By Phil Percs (with Jon Cogburn and John Fletcher)
The process of dialectical becoming in post-Hegelian philosophy entails two closely related but distinguishable considerations: one, the dialectical becoming of the Absolute or Transcendent Self and, two, the dialectical becoming within it of the finite or empirical self. Ultimately we shall find that in Bradley's philosophy "these two souls" or selves "are the same" (KE 206) and that, consequently, the development of one must everywhere be seen as continuous with the development of the other. It is this continuity which will make available to the post-Hegelian world a viable methodology of self transcendence.
- Anne C. Bolgan
- dailynous to showcase the work of four cartoonists in the biz! Each of the four strips will appear one at a time, on Tuesdays or Thursdays, every other week. The artists (and their strips) are Rachel Katler (Ad Hoc), Tanya Kostochka (To φ Or Not To φ), Ryan Lake (Chaospet), and Pete Mandik (Mind Chunks). Aggregating the four makes philosophical comics into a real thing, which is I think wonderful.
- See entry #1 in (Pseudo-)Science and Techmology.
- Literary Hub's Jessica Ferri on presents tons of quotes of people in the bidness of reading sharing what they do to still manage to read for pleasure. Some of these seem slightly fishy in the humblebragging sort of way. When I'm so wiped I can't read another word, that's when I go back to refresh myself from the calming waters of Joyce. Really?
- Conversation between President Obama and Marilynne Robinson.
- TNR's Paul Grimstad reviews Elvis Costello's Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink. This is family history as musical encyclopedia, and to listen to Costello recount his life is to be buttonholed by an enthusiastic fan. Fandom for Costello is inseparable from the compulsion to write songs and, it seems, to understand his own life. Sounds wonderful.
- Have you seen Wired's "Absurd Creature of the Week" pieces? As Barry Deutsch warns, be prepared to have huge chunks of your time evaporate.
- James Whitbrook from I09 lists "Ten of the Scariest Ongoing Horror Comics" for your pleasure.
- The University Bookman's Thomas F. Bertonneau reviews David Seed's Ray Bradbury.
Cool (but Potentially Nightmarish) Stuff:
- So here's something either cool (for outgoing folk) or nightmarish (for us introverts/antisocial types): social interaction game cards, each with an instruction/challenge for you to realize in everyday life. Examples include "Leave a generous tip"; "In at least one conversation, say meow every time you'd otherwise say the word now"; or "slip this card into the pocket of some pants at a clothing store."
- Discrimination and Disadvantage's Shelley Tremain reflects on the Stublefield case. Last week Feminist Philosopher's magicalersatz suggested some of the philosophical issues raised by the case.
Ethics and Political Philosophy:
- The Virtue Blog goes live.
- Pea Soup's Ralph Wedgewood's Permissible suboptimatlity: a triple-ranking view. Some philosophers – let’s call them “teleologists” – believe that there is an intimate connection between deontic terms like ‘required’, ‘ought’, and ‘permissible’, on the one hand, and evaluative terms like ‘better’ and ‘best’, on the other. Teleologists face a problem with the intuitive idea of supererogation. This is the idea that sometimes we are not morally required to do the morally best thing, but may permissibly take options (e.g. to pursue our own personal projects, or to safeguard our own interests) that are morally suboptimal. As Sam Scheffler would say, we sometimes have an agent-centered prerogative to act in morally suboptimal ways. In this post, I shall argue that two attempts at solving this problem – a simple threshold view, and a dual-ranking view – face serious intuitive difficulties. The best solution, I shall suggest, is not a dual-ranking view, but a triple-ranking view.'
- The Stone's Jason Stanley on how democracy produces a surfeit of seeming phoniness which then makes us all marks for demagogues. . . . I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.
- Benjamin Kiesewetter's The Normativity of Rationality.
- Washington Post's Ana Swanson showcases recent Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton's arguments concerning how development aid often makes things worse. Worth a read. Deaton's case is not the usual libertarian nonsense. Think of it this way: In order to have the funding to run a country, a government needs to collect taxes from its people. Since the people ultimately hold the purse strings, they have a certain amount of control over their government. If leaders don't deliver the basic services they promise, the people have the power to cut them off. Deaton argued that foreign aid can weaken this relationship, leaving a government less accountable to its people, the congress or parliament, and the courts. Incidentally, this also explains why countries with too much mineral wealth usually have horrible governments.
Gender and its Discontents:
- digressions&impressions Eric Schliesser imagines a world where our big shots really spoke up in cases of sexual harassment in the same way that astrophysicists have recently. In reaction to Eric's post, dailynous' Justin leads a discussion on the issues raised. Justin frames it this way: a big part of the point of tenure is to free people to speak to power. Does our very cowardice constitute abuse of tenure?
- Tenure She Wrote provides a handly list of don'ts for the male academic.
- The Stone's Gary Gutting interviews Nancy Fraser about feminism.
