Wednesday, August 15, 2018

2018 Biosemiotics Gathering – Video Archive (ht dmf)


Dmf shares quite a large list of videos featured from a recent gathering "Biosemiotics 2018," HERE.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Eco-phenomenology and Eco-Cosmology

Interesting issue of Analecta Husserliana, "Eco-Phenomenology: Life, Human Life, Post-Human Life in the Harmony of the Cosmos" HERE.  Too many fascinating articles to discuss in a short blog post such as this one is intended to be, thus if the issue's topic sounds interesting for you head on over to check it out for yourself.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Hegel on the Proofs and the Personhood of God: Studies in Hegel's Logic and Philosophy of Religion (NDPR Review)



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Hegel on the Proofs and the Personhood of God: Studies in Hegel's Logic and Philosophy of Religion
// Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // 


Robert R. Williams, Hegel on the Proofs and the Personhood of God: Studies in Hegel's Logic and Philosophy of Religion, Oxford University Press, 2017, 352pp., $95.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198795223.

Reviewed by Nicholas Adams, University of Birmingham

This is a book for those interested in the intricacies of Hegel's philosophy of religion. It asks and answers two questions: how can Hegel's accounts of the proofs for God's existence best be understood; in what sense is Hegel's God 'personal'?
The study is split into two halves named in the title. The first part, chapters 1 to 3, treats Hegel's handling of the proofs for God's existence, principally in the Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion (which contains Hegel's defence of Anselm against Kant) and the Lectures on the Proofs for the Existence of God (published for the first time in English in 2007 in a translation by Peter Hodgson). The second part investigates...


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Thursday, July 26, 2018

On snake oil and Latour, Meillassoux, and Garcia

We were told ad nauseum that Bruno Latour was the second coming of academic Christ. The world would be changed, statues would be erected in his honor, departments would be devoted to the man. Latourians would come to utterly displace and destroy those damn billie-club wielding Deleuzeans with either "bare-knuckles" or drawn "knives" (note the stark violence associated with these intellectual transitions).

But then we were told "no," instead the second coming was not to be Latour but one Quentin Meillassoux. Watch out! In years' time an aged Meillassoux would reign supreme from his throne, the academic world bowing beneath his popularity and power. The case was pushed as, "Meillassoux supports me and my ontology, so he'll reign supreme as will I."

But then, wait! It was to be the "handsome" and millennial (as if that were a positive quality) Tristan Garcia! Buy his book! Two people have written about him!

And so on.

I say, has any of this cashed out?

How much snake oil does one buy before they realize they've been had.

More folks write about Schelling and Merleau-Ponty than any of the above, combined.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Why cosmology without philosophy is like a ship without a hull (Aeon article)


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Why cosmology without philosophy is like a ship without a hull
// Aeon



What is it with the philosophy-haters in astrophysics and cosmology? From the late Stephen Hawking's claim that 'philosophy is dead', to Steven Weinberg's chapter-long jeremiad 'Against Philosophy' in Dreams of a Final Theory (1992), plenty of physicists and astrophysicists think that philosophy ...

By Bridget Falck

Read at Aeon

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Friday, July 20, 2018

Thinking Between Deleuze and Merleau-Ponty (NDPR Review)

Very interesting book reviewed over at NDPR. Although, another interesting pairing to look at might be Schelling and Merleau-Ponty.


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Thinking Between Deleuze and Merleau-Ponty
// Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News


Judith Wambacq, Thinking Between Deleuze and Merleau-Ponty, Ohio University Press, 2017, 264pp., $95.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780821422878.

