By Phil Percs (with Jon Cogburn, John Fletcher, and Duncan Richter)
Nevertheless, rumours about Tom and Mary were now flying around Bloomsbury. On 19 May, a week after the Hogarth Press had published Eliot's Poems, Virginia and Ottoline met to 'talk personalities', and discuss 'the case of Mary Hutch and Eliot'. There was more trouble, too, with Virginia, who has had heard the latest gossip that Tom thought her new novel, Night and Day, was 'rubbish'. Ottoline was in her turn jealous of Tom's new-found intimacy with Mary, and Clive was more green-eyed than ever when he heard that Tom had spent the weekend with his girlfriend Mary, and Roger Fry. Ottoline at this point invited Tom and Virginia for the weekend at Garsington, without Mary or Vivien. 'Tom is going to Garsington; think of Virginia, Tom and Ottoline!' wrote Vivien to Mary. "O think of it.' But Vivien's efforts to trap Ottoline into speaking ill of Virginia had backfired. . .
- Caroline Seymour-Jones
- Vice's Dan Ozzi on that special moment in life when you first realize that Garden State sucked.
- TNR's Calum Marsh interviews Martin Amis about the about to be released film version of London Fields, among other things. Darts Keith!
- New Stravinsky score found.
- Slate's Julie Anne Exter on the four most underrated rock bands: Sleater-Kinney, Veruca Salt, Hole, and The Donnas.
- The world's most beautiful library.
- Don't order that book of flower names to help you with your nature poetry. Nothing good will come of it. And nobody cares what rhymes with clematis anyhow.
- Richard Bledsoe on stuckist and remodernist exhibitions, with links to the relevant manifestos.
- Forger criticizes limited and vague terms used by critics: To imagine that one can learn about drawings simply by looking at them is presumptuous, not unlike imagining that one can learn how aeroplanes work simply by flying in them.
- Please stop using the (purported) fact that you've made "real breakthroughs" with your poetry as an excuse for life failings.
- I know this book and it has those poems in it, all about Being Alive In The Fresh Air And Living With Your Woman And Eating Good Food And Smoking Pot And Watching Your Woman Getting Dinner Ready The Way Her Simple Skirt Molds Itself To Her Full Hips Outside The Voices Of The Children As The Evening Comes Down On The Mountains [Screw] You America You Can’t Change This.
- Rotten poets who think of furthering their careers come to think of themselves as: (1) ahead of their time; (2) important minor figures; (3) part and parcel of the “exciting” art world.
- Finally - Never trust a poet, or anyone else in the arts, for that matter, who says ‘Well, to be alive, to be in life, is more important than any poem.’ When they say this they are first of all insulting you, since they assume that they have discovered some profound idea, and secondly, they are apologizing—in an aggressive way—for the mediocrity of their productions.
- This just in: Identities Are Not Arguments. Being who I am, I know this post to be correct.
- George Monbiot eats a squirrel and thinks he's found the meaning of life. Or something.
- Are Peter Singer's ideas too dangerous to hear? Elizabeth Barnes, a philosopher at the University of Virginia and the author of an upcoming book on disability, thinks defenders of Singer should try to see the situation from the perspective of disabled people. “Academic freedom should allow Peter Singer to say what he thinks,” she argues, “but it shouldn’t protect him from the consequences, including public outrage. He has a habit of saying things that are extremely offensive to disabled people. Disabled people are going to get up in arms about that, especially since they deal with the very real, very rational fear that the views of thinkers like Singer will have influence both on public policy and on wider public perceptions about the quality of life of people with what Singer calls ‘severe’ disabilities.”
- Practical Ethics' Neil Levy on the virtuous homophobe. Unless we hold a very demanding version of the unity of virtue thesis, we shouldn’t believe that someone can only display the virtues in doing the best thing available to them, not even the best thing available to them as assessed by their own principles. I’m not convinced, in any case, that resigning is what is best in the light of her own principles. Consider her counterpart once more, ordered to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples. Surely we admire her more for standing her ground than for resigning in the face of this pressure? That seems to indicate that Davis, too, might be doing what is most admirable, from the perspective of someone who accepts her false moral claims.
- That's how it goes. Everybody knows.
- The American Conservative's Gene Callahan reviews John Gray's The Soul of the Marionette: A Short Inquiry into Human Freedom. Gray views Aztec society as a lesson in the inevitability of human violence. We tamp it down in one place, only to see it pop back up in another. He is skeptical of statistics that seem to show a long-term decline in violence. He cites violence-caused famines and epidemics, deaths in labor camps, the gigantic U.S. prison population, the revival of torture in the most “civilized” societies, and other modern atrocities to call these figures into doubt. And he sees the false sense that we have overcome this human tendency to violence in “enlightened” Western societies as connected to our arrogant approach in dealing with “unenlightened” societies.