- Huffingtonpost does a story on federal discrimination lawsuit against Colin McGinn and and Edward Erwin, including the full text of the infamous "sex 3 times" e-mail and much else of a depressing and more than a little vomitous nature. Feminist Philosopher's Jenny Saul praises Morrison's bravery here.
- Famous quotes, the way a woman would have to say them during a meeting.
- Boston Review's Richard White traces the history of the re-occurring meme of the United States' Christian founding. In the process he reviews Steven Green’s Inventing a Christian America: The Myth of the Religious Founding and Kevin M. Kruse’s One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America.
- John Corvino — “Bake Me a Cake”: Three Paths for Balancing Liberty and Equality.
Logic and Language:
- Catarina Dutilh Novaes continues her series on the beauty of mathematical proofs over at M-Phi. Joe Bob says check it out.
Metaphysics, Broadly Construed:
- Synthetic Zero's Arran James' turn to pessimism. A breakdown of communication. The end of transmission. Isolation. Lilith the First Woman. The rebel against Man who came not from his body. The Patron of Abortions. Her name meaning chaos. She who is represented as a she-demon throughout mythologies. She of whom it is written in the Dead Sea Scrolls’ exorcism text Song for a Sage.
- Cory Doctorow relates neuroscientist Andrew Smart's argument about AI: it doesn't qualify until the AI can trip on acid.
- Merve Emre exposes "the Secret History of Myers-Briggs," the ubiquitous personality test responsible for the four-letter codes littering various dating app profiles.
Philosophers, Stylin' and Profilin':
- Philosop-her’s Meena Krishnamurthy profiles Helen Beebee, who shares some of her thoughts on free will. We might think of much of the contemporary free will debate as fitting this general mould: what we are primarily interested in, so the thought goes, is figuring out what any possible world has to be like in order for there to be free agents at that world. It is of only secondary interest whether the actual world happens to be such a world. Thus conceived, the debate strikes me as one that has become at least partially unhinged from what is surely the most important question about freedom of the will, namely whether – and in what kinds of circumstance that stand a fighting chance of being actual – it’s something that we are capable of exercising. After all, assuming that freedom of the will underpins moral responsibility, surely it’s much more important to figure out whether and when we exercise it than it is to worry about whether merely possible agents who inhabit possible worlds that might well be very different to our own exercise it.
- What Is It Like to Be a Philosopher's Clifford Sosis interviews John Bickle., newly chaired at Mississippi State. They're bound to get you, because they've got a curfew. . . Seriously, this is yet another gem from WIILTBAP. It's great to discover that philosophers are interesting humans and you also get lots of cool little bits like this: There was one big change. I started out a committed Churchland-type scientific realist. My first book was clearly written in that vein. Then before I left East Carolina University for University of Cincinnati, back in Spring 1999 or Fall 1999, I taught an undergraduate seminar on Carnap. I was amazed at what I had missed (having read him in graduate school, as part of learning the development of analytic philosophy and its morphing into scientific philosophy in the 20th century). I was doubly amazed at what I had learned about the standard analytic/scientific philosophy story about his views, and what became of them. So much of what Quine gets credit for, Carnap anticipated … and I mean explicitly! That chunks of scientific assertions stand to empirical test? It’s explicit in Carnap’s Unity of Science monograph from 1934. That ineliminable “pragmatic” considerations go into our choice of observation language? Explicit in “Testability and Meaning” from 1936/37. How it ever came to be accepted that Quine’s dismantling of the analytic/synthetic distinction likewise dismantles Carnap’s “internal existence question/external existence question” distinction is beyond puzzling, since the only mention of “analytic” and “synthetic” in Carnap’s 1950 “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” essay is in a footnote. He’s got at least four arguments in that paper for treating external existence questions as pragmatic and not one of them presupposes anything like the analytic/synthetic distinction. Scandalous!.
Politics Not Otherwise Categorized:
- The Twitter feed of responses to Scott Westerfield's slam-bang plot idea: "97% of the world's scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires and oil companies."
- Lawyers, Guns & Money hosts guest poster (and CUNY Political Scientist) Adam Luedtke on "Four Myths about the European Refugee Crisis."
(Pseudo-)Science and Techmology:
- aeon's Craig Mod describes his love affair with the e-book and why he's gone back to the real thing. Contemporary digital publishing stacks are mostly closed. As readers, when we buy an Amazon Kindle or Apple iBooks digital book, we have no control over what software we can use to read it, or what happens to our notes and other meta information culled from our reading data. Those notes I took in the tents while hiking back in 2009 still exist, somewhere, locked inside the Kindle ecosystem. I can dredge them up by going back in and raking through the books in question or pulling up the kindle.amazon.com website, which itself hasn’t had a significant update since it was launched six years ago. But they don’t exist, for example, as a simple text file, easily searchable, on any device or computer. Nor am I certain that they will continue to exist in coming years as Amazon changes the way its ecosystem functions.