Reviewed by Laura McMahon, Eastern Michigan University

Judith Wambacq's book, which explores resonances between the philosophies of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Gilles Deleuze, is thoughtful, well-researched, and a good resource for scholars interested in the philosophies of either or both Merleau-Ponty and Deleuze, and in the development of twentieth-century Continental philosophy more broadly. Though the philosophical projects of Merleau-Ponty and Deleuze are often sharply contrasted, Wambacq makes a convincing case that the differences between the two are more stylistic and matters of emphases than they are substantial and central, and argues that it is philosophically worthwhile to read Merleau-Ponty through a Deleuzian lens and Deleuze through a Merleau-Pontean lens. In what follows, I will (1) outline what I take to be Wambacq's central thesis and argument; (2) provide...


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Monday, July 2, 2018

The Nietzsche House in Sils Maria, Switzerland

A re-post from last year around this time of the summer, for those who may have missed it when posted then. Surely one of the most exceptional places I've seen first-hand for sure, the Nietzsche Haue did not disappoint (nor did the surrounding area of Sils Maria...it was absolutely gorgeous). Recently Corrington and I visited the C.S. Peirce house in Milford again - this was about two or so weeks ago - and so while I work on a post for that I thought to re-post the below. Enjoy.

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Original post from July 11th, 2017 - Sils Maria, Switzerland (original post HERE)

Sign-post to the Nietzsche Haus 
PHOTO: Niemoczynski, 2017

Sils Maria is an indescribable place, if one wants to paint a picture of it perfectly. I'm not sure words could do justice to the peace which is that place. Granted, Switzerland now has a special place for me - mostly because of its picturesque landscapes, its pine forests, its mountains and peaks, and of course its quaint and romantic way of life . But if I had to put my finger on it (and I believe Nietzsche had mentioned this) - there is something about the air there. Something, rejuvenating, perhaps?

“Well, my dear old friend, I am once more in the Upper Engadine. This is my third visit to the place and once again I feel that my proper refuge and home is here and nowhere else.” 

- Friedrich Nietzsche to Carl von Gersdorff, Sils Maria, late June 1883

Our visit to the Nietzsche house was quick but informative. The house is tucked away just off the street past the train station stop which is marked "Sils Maria." Proceed not even a minute's walk to your left and the Nietzsche house is there off the street on the left.

My wife wasn't so much interested and began studying the adjacent hotel, a charming building in its own right. And for a few minutes she began to say how nice it would be that if we had children we could venture here as a family and vacation. I agreed. (We desperately want children, and the thought of vacationing in this beautiful place with my wife, and hopefully one day children, for a moment moved me.)

As to my expedition regarding more philosophical things, I think I learned more just by absorbing the surrounding experience of the mountains and forests, the creek nearby, the silence only being interrupted by the sounds of insects or the wind. But it was Nietzsche's own bare room which spoke most profoundly to me.

Inside the home there are many, many books which are organized according to various donated collections. There are various artifacts and items to look at, and a room dedicated to Nietzsche studies or exhibitions (currently in one of the rooms are paintings by an artist who lived in the house recently for two years). For me, though, it was Nietzscbe's room as well as the view from his room to the mountain outside which affected my experience of this place. Reminiscent of the painting by Caspar David Friedrich I had to think that the "wanderer"who was meant for those mountains could have only been Nietzsche himself. Inside his room there is not much to see but certainly much one might sense. The walls are bare, one small carpet is at the center of the floor, there is a small bed, and there is a porcelain washbowl and pitcher across from the bed. That's it.

But, there is a thing that struck me - and let me say right away that this will come off as quite personal and thus perhaps strange - is how Nietzsche placed on his wall a green piece of wall paper. Neat and rectangular, there it was in the midst of his Spartan-like room. But, it was the tone of the green which struck me. The tone was deep and seductive.

The Wanderer above a Sea of Fog, Caspar David Frierich, c. 1818
When I first discovered Nietzsche at age 19 one of my favorite poems that he wrote was called "The Sun Sinks," written in the year of 1888. I know this poem by heart and can recite it freely. However, there are a few very interesting lines in that poem which reference the color green. And yet within Nietzsche's room, his sheets? The color green. His carpet? Green. The wallpaper? Green. The room was bare save for whatever minimal color there was, it was green.

