Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Sunday, July 11, 2021
Recently I’ve been prompted to reflect upon my dual specialization in the Continental and American philosophical traditions, e.g. “Euro-American” philosophy, given some research projects I’ve just completed. In that line of thought and given the topics I was researching I came to consider my 2009 dissertation on C.S. Peirce, F.W.J. Schelling, and Martin Heidegger, and how it sent me on a comparative trajectory – specifically in looking at possibility’s concept and mode – as well as possibility’s importance in attaining lines of religious insight as afforded by experiences of beauty within the natural world.
Thursday, July 1, 2021
About three months ago I completed a book review of the massive tome, The Mind of Charles Hartshorne for the American Journal of Theology & Philosophy. In order to complete the review (in particular of such a large book) I took copious notes, which incidentally filled two - yes two - small notebooks. I "rediscovered" Hartshorne the last year of my Ph.D. and upon completing my dissertation read every single book that Hartshorne wrote in addition to a good number of his articles.
In the below Randall Auxier reviews Dombrowski's excellent Divine Beauty: The Aesthetics of Charles Hartshorne. Even to this day I find Hartshorne's aesthetics extremely compelling.
See the review HERE.
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
- C.S. Peirce, Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce I.354
"The community of memory is as infinite as the community of hope."
- Randall E. Auxier, Time, Will, and Purpose Preface xiii
Monday, June 21, 2021
I've used the Intelecom Examined Life series for at least a decade of my teaching, going even so far as to create fill-in-the-blank and study question worksheets corresponding with some of my most used episodes, for example "Is Reason the Source of Knowledge?" on rationalism or "Does Knowledge Depend on Experience?" on empiricism. There's a range of subjects covered by various episodes, even episodes on hermeneutics, phenomenology, and existentialism for all of you who may teach those courses or those subjects in a course. But, it's all there: aesthetics, various moral theories, political theory, social philosophy, you name it. Whether you show these in class, or assign them as homework on-campus or online as I have done, they are very, very helpful in allowing students see and hear someone other than you pitch the concepts you are going over and it gives more visual or auditory learners the chance to go over things according to their own personal learning styles.
Despite it being dated now by about 25 years I still use it. Students from time to time complain that it is "so '90s," which is fine with me, but of course if there is some better or more recent series out there like this please absolutely do email me because I would love to know. But for now this is the most comprehensive and best I could find. There are of course newer single episode philosophical videos created, for example I enjoy The School of Life videos on YouTube and Then & Now on YouTube - those are the two which immediately come to mind, but as far as lengthier treatments of these subjects, this is the series you want.
As regards any philosophy videos on YouTube that you like: be sure to download them immediately to your home archive of teaching materials as you never know when they'll disappear. Don't rely on them remaining on YouTube forever not necessarily due to the whim and fancy of those who've posted them, but because YouTube is ridiculously and at this point stupidly censorious. I found this out when I saw that some of the very good philosophically and historically based philosophy videos on say Heidegger, or even in some cases on Nietzsche, were flagged as requiring sign-in to watch or simply removed for being flagged as "hate." This is disturbing considering that the videos I am referring to were professionally produced, in two cases by the BBC production company. So we aren't talking home-made videos here. And by the way, I should let you know that some philosophy departments are removing Heidegger, and now Nietzsche too, from their syllabi. You can ask yourself whether you support that.
Ok, back to the point of this post! I would like to tell you that the Intelecom YouTube page has up for free selections from this DVD series which may be helpful for you to use in the teaching of your classes. As the series itself is exorbitantly priced in the thousand dollar plus range (I borrowed the set from my school's library and, um, made sure I would have access to them on my PC with burned DVDs so that I could show them or watch them whenever), having free excerpts up like this might be useful for you if you can't get the DVDs at your own school's library or through inter-library loan. Plus, things like this are just good to have in your teaching arsenal if you need them, I think at least.
The excerpts range from two or three minutes long to ten to twelve minutes long and are on a whole host of subjects, even broader in topical range than the DVDs themselves are organized. So that is extremely helpful if you are like me who actually prefers video clips which are no longer than ten or so minutes as I can't afford to lose too much class time with a video.
Friday, June 18, 2021
Edited by mainly by Charles Hartshorne and Paul Weiss who were graduate students at Harvard at the time, it is the manner in which the texts are assembled that renders them both unique and powerful as a presentation of Peirce's ideas. I've always wanted this set, using the electronic version on CD but finding it difficult to navigate and actually read as I would a book.
Being asked to complete a prominently featured essay on Peirce (which I've just completed for publication) and twelve years after the writing of my dissertation on Peirce (and Martin Heidegger and F.W.J. Schelling, being a Schellingean then and now I live by the rule of thirds), I finally treated myself to this glorious collection.
Just something to cherish, reading the ideas of America's most brilliant philosopher, without whom I wouldn't have found my current home in Naturphilosophie. That home includes (for me, at least) of course C.S. Peirce, but also Schelling, Plato, Hegel, Fichte, Deleuze, Merleau-Ponty, as well as Alfred North Whitehead, Charles Hartshorne - and the lesser known philosophers of Justus Buchler, Paul Weiss, William Ernest Hocking, and John William Miller.
I'll be revisited the Schelling-Peirce-Plato axis in more research to come, focusing on recognizing the rich insights of this triad available for contributing to environmental philosophy. This with an especial eye toward attaining an ideal form of ecological justice which would be inclusive of non-human animals and other sentient forms of life.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Two rather interesting abstracts by Ian Hamilton Grant.
