By Phil Percs (with Jon Cogburn and John Fletcher)
There was the bulge and the glitter, and there was the cold grip way down in the stomach as though somebody had laid hold of something in there, in the dark which is you, with a cold hand in a cold rubber glove. It was like the second when you come home late at night and see the yellow envelope of the telegram sticking out from under your door and you lean and pick it up, but don't open it yet, not for a second. While you stand there in the hall, with the envelope in your hand, you feel there's an eye on you, a great big eye looking straight at you from miles and dark and through walls and houses and through your coat and vest and hide and sees you huddled up way inside, in the dark which is you, inside yourself, like a clammy, sad little fetus you carry around inside yourself. The eye knows what's in the envelope, and it is watching you to see you when you open it and know, too. But the clammy, sad little fetus which is you way down in the dark which is you too lifts up its sad little face and its eyes are blind, and it shivers cold inside you for it doesn't want to know what is in that envelope. It wants to lie in the dark and not know, and be warm in its not-knowing.
- Robert Penn Warren
- Have you listened to the currently-streaming-for-free soundtrack from Hamilton (the hip-hop musical about Alexander Hamilton)? Because you should check it out. It's more fun than a Boston tea party. The Washington Post'sAlexandra Petri (who has seen the production), duly notes the "golden river of unstinting praise" upon which the show has been floating. But, she says, that shouldn't deter you from braving the hype. "The reason 'Hamilton' is making such a big splash," she argues, "is not just because it is terrific (it is) — diverse, lyrically brilliant, dense, emotional, erudite, cool. It’s because it’s earnest."
- T.S. Eliot's "The Contemporary Novel" published for the first time, courtesy TLS. We will take four examples of very different types and orders of value: D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, David Garnett and Aldous Huxley.
- The Weekly Standard's George B. Stauffer defends the claim that Béla Bartók is the third big B. Only if Edvard Grieg is the fourth.
- The Spectator's Roland Elliott Brown reviews Christopher Herwig's Soviet Bus Stops. In remoter parts of the country, bus shelters mattered even more than buses, providing convenient places for people to gather, drink and socialise. They were caravanserai for the motor age, and while the empire they served no longer exists, most of them stand right where it left them.
- WSJ's Michael Calia interviews horror writer Thomas Ligotti.
- See entry #2 in Politics/Sociology Not Otherwise Categorized.
Good news for the defender of the evidential argument from evil:
- 482,000 diesel cars sold by VW in the United states were programmed so that emission control technology only kicked in during emissions tests. Cars emitted forty timesthe permissible amount of ozone destroying nitrous oxide, leading to deaths.
- In other news, Koch brothers prison reform efforts would, if successful have the effect of making it impossible to jail executives who kill people when illegally flouting environmental standards.
- Ex-hedge funder buys rights to AIDS drug and raises price from $13.50 to $750 per pill.
Ethics and Political Philosophy:
- Theory, Culture, and Society's Conor Heany reviews Graham Harman’s Bruno Latour: Reassembling the Political.
- Christopher Frey and Jennifer Frey, "GEM Anscombe on the Analogical Unity of Intention in Perception and Action."
- Twenty asshole ways that assholes see things.
- Vox's Dylan Matthews argues that equality of opportunity should not be the guiding norm for our political culture.
- Feminist Philosopher's Anne Jacobson wonders what precisely it is that makes dying bad.
- Feminist Philosopher's Teresa Blankmeyer shares her experiences and thoughts about speakers not being willing to wear assisted listening devices.
Gender and its Discontents:
- Stassa Edwards provides "The History of Female Anger.
- "'Tech writer Stacy May Fowles explains that she has locked her Twitter account. Why? "I'm afraid of men on the internet."
- Philosophy, Etc.'s Richard York Chappell critiques an objection to sex selection by Tamara Browne.
- The American Conservative's Jon Zobenica on how Fox News and ubiquitous lapel pins show that Lenin beat Reagan.
- African American Intellectual History Society's guest blogger Ibrahim Sundiata on 'the Dixie narrative' where slavery was confined to Dixie and slaves grew cotton. Racism, not economic interest, drove the slave trade and slavery, which existed as the ultimate form of psychosexual torture. Africans, in this version of history, were selected as slaves because they were black. In this narrative, nowhere else in the history of humanity has slavery existed and nowhere else were human beings chattel. The numbers immolated in the holocaust of the “Middle Passage” and in the cotton fields ran into the hundreds of millions. The “Dixie Narrative” ignores the fact that far vaster slaveries stretched in a bloody arc from Havana to Rio (Less than five percent of those enslaved in the Atlantic Slave Trade came to North America).