- Is it really that hard to eat a vegetable or two each day? C'mon!
- The University Bookman's Robert Koons reviews R.J. Snell's Acedia and Its Discontents: Metaphysical Boredom in an Empire of Desire. The main body of the book consists of six chapters, divided into three parts. The first part, “The Weighty Gift of Responsibility,” comprises two chapters on the spiritual meaning of work. Snell deftly deploys the contrast of weight versus lightness throughout the book, echoing the title of Kundera’s novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Ends that are aligned with the world’s deep metaphysical structure have inherent weight, while the autonomous self of late modernity, forced to be its own source for all value and meaning, faces an array of choices of unremitting lightness. This “unbearable lightness” of modern life is the inevitable byproduct of philosophical subjectivism and voluntarism. The modern self is free to choose anything whatsover, without the constraint of prior meanings, but at the cost of having nothing but meaningless options to choose from.
Good news for defenders of the evidential argument from evil:
- The New Rambler's Don Herzog reviews Atul Gawande's Medical Care as Harm. If you’re still relatively young, face it: that is what you’re looking forward to. As I’ve insisted for some time – some of my closest friends died young – there’s only one way not to age and it sucks. In some sense, we all know the dreary fact that our bodies give way, if not the exact details about enamel and the rest. But we also magically keep that fact at bay, even as we scoff that teenagers imagine that they’re immortal. We imagine – this may be especially alluring to us aging boomers, but I suspect plenty of others succumb – that we will live long and basically healthy lives and then more or less quickly die. We’ll require medical care along the way, but our doctors – smart as hell, fiendishly hardworking, with increasingly sophisticated medical knowledge, drugs, and technology at their command – will get us up and running again. You don’t have to suffer from serious disability or chronic disease to realize that this script is a cheery fantasy, increasingly at odds with the way many of us live. And die. Set aside the really poor and the really lucky. Many of us can look forward to years of melancholy and majestic decline, with fitful little bursts of recovery and partially regained functioning, until we die. But doesn’t medicine make progress? You bet: that’s precisely why more of us can look forward to more years of falling apart.
- See entry #7 under Ethics.
- Jacobin's Ralph Milliband discusses the coup in Chile to remind us that capitalism is a revolutionary force. After all, the Times, on the morrow of the coup, was writing (and the words ought to be carefully memorized by people on the Left): “Whether or not the armed forces were right to do what they have done, the circumstances were such that a reasonable military man could in good faith have thought it his constitutional duty to intervene.” Should a similar episode occur in Britain, it is a fair bet that, whoever else is inside Wembley Stadium, it won’t be the editor of the Times: he will be busy writing editorials regretting this and that, but agreeing, however reluctantly, that, taking all circumstances into account, and notwithstanding the agonizing character of the choice, there was no alternative but for reasonable military men . . . and so on and so forth.
- Speed kills also see here.
- Three times in history that humanity faced the real possibility of extinction. (Spoilers! We came out OK all three times!)
- Manufacture a Statistic (rape stat minimization edition).
- Homophobic men have intense homosexual urges. Because science.
Logic and Language:
- OUPblog's Roy Cook on a promise keeping paradox.
Metaphysics, Broadly construed:
- David Roden takes on Steve Fuller's Transhumanism.
- Are we not men? We are devo.
- R. Scott Bakker on the augmentation paradox: The more you ‘improve’ some ancestral capacity, the more you degrade all ancestral capacities turning on the ancestral form of that capacity.
- Would it really have been that rotten if the positivists had won?
- Philosopher's Cocoon's Luis Favela considers what the extended mind hypothesis might teach us about extended life.
Philosophers, Stylin' and Profilin':
- Philosop-her's Meena Krishnamurthy profiles LIsa Herzog.
- Philosop-her's Meena Krishnamurthy profiles Kimberley Brownlee.
- Discrimination and Disadvantage's Shelley Tremain profiles Ray Aldred.
Philosophy's Extrinsic Value:
- David Hume might help solve your midlife crisis. Much cheaper than a corvette, and not nearly as ridiculous.
- Forbes India on how philosophy is a good major for techies.
Politics/Sociology Not Otherwise Categorized:
- NYTimes' Paul Krugman on Labour's dead center. An era's ruling ideas are the ideas of the rulers. We need new rulers. QED and you're welcome.
- Previewing his upcoming book Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future, Paul Mason shares his argument that "The End of Capitalism has Begun." Cory Doctorow gives a positive review of book, helpfully spotlighting moments where Mason has oversimplified some technical issues.
- Jonny Thakkar offers reasons why conservatives should read Marx.
(Pseudo-)Science and Techmology:
- Genetic difference between early risers and late sleepers. I should not have played with that radioactive spider when my son was born.
- Einstein, Podowsky, and Rosen say that is not what they meant at all.
- Tesla's new house battery.
- Slate Star Codex thinks through how online viral outrages resemble adaptive parasitic infections in "The Toxoplasma of Rage" (from 2014, but well worthwhile).
Race and Racism:
- Aaron Carroll points toward an alarming and infuriating study indicating that black children with appendicitis are less likely to get pain meds than white children.
- Ongoing Necessary Education, carceral/systemic racism edition: Ta-Nehisi Coates's "The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration."
Religion (and the Philosophy of):
- Three new pieces in Helen De Cruz' Prosblogian series of interviews:
- Philosophers and their religious practices part 13: Samuel Lebens, The tremendous liberation of the Sabbath.
- Philosophers and their religious practices part 14: Michael Rea, experiencing the presence, love, and forgiveness of God through the liturgy.
- Philosophers and their religious practices part 15: Gilah Kletenik, A life-affirming Judaism.
- Marilynne Robinson ruminates on the culture of fear and guns in an ostensibly Christian country.
- Novelist has whole shitty world plotted out. Philosophers can do this without having to write novels.
- Peter Singer investigates a basement flood.
- Julia Gillard overdoses on Schadenfreude. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
- Why I'm leaving New York for a large pile of garbage that's on fire.
- Harry Potter and the set of all sets that do not contain themselves.
- Orientation for Harass U.
This Week’s IEP:
- John Pittard's Religious Disagreement.
This Week’s NDPR:
- Justin Steinberg reviews Yitzhak Y. Melamed (ed.)' The Young Spinoza: A Metaphysician in the Making.
- Susan Meld Shell reviews Alfredo Ferrarin's The Powers of Pure Reason: Kant and the Idea of Cosmic Philosophy.
- Jacob Stegenga reviews Robert Hudson's Seeing Things: The Philosophy of Reliable Observation.
- Nick Riggle reviews Tzachi Zamir's Acts: Theater, Philosophy, and the Performing Self.
- Jason Turner reviews Graham Priest's One: Being an Investigation into the Unity of Reality and of its Parts, including the Singular Object which is Nothingness.
- Mary Kate McGowan reviews Alexander Brown's Hate Speech Law: A Philosophical Examination.
- Dennis Dieks reviews Tim Maudlin's New Foundations for Physical Geometry: The Theory of Linear Structures.
- Ori Belkind reviews Andrew Janiak's Newton.
This Week’s SEP:
- Fitness (Alexander Rosenberg and Frederic Bouchard) [REVISED: September 18, 2015]
Changes to: Main text, Bibliography
- Max Stirner (David Leopold) [REVISED: September 17, 2015]
Changes to: Main text, Bibliography.
- Moral Skepticism (Walter Sinnott-Armstrong) [REVISED: September 17, 2015]
Changes to: Main text, Bibliography.
- Hermann Cohen (Scott Edgar) [REVISED: September 17, 2015]
Changes to: Main text, Bibliography.
- Naturalism (David Papineau) [REVISED: September 15, 2015]
Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html.
- Wilfrid Sellars (Willem deVries) [REVISED: September 14, 2015]
Changes to: Main text, Bibliography.
This Week’s WiFi:
- Laurie Santos' Cognitive Biases: Reference Dependence and Loss Aversion.
- Laurie Santos' Cognitive Biases: Pricing Biases.
- Laurie Santos' Cognitive Biases: Anchoring.
- Laurie Santos' Cognitive Biases: Alief.
- Absolutely lovely piece by Simon Critchley in The Stone about Frank Cioffi, the undergraduate professor who meant the most to him.
- Vox's Libby Nelson presents the Obama administrations new scorecard for universities. You can go there and type in your institution. Also see Kevin Carey's discussion at the NY Times.
- Inside Higher Education's Karen Costa defends texting with students. Feh.
- Are college lectures unfair?
- How a depression in China would hurt American Universities.
- Another university shooting.
- On-line courses give rise to debate about professor's ownership of course material. Your intellectual copyright has already been violated by note taking services, but nobody cares much. If Walt Disney were a university professor this would have ended years ago.
- The war against the humanities in British universities.
- The war against the humanities in Japanese universities.
- Salon's Sophia A McClennan explains the Republican war on universities.
- It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts
factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.
What it's Like:
Will they occur,
These people with torso of steel
Winged elbows and eyeholes
Of cloud to give them expression,
These super-people! -
And my baby a nail
Driven, driven in.
He shrieks in his grease
Bones nosing for distance.
And I, nearly extinct,
His three teeth cutting
Themselves on my thumb -
And the star,
The old story.
In the lane I meet sheep and wagons,
Red earth, motherly blood.
O You who eat
People like light rays, leave
Mirror safe, unredeemed
By the dove's annihilation,
The power, the glory.
- Sylvia Plath