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Abducting the Outside by Reza Negarestani
Monday, May 3, 2021
Another gentleman with whom I haven't had contact in quite some time yet who is, to my mind at least, from what I can tell from his blog posts such as the one I am about to link privy to the travails of battles with physical health similar to ways with which I myself am familiar, is one Pete Wolfendale. Pete's philosophical acumen, graciousness, and givingness is bar none. It's nice that he authored such a personally forthcoming and brutally honest post detailing his life as of late. (See HERE.)As he writes, "last year saw another entry added to the list of ways in which my body is trying to sabotage me"... that line in particular struck home, for sure.
Sunday, May 2, 2021
Found this from an online workshop featuring Ray Brassier, run a few months ago. I'll link and post below.
In the contemporary ‘critical’ humanities, the privileging of the human has become as suspect as every other sort of privilege. Far from being the uncircumventable horizon for emancipatory politics, humanism is denounced as integral to a logic of domination that proceeds from the subjugation of nature to the enslavement of all those deemed less than human. It is easy to retort that this indictment of humanism follows from conflating the restrictive specification of the human (as white, male, heterosexual, European etc.) with its generic de-specification – the human as what Alain Badiou calls ‘the voided animal’, an exception that includes the unspecified part of everything: neither white nor black, neither male nor female, neither heterosexual nor homosexual, etc. But the suggestion that universalization proceeds not by generalizing specific predicates but by subtracting them tends to fall on deaf ears in a theoretical context where the Nietzschean equation of universalization with domination continues to hold sway. Once the inference from exception to exclusion is made, an all-inclusive post-humanism supplants exclusionary humanism as the politically ‘progressive’ optic consonant with the liberal ideal of inclusiveness that has become the humanities’ critical lodestone. This ideal stipulates a formal equivalence of human and non-human that is the ontological ratification of capitalism’s personification of things and reification of people. But it is not enough to expose the conservative kernel underlying post-humanism’s radical veneer, or to abstractly oppose the generic de-specification of the human to its restrictive specification. What must be grasped rather is how both this specification and de-specification are conjoined in capitalism as a historically specific mode of social production. Doing so reveals that the human is neither a metaphysical subject nor an anthropological attribute. It is the name for a mutability that is sui generis but no longer synonymous with self-consciousness; a displacement compelled by the twin pulses of social reproduction and libidinal repetition.
- Ray Brassier 'The Human' [unpublished text]
- Rosi Braidotti, ‘A Theoretical Framework for the Critical Posthumanities’ in Theory Culture & Society 2019 36(6): 31-61
- Jacques Derrida 'The Ends of Man' in Margins of Philosophy, Translated by Alan Bass (Brighton: The Harvester Press Ltd., 1982), pp. 109-136
- Link to Google drive folder with the readings: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-G6lNb5hzFaBkrcryTdFGsJnMoQcFwtN&authuser=sepideh%40foreignobjekt.com&usp=drive_fs
"An Argument for Esotericism," HERE. It's been awhile since I've been in touch with Bryan but when I do visit his blog from time to time I'm not disappointed. When it comes to the political - academic or otherwise - I've always appreciated his thoughtfulness when it comes to slow and careful reasoned reflective analysis. I appreciate in this post which I'm linking the Plato reference, as that is something I'd more than likely start off with as well!
Hope all is well Bryan. He and I co-authored an entry on Justus Buchler for my "Philosopher Profile" posts here at After Nature some years ago (see HERE and HERE); even just recently I've been contracted to write a chapter on Buchler for a forthcoming volume on his work. So working with Bryan has been helpful even many years later.
Friday, April 9, 2021
The ctenophore’s brain suggests that, if evolution began again, intelligence would re-emerge because nature repeats itself. See the article, "Aliens in our midst" HERE.
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Location: Lakota Wolf Preserve, Columbia, New Jersey
Music by Sturmpercht, from the album "Geister im Waldgebirg" (2006) Location: Cherry Valley Nature Preserve, Pennsylvania
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
I love it. As aptly put, and it was so off-handedly put so that shows you his absolute brilliance right there, - "The People's Democratic Antifascist Security State." You can't get more descriptively correct than that. Nail on the head, people. That's what we are living it. Social Totalitarian Democracy.
It's time to "flee to the forest." Read Ernst Junger's The Forest Passage (1951) , or his 1951 essay "Across the Line." Even Junger's Eumeswil (1977) is a conceptual road-map as to how to navigate this sinking ship; the corpse of Leviathan is about to beach. Get ready.
... Not only demonstrating obedience to the People's Democratic Antifascist Security State but ALSO knifing the patriarchy / family loyalty in the back in an exemplary act of pure fanaticism.— Outsideness (@Outsideness) January 26, 2021
Monday, January 18, 2021
Schelling's attempt to explain creation in terms of nature's "ground" and "existence" is a seminal moment in his thinking. It is by no means surprising that he would turn to Plato's Timaeus to develop that distinction in a type of philosophy of organism or "organicism," which Plato himself had developed implicitly in the Republic and rather explicitly in the Timaeus. Schelling, modeling his own philosophy of organism upon this, makes the most concrete statement of his position in this commentary.
As an aside, for awhile now I've been considering how Schelling and Plato both inform each other's metaphysics in light of what I call an "ecological metaphysics," something extremely valuable in contemporary Continental environmental philosophy, whether through environmental aesthetics, environmental hermeneutics, or semiotic phenomenology - the key being the disclosure, experience of, and interpretation of natural signs and sign processes in the natural world, e.g. Jasperian "cyphers" in light of holistic and inter-related context.
Continental environmental philosophy hasn't had current meaningful developments since Erazim Kohak's Green Halo and The Embers and the Stars. While much has been done with Merleau-Ponty, or Merleau-Ponty and Schelling together - a task which has by now become rote and shopworn - I think the time is ripe for a fresh perspective, perhaps with the development of this "ecological metaphysics" directly using Plato and Schelling.
Just food for thought.
Link to Schelling's commentary on the Timaeus HERE.