Saturday, February 15, 2020

An amazing paper on Schelling: Sean McGrath - "The Ecstatic Realism of the Late Schelling"

Saw this in my academia feed and after a quick initial read (a more careful second read is pending, time permitting) I must say that this is probably one of the best papers I've seen concerning Schelling within the past decade, if not ever. Absolutely amazing. Check it out, HERE.

Sean McGrath - "The Ecstatic Realism of the Late Schelling" 

Wow. Definitely read it.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Call for Papers: Tenth International Congress on Ecstatic Naturalism (the last conference!)

The Tenth International Congress on Ecstatic Naturalism will be held on the Drew University campus on April 18 and 19, 2020. As this will be the last Congress, the topic is open, although papers on the topic of climate change will be especially welcome. All that is required is that your paper mention however minimally some aspect of ecstatic naturalism.

Please send an abstract of your proposed paper with a title to Please indicate if you are interested in competing for the Emerson Prize ($500) for the best paper by a junior scholar. If you wish to be considered for the prize, we will, of course, need the full paper (by March 25th). The criteria for the Emerson Prize are: 1) you must be either a student or have received your degree no more than five years earlier, 2) you have not won the prize before, and 3) your paper must be on ecstatic naturalism.

For more information please see Robert Corrington's blog at

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

“The Lure of the Maine Coast and the Ticking Clock”

Corrington has put up a nice little post ruminating about the Maine coast's aesthetic virtues. For those not aware, Robert retired end of the fall 2019 semester - where afterward he and his wife relocated to the Maine coast. Maine always was (and still is) a special place for me (and Na) as well: its beauty unparalleled in mystery and majesty. I remember I wrote a large section of my first book there, and subsequently a few articles while overlooking our favorite place to go, Moosehead Lake. Naturphilosophie.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Peirce and Heidegger in Dialogue

This is interesting, haven't seen in my research something like this out there (other than my own work) save for the dissertation "Possibility in Peirce and Heidegger: A Propaedeutic for Synthesis" - the David Jeremiah Higgins U of Missouri Columbia 1968 dissertation I accidentally discovered and which prompted me to triangulate with Schelling Peirce and Heidegger. I do highly recommend the reading of that dissertation for like-minded scholar with an interest in the overlap or even union of American and Continental philosophy, "Euro-American philosophy," as my old mentor Robert Corrington would put it.

Friday, January 24, 2020

quote of the day

"Words had separated me from my body. The sun released me. Greece cured my self-hatred and awoke a will to health. I saw that beauty and ethics were one and the same. Creating a beautiful work of art and a beautiful oneself are identical."

- Yukio Mishima

Friday, January 10, 2020

quote of the day

“But the life of Spirit is not the life that shrinks from death and keeps itself untouched by devastation, but rather life that endures it and maintains itself in it. It wins its truth only when, in utter dismemberment, it finds itself.... Spirit is this power only by looking the negative in the face, and tarrying with it. This tarrying with the negative is the magical power that converts it into being. This power is identical with what we earlier called the Subject.”

- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Review of Ronald Beiner's Dangerous Minds: Nietzsche, Heidegger, and the Return of the Far Right

I am posting the below video at least in part to alleviate *some* of my disgust after glancing through a loaned copy of Ronald Beiner's Dangerous Minds: Nietzsche, Heidegger, and the Return of the Far Right. Trust me, I am going to review this piece of trash book on my YouTube channel soon enough.

The fact that University of Pennsylvania Press (of all places!) would publish this absolute piece of sensationalist TRASH is beyond belief. Just the fact that the names of Nietzsche and Heidegger - HEIDEGGER - would appear atop of an image of the Charlottesville demonstrations, torches and all, makes me sick. Literally sick, as in I want to vomit when I think about it.

Again, so I am perfectly clear: I am going to review this book on my YouTube channel. And I will trounce it as it deserves to be. There is no Bibliography, the notes are complete garbage and lack any scholarly integrity completely, and the ideas within are so shopworn run-of-the-mill "connect Heidegger and Nietzsche to Nazism as fast as you can" that I absolutely cannot believe in any way that U Penn published this.

It reminds me about how many, many years ago I attended a picnic get-together hosted by my undergraduate mentor (who took his Ph.D. at U of Toronto, where sadly Beiner apparently now teaches) after I had just completed my M.A. (which, incidentally, was on Martin Heidegger and Friedrich Nietzsche). There my mentor disclosed how he met Charles Guignon - the somewhat famous Heidegger scholar at the University of South Florida -- who told him that he thought my thesis was "Nazi philosophy." So, that goes to show the sort of mentality with which we are dealing here. Beiner is in that same camp. Completely clueless.