If one is to reflect upon the meaning of green in that poem alone, let alone its place in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the poem's use of color all hangs upon green and its place vis-a-vis the abyss. Standing there, in Nietzsche's room, looking out from his window, to his fabled mountains of Zarathustra, I realized that the color green was for him, the abyssFrom there we hear about gold, blue, brown, black, and so on.

But "green," a dark majestic green, is the color of the golf-course greens where I was a night watchmen, my own Zarathustra at age 19, reading Nietzsche and marveling beneath the stars in the middle of those humid but cool, clear summer nights at 3am. Here in Sils Maria I was at the very place where one of the most influential philosophers who attracted me to philosophy in the first place lived. And here I was gazing out his window - at the same forests, the same mountains, the same stream. My Nietzsche journey had come full circle as I looked out his window.

Now that I have become part of "the establishment" of academia - a "philosophy professor" - part of that same establishment Nietzsche so despised, Herr Nietzsche and his anti-philosophy has crept up from behind me yet again to spur me into open reflection, just as he had when I was 19. And for that, my good friend, Friedrich Wilhem Nietzsche, I am thankful.

Today I still ask that most dreadful question, why? Hanging onto my late '30s, with respect to that question maybe Nietzsche's response, fittingly from the poem, remains the same when I found him while I was so young. "Stand firm my brave heart, do not ask: why? -"



A visit to the house costs 8 Francs (no Euros accepted).

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Below one can find photos with captions of my visit. I'll attempt to upload a video of me traveling the path behind the house where Nietzsche would take walks when he could. As Sils Maria is a place for holiday one can see a hotel near the one where Nietzsche himself stayed. The only two cars that pass in the video toward the end were the only two heard during the hour I was there. Otherwise it was complete silence.

Finally, I am not an expert video producer so my apologies for the camera work (which is non-existent). I just wanted to show what the path looked like and attempt to transcribe to video the experience of what it may have been like for Nietzsche to walk along that path. Of course, that is impossible. In the end this was really an amazing experience and is on par with our visit to the Heidegger Hut (link HERE). Both visits were magical. Now on to the photos and video...

Mountains en route to the Nietzsche Haus

We've arrived! Sign directing visitors to the Nietzsche Haus, just off the street at Sils Maria, Switzerland 

View, front of the house

Entrance

Dedicatory sign above front door

A simple stone path directors visitors 
Left side front of house



Right side front of house where Nietzsche stayed

Forest path behind the house



View of the mountains from the front path front of house

View of adjacent hotel

Some visitors leaving Sils Maria

Leon and Na leave Sils Maria

Last glance at the lake before we leave for Turano


Read also about our visit to the cabin where the most infamous philosopher of the 20th-century Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) would stay each summer, and where he would eventually write his masterpiece, Being and Time (1927), link HERE.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Philosophy Talk podcast with free philosophical cosmology episodes


Philosophy Talk podcast has some freely available episodes - so you can download them for free or stream for free straight from the website - available HERE.

The eight episodes form a mini-series covering philosophical cosmology, due in part to grant support from the Templeton Foundation. The program seems quite fascinating, or as Philosophy Talk describes:
What is the origin of the universe? What exactly are space and time? Could the laws of physics ever change? Is the universe fine-tuned to support intelligent life? What are dark matter and dark energy? Are we part of a multiverse? How does science make progress in answering these questions? And are there limits to what we can ultimately know about the nature of the cosmos? 
In this eight-episode series, sponsored by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation, we invite listeners on a grand philosophical journey through the cosmos, tackling deeply puzzling questions about the nature of the universe, and our knowledge of it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

quote of the day


"Experience is of as well as in nature. It is not experience which is experienced but nature - stones, plants, animals, diseases, health, temperature, electricity, and so on."

- John Dewey, Experience and Nature

See also THIS After Nature post from some time back.