-47) by DANIEL DOHRN Abstract Full Text: HTML, PDF (Size: 130K) Save Article
- "Understanding Narratives and Narrative Understanding" (p 49-59) by ISMAY BARWELL Abstract Full Text: HTML, PDF (Size: 124K) Save Article
III. NARRATIVE AND CHARACTER
- "Narrative and the Psychology of Character" (p 61-71) by GREGORY CURRIE Abstract Full Text: HTML, PDF (Size: 134K) Save Article
- "Virtual People: Fictional Characters through the Frames of Reality" (p 73-82) by IRA NEWMAN Abstract Full Text: HTML, PDF (Size: 121K) Save Article
IV. NARRATIVE AND THE EMOTIONS
- "In Sympathy with Narrative Characters" (p 83-95) by ALESSANDRO GIOVANNELLI Abstract Full Text: HTML, PDF (Size: 146K) Save Article
- "Narrative Thinking, Emotion, and Planning" (p 97-106) by PETER GOLDIE Abstract Full Text: HTML, PDF (Size: 123K) Save Article
V. NARRATIVE ART FORMS
- "Narrative in Comics" (p 107-117) by HENRY JOHN PRATT Abstract Full Text: HTML, PDF (Size: 133K) Save Article
- "Narrative Pictures" (p 119-129) by BENCE NANAY Abstract Full Text: HTML, PDF (Size: 124K) Save Article
Visit the journal homepage here: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/120083102/home.