Anyway, enjoy the below video, English subtitles. I suppose because the folks in the video discuss Ernst Junger and Carl Schmitt that they, too, are "Nazi philosophers." Give me a break.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

the world tour continues...

It's been a grueling three weeks of travel, one more to go. I have to say that Thailand is more of a family-in-law visiting thing but nevertheless an extremely enjoyable place. By far exciting though for me personally is Japan's allure - which has grown on me since my first visit a few years ago (this is my third or fourth time there).

As I am catching up on some work I don't have time now to explain why Japan is growing on me, but I do know that Japan, along with Iceland and Switzerland, are among my favorite places to visit in the world. It's a shame I suppose that I don't have much of an interest in Japanese philosophy aside from maybe the Kyoto school, but I do know that the people, the food, the culture, the history - all just so wonderful.

It even prompted me to create a video about it on my YouTube channel. In a world where more time existed I would definitely like to create some blog entries on Iceland and all of the great things there, in addition to Japan. It may not be worth the effort as blogging has long, long ago taken a back seat to video on YouTube. I can't say my YouTube channel's traffic competes with my blog's traffic, but I imagine one day that it will.

Photo credit above to Na, my wife.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A "must-read." Excerpts included.

Great review of Ernst Junger's The Forest Passage. It's become the bible I live by. Excerpts and link below. The review, itself, is a "must-read."
We live in turbulent times that are sometimes hard to grasp. The vast amounts of stupidity and the further stupid reactions to this stupidity have created a terrifyingly negative situation we all have to face. Over-consumption, over-population, massive collectivism (including its most brutal and stupid form: monotheism) and an angst-ridden denial through petty consumerist compensations… What a mess!
"Man has immersed himself too deeply in the constructions, he has devalued himself and lost contact with the ground. This brings him close to catastrophe, to great danger, and to pain. They drive him into untried territory, lead him toward destruction. How strange that it is just there – ostracized, condemned, fleeing – that he encounters himself anew, in his undivided and indestructible substance. With this, he passes through the mirror images and recognizes himself in all his might.” 
At the core of the conflict lie not only its effects (pollution, depletion, poverty, pandemic potential) but also the philosophical dilemma for the thinking man and woman: how to deal with this world gone bananas? Each of us have to deal with the same question(s) but it seems that for most people the process becomes too painful and the perspectives too staggering. If we initially see ourselves as a contributing part of a whole (collective), it still won’t be long before the feeling of loneliness appears again. If survival on the individual level becomes too complicated, then of course people look for collective/tribal solutions. That’s just human nature. But what if the collective has gone bananas too and won’t realize it? A total Verfremdung then sets in, and the routes of life are now basically two: succumb/suffer or resist. 
Ernst Jünger’s figure/type of The Forest Rebel (Der Waldgänger) is not someone who physically roams through nature as some kind of escapist response to the madness of post-civilization. The Forest Rebel is rather someone who even within the restrictions of a human society finds freedom in the mere awareness of resistance. In this, the type is strongly related but not identical to another Jünger type, the Anarch. This should not to be confused with ”Anarchist”, who is always someone who needs the host body it claims to revolt against in a misdirected, epiphytic and masochistic love-relationship. The Anarch is as free as can be by claiming no allegiances and no ties on any level. Indifference is perhaps the wrong word here, but Jünger’s key term Désinvolture describes the attitude better. Being aloof, distanced, untainted by the madness and mass psychosis. Non-allegiance is central to this attitude. 
So, what’s the solution to the problem? Well, Jünger states very well what the problem is. But there are no set solutions, simply because this has to do with the Individual turning into a Forest Rebel or possibly an Anarch. 
Realizations about the state of the world, inner and outer, must come from the individual him/herself. The act of formulation itself is a move of powerful resistance. Then action must be taken, even if it only amounts to very subtle forms. There are no requirements, nothing to join, no set programs and no way back once the realization is there.
The unique sources of myth, creativity and imagination play important roles though, albeit individually expressed. ”Any power struggle is preceded by a verification of images and an iconoclasm. This is why we need poets – they initiate the overthrow, even that of titans. Imagination, and with it song, belong to the forest passage."  
A reconnection with the mythic world is essential to this existential adventure. It transcends narrow-minded and (weak) ego-driven pettiness, which, in collective forms, always manifests disaster. Every kind of collectivism is a denial and negation of individual potential. Striving for a glimpse of the eternal, mythic and divine (non-denominational!) in contrast to the dull dross of mechanized contemporary culture elevates the human mind to insights that can be utterly life-changing. When those insights arrive, you’re in the middle of the forest for sure. Free as a human being can be.
Link HERE.