- i don't go in that bar since they eighty sixed me for throwin' a drink that the waitress fixed me at a customer who asked for "dixie" i don't suffer fools and i don't play "Dixie" i'll play you a song as long as you tip me if it's "rocky top" you want, better make that a fifty if you don't understand me, read my lips see i don't suffer fools and i don't play Dixie you show your true colors, well I'll show mine but I'll warn you now boo my colors they're more red than white and blue if you don't like it, go ahead and hit me but i don't suffer fools and i don't play "Dixie" see that statue, that's general e. lee they should knock him on his ass if you ask me i ain't no gray coat as you can see i don't suffer fools and i don't play Dixie you show your true colors, I'll show you mine but I'll warn you now boo my colors they're more red than white and blue you had your fun, you got your kicks but i don't suffer fools and i don't play "Dixie" now there's a sign high on a cypress tree been up there since 1993 and in bold letters it says this is duke country but it's mine now and this ain't Dixie you show your true colors, well I'll show mine but I'll warn you now boo my colors they're more red than white and blue if you don't like it, go ahead and hit me but i don't suffer fools and i don't play "dixie" - Mike West
History of Philosophy:
- Digressions & Impressions' Eric Schliesser meditates on slavery in Plato's Republic. To be clear, second, Plato's Socrates never develops, it seems, a sustained moral critique of slavery and there is plenty of evidence that Plato accepts the institution as a de facto part of Greek political life. (I say 'sustained' because in the Meno and in the exchange with Polemarchus, the slave-holder is revealed to be base in non-trivial ways.) But as I noted, unlike Aristotle's conception of human nature, Socrates' anthropology of the true city offers no reason to think there are natural slaves, and even the more complex, and, indeed, hierarchical conception of human nature developed in the luxurious city, leaves, as Calvert notes, no obvious room for slaves by nature or, to use that more Aristotelian phrase, second nature.
- LARB's Mike Wayne reviews Reidar Maliks' Kant’s Politics in Context. In many ways we are still in the state of nature, the state of being at the mercy of blind forces and irrational outcomes — but the causality for this has moved primarily from the sphere of politics to the sphere of economics. Liberalism has played a crucial role in advancing our political freedoms, but it is the philosophy that protects the economic sphere from democratic accountability. If liberalism and the advance of reason were once sufficiently paired, we can see in a return to Kant, the already emerging contradictions which more than two centuries later make liberalism the enemy of reason and democracy.
Metaphysics, Broadly Construed:
- Boston Review's Peter Godfrey-Smith reviews Hubert Dreyfus and Charles Taylor's Retrieving Realism. I didn't know this, but apparently anti-representationalist philosophers have such thick and oily coats because they used to help with the cod harvest off the coast of Newfoundland. The fisherman and philosopher would pilot this tiny little skiff away from the ship and the philosopher would literally jump into the freezing water and retrieve the cod with his teeth. This put pretty strong selective pressures on anti-representational philosophers and is incidentally the main reason you always see them mucking around in the hotel pools during the APA.
- R. Scott Bakker critiques Alva Noë's critique of neuroscience. As a one-time Heideggerean, I recognize Noë’s tactics as my own from way back when: charge your opponent with presupposing some ‘problematic ontological assumption,’ then show how this or that cognitive register is distorted by said assumption.
Philosophers, Stylin' and Profilin':
- What is it Like to be a Philosopher's Clifford Sosis interviews Joshua Knobe, who is awesome in part because he has an effect named after him (only beaten in awesomeness by Professor Side). It's also a wonderful interview.
- 3am's Richard Marshal interviews Joshua Mozersky who steps out of the Tardis to discuss his philosophy of time, talking about ontology and semantics, about whether what exists is time dependent or not, abut presentism and eternalism, about whether we can think and speak in an untensed way, about whether physics alone can answer all the questions, about Hilary Putnam’s argument about time, about McTaggart, about ‘A-series’ and ‘B-series’approaches to time, about the reality of time, about the difference Special Relativity makes, about objective becoming and the eternal NOW, about Bourne and presentism, about his own version of ‘B-theory’, about time’s arrow, about why causation explain why we privilege the present and about why perdurantism fits his approach.
- 3am's Richard Marshal interviews Brian Copenhaver who is the philosopher who thinks all the time about magic and philosophy, about the distorted Pico, the Renaissance, Hegel, Kant, Kabbalism, about magic and science, occult qualities, Pythogoras, Iamblichus, the Italian Idealists, Gentile, Croce, about Dewey and Croce, about their politics, about Peter of Spain, his logic and metaphysical commitments.
Politics/Sociology Not Otherwise Categorized:
- April Kelly-Woessner writes "How Marcuse Made Today's Students Less Tolerant than Their Parents."
- I have no plans to watch Eli Roth's The Green Inferno (inspired by the infamous 1980 Cannibal Holocaust). But for those who don't mind spoilery reviews and who want an unexpected rumination on the meanings of "slacktivism," take a look at A. A. Dowd's review and "spoiler space" addendum on the AV Club. A taste: "Roth makes no distinction between the two forms of action [slacktivism and genuine activism], and as a result, The Green Inferno plays like a critique of any form of activism, as though the filmmaker were roasting his characters for having the gall to act on their ideals at all."
(Pseudo-)Science and Techmology:
- Aeon's Sidney Perkowitz on why the speed of light is the speed of light. If it weren't the speed of light it would be the speed of something else? Or did God commit an obvious de dicto/de re fallacy when designing the universe? I wouldn't put it past Him. He's sneaky that way.
- Your anti-virus software might be spyware.
- Entry #2 in Gender and its Discontents.
Race and Racism:
- See entrees #2 and #3 in History.
- Richard Beck promotes David Bentley Hart's "God, Creation, and Evil: The Moral Meaning of creation ex nihilho." For Beck, Hart reframes the question of universal reconciliation (will God save all instead of just an elect few?) as a matter of theodicy rather than soteriology.
- Democracy's Kim Phillips-Fein reviews Kevin M. Kruse's One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America. The first will be first and the last will be last.
- Former nun and now pro-choice activist Francis Kissling reflects on the Pope's recent overtures toward women, especially on the issue of reproductive rights, in "The False Compassion of Pope Francis": "Francis is trying. But his own inability to understand women as people, not mothers, will enable those priests to hear only that part of Francis’ message that tells women they did a bad thing—and not recognize why women did the best thing they could, given their circumstances."
- Getting God out of football.
- Who's a good boy?
- Existential Shopping Network.
- My life as a graduate student narrated by Warner Herzog.
- Philosophy Tech Support.
- Sex according to Morrissey.
This Week’s IEP:
- Robert Wagoner Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c. 4 B.C.E.—65 C.E.).
This Week’s NDPR:
- Todd R. Long reviews Kevin McCain's Evidentialism and Epistemic Justification.
- Caleb Cohoe reviews Gaven Kerr, OP's Aquinas's Way to God: The Proof in De Ente et Essentia.
- Rebecca L. Walker reviews Mark Alfano (ed.)'s Current Controversies in Virtue Theory.
- Damian Caluori reviews David J. Yount's Plotinus the Platonist: A Comparative Account of Plato and Plotinus' Metaphysics.
- Mark Siderits reviews Koji Tanaka, Yasuo Deguchi, Jay L. Garfield and Graham Priest (eds.)' The Moon Points Back.
- Chris L. Firestone reviews Lawrence R. Pasternack's Kant on Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason.
- Lori Watson reviews Kevin Vallier's Liberal Politics and Public Faith: Beyond Separation.
This Week’s SEP:
- Francis of Marchia (Christopher Schabel) [REVISED: September 24, 2015]
Changes to: Main text, Bibliography.
- Truth Values (Yaroslav Shramko and Heinrich Wansing) [REVISED: September 23, 2015]
Changes to: Main text, Bibliography.
This Week’s WiFi:
- Sinan Dogramaci's The Puzzle of Grue.
- Laurie Santos' Cognitive Biases: The GI Joe Fallacy.
- Jonathon Anomaly What are Public Goods?
- Laurie Santos' Cognitive Biases: Cognitive Biases: Peak-End Effect.
- Laurie Santos' Cognitive Biases: Mental Accounting.
- daily nous' Justin Weinberg hosts a discussion about Kate Manne's recent NY Times piece on trigger warnings. Manne's quip that objecting to trigger warnings is like supporting throwing spiders at arachnaphobes went viral on facebook. I hate to point this out, but I and every genuinely phobic person I know can guarantee that some non-trivial percentage of the professoriate will not view that as in any way a mark against trigger warnings.
- Fredrik deBoer cautions us all to remember that, despite the legitimately awful situation many PhD grads find themselves in, on average people with PhDs (of any sort) tend to do better, economically, than those without.
- The American Conservative's Jonathon Coppage on the orgy of campus building during a time of cutbacks. Because?
- Quartz gives the SEP some much deserved love.
- What a massive sexual assault survey found at 27 top universities.
- Common mistakes college students make.
- A weak variant of the “imposter syndrome.”
- Thinking of faculty as “unapproachable.”
- Poor time management.
- Vox's Amanda Taub presents seven reasons you shouldn't go to law school (unless you really, really want to be a lawyer).
- Law school isn't a solution to your fear of the career abyss.
- There are other paths across the abyss.
- Don't go to law school just because it seems prestigious.
- Don't go to law school to please your parents.
- But what about the money?
- Don't underestimate the financial costs of hating your job.
- Don't go to law school because you think it's a "great all-purpose degree."
- Inside Higher Ed's Melissa Dennihy presents some helpful tips for getting academic writing done.
- The Academe Blog's John K. Wilson criticizes Carey Nelson's latest anti-Salaita piece.
What it's Like:
- Having Jesus on the brain.
- To have been a castrato.
- Reading an essay that gives you some modicum of confidence that you might be able to survive a tsunami.
- Withdrawing from Cymbalta.
- Having a legendary comedian for a dad.
Я повторяю десять раз и снова
Никто не знает как же мне хуёво
И телевизор с потолка свисает
И как хуёво мне никто не знает
Всё это до того подзаебало
Что хочется опять начать сначала
Мой стих печальный,он такой,что снова
Я повторяю-как же мне хуёво
- Янка Дягилева