- theguardian poops on the whole idea of economics being a science or deserving a Nobel Prize. On a related note, this post a few months ago by Eric Schliesser.
- So, this is probably going to be one of those "turns out to be nothing" things, but some astronomers have discovered a star whose light signature suggests an unusual number of non-planetary objects in orbit it. Among the serious contenders for what's going on: a collection of alien megastructures (e.g., enormous solar mirrors) suggesting a Kardeshev Type II civilization. On the one hand: there's probably some not-so-sexy explanation. But on the other: OMG! ALIEN FRICKIN' MEGASTRUCTURES!
Race and Racism:
- African American Intellectual History Society guest poster Athan Bliss uses the disruptive nature of Black Lives Matter protests to reflect on the history of disruptive black protest. For example, Frederick Douglass attended the 1846 World’s Temperance Convention in London, not as part of the American delegation, but as an at-large delegate representing Newcastle. When Douglass took the floor to denounce slavery, one of the American delegates, an eminent doctor of divinity from New York, publicly objected to his speech as a violation of “the law of reciprocal righteousness.” Douglass, he continued, was an “intruder” who “smuggled” anti-slavery into a discussion of temperance and impugned the reputation of American Christians.
- [RawStory had a really fascinating piece about white people's perceptions of white privilege, but the damn site autoplays so much advertising that it froze my browser. No link for sites that host badly coded ads!]
- Patheos' Daniel Linford presents the Euthyphro dilemma.
- Mondoweiss' Philip Weiss interviews Joel Kovel about his recent conversion to Christianity.
- Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Ready to Give Up.
- 11 Charts That Will Speak To Anyone Who Really Fucking Loves Swearing.
- Democratic Debate to Take Place In Comment Thread Under ‘Humans of New York’ Photo.
- Kirk Cameron & The Crocoduck of Chaos Magick.
- Alaska Gov. Says State “Urgently” Needs More Oil Drilling to Pay for Climate Change Damage.
- Sorry! And the Nature of Suffering.
- Obama paranoid government coming for his guns.
- Study Finds Carving Names Into Public Property Prolongs Relationship By 30 Or More Year.
This Week’s IEP:
- No new articles this week.
This Week’s NDPR:
- William S. Robinson reviews Uriah Kriegel's The Varieties of Consciousness.
- Eric O. Springsted reviews C. P. Ruloff (ed.)'s Christian Philosophy of Religion: Essays in Honor of Stephen T. Davis.
- Julia Jorati reviews Adrian Nita (ed.)'s Leibniz's Metaphysics and Adoption of Substantial Forms: Between Continuity and Transformation.
- Tara Kennedy reviews Mark Coeckelbergh's Environmental Skill: Motivation, Knowledge, and the Possibility of a Non-Romantic Environmental Ethics.
- Kasper Raus reviews David Roden's Posthuman Life: Philosophy at the Edge of the Human.
- Krister Bykvist reviews L. A. Paul's Transformative Experience.
This Week’s SEP:
- The Computational Theory of Mind (Michael Rescorla) [NEW: October 16, 2015].
- Haecceitism (Sam Cowling) [NEW: October 15, 2015].
- Chaos (Robert Bishop) [REVISED: October 13, 2015]
Changes to: Main text, Bibliography.
This Week’s wiphi:
- Elmar Kremer 's Classical Theism 6 (Evil and Goodness in the World).
- Elmar Kremer 's Classical Theism 5 (God's Goodness and Justice).
- Elmar Kremer 's Classical Theism 4 (God's Omniscience).
- Elmar Kremer 's Classical Theism 3 (God's Omnipotence).
- dailynous' Justin hosts a discussion about how professional service might be improved and incentivized.
- See entry #1 in Gender and its Discontents.
- dailynous' Justin hosts a discussion about how various graduate programs treat logic requirements, aimed at helping interested undergraduates assess their options.
- Against Professional Philosophy guest poster Boethius considers how one might actually teach "critical thinking" well. It’s not enough to have (1) competent critical-argumentative skills (the good stuff in what you call “the analytical-critical method of logical reasoning”—the ability to evaluate arguments, analyses, etc.), nor is it enough to have (2) knowledge of its value for thinking for oneself, and the value of using it to criticize actually and potentially oppressive institutions, etc. What’s also necessary is (3) the willingness/tendency/character to use those skills and knowledge—the willingness to engage in the criticism where needed. Boethius, and APP's Z are pessimistic about the prospects of teaching the virtues that actualize themselves in (3).
- See etnry #1 in What it's Like.
- Philosopher's Cocoon's Marcus Arvan on what to do in response to frustrations with journal practices.
- Ben Kraft shows us how to teach gerrymandering.
- Pressure to publish or perish may hinder innovation. One for the who'da thunk files.
- Entry #4 in Gender and its Discontents.
What it's Like:
- Being a professor terrified about the thought of teaching legally armed students.
- Playing a horror video game that actively resists being played.
“the withness of the body”