Here’s a question regarding the return of (mostly metaphysical) realisms in a variety of fields and how they hang together. It seems that, for a while now, everyone has been a realist again after an early to mid-20th century heyday of antirealism.
The histories of analytic and continental philosophy run somewhat parallel here, I believe. Both start as reactions against the Neo-Kantianism dominant around the turn of the century.
Continue reading Realism’s Many Returns
Always been looking for a term for that kind of art that merely serves as an investment opportunity for oligarchs. Zombie formalism. Not bad.
The central contention of the article is we can’t simply say ‘art is what people let you get away with’ ( = pragmatism / institutionalism) because people, specifically in the art world, have been fundamentally corrupted by capitalism.
Continue reading On Zombie Formalism
HAU Journal must be the only academic journal which I find myself reading papers from regularly and out of sheer curiosity about the content, simply when I find them through social media or browsing online, without needing them for any immediatly pressing academic work. Coming from philosophy myself, it’s refreshing and helpful to see how these anthropologists take up philosophical concerns — and philosophical texts! — in novel ways.
Continue reading Anthropologists Doing Philosophy
“Cosmological Deixis and Amerindian Perspectivism” by Eduardo Viveiros de Castro is one of the most exciting things I’ve read in a while.
It analyzes how Amerindian ontologies unsettle Western Nature/Culture dichotomies. (I’ll pay a beer to anyone who knows of sustained dialogues anywhere between ontological turn anthropology and Pittsburgh-style analytic German Idealism!) The result here is more of a Latourian/Deleuzian picture — it would be interesting, especially with Latour, to see which way the influence runs —, and one which seems to lend itself to raising the concept of translation to the rank of an ontological centerpiece.
Here’s a series of choice quotes from Viveiros de Castro’s article with some attempts at summarizing commentary.
Continue reading On Viveiros de Castro’s Amerindian Perspectivism
Having finished the first volume of À la Recherche, I’m in doubt whether I should continue. The prose is first-rate, the descriptions rich as could be, the psychological portraits extremely fine. On the other hand, to state the rather obvious, the narrator is an aestheticist dandy, a wanna-be aristocrat, self-indulgent beyond measure, whiny, and an often, if unwittingly, cruel egomaniac.
Nature has ontological depth, this seems an obvious fact to him; other humans, less so. They are first of all surface, of aesthetic interest. That they might also have psychic depth and ontological independence is something he seems incapable of understanding — until he’s performed lethal psychological vivisection on them. The whole enterprise seems carried by a desire for holding everyone and anyone in a comprehensive, exhaustive vision, a totalizing, piercing gaze that burns through all layers of privacy. He does not let the Other be.
Continue reading To Read Proust Or Not to Read Proust
Note: This text assembles a facebook posts and some of my own comments on it from Dec 2018.
Here is an interesting paper on the post-war reception of Plato by William H. F. Altman, on “The Heideggerian Origins of a Post-Platonist Plato.” It builds towards a case for the thesis that the main strands of both analytic and continental post-war Plato reception converge in the picture of a post-Platonist, one-world Plato of immanence vs. the more traditional two-world idealist Plato.
This paper focuses on the continental post-war reception and Heidegger’s role in that. What continental Plato readers of three kinds — deconstructionists (Derrida, Irigary), hermeneuticists (Gadamer), and esotericists (of the Straussian or Tübingen variety) — learned from the master, even as they allegedly turned against his Platonist Plato, was to approach Plato through Aristotle. (Indeed, the real culprit of detranscendentalizing Plato is Aristotle.)
Continue reading On William H. F. Altman’s Plato and Strauss
Note: This entry was originally a facebook post composed in May 2018.
In his 1929-30 lectures, Heidegger devotes a section to the then latest research on bees. Yesterday, I was looking again at some sections of Kant’s Third Critique, and in §43 he says that the products of bees are products of nature, properly speaking, but products of art if we think of the bees as created by God. I looked into this a bit and it turns out that, actually, a lot of philosophers had a lot of different things to say about bees.
Continue reading Notes Towards a Philosophy